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How To Care For Your Belly Button Piercing

Dear Sugar
I've been wanting a belly button piercing for the longest time now, but the only thing I cannot seem to prepare myself for is the chance of developing a weird ring around the piercing.

I've read stories of one girl who had hers done and she had a bubble near the top of the piercing. Another girl had gross infected puss oozing from the piercing. Will this kind of thing happen to me even if I take good care of it? Tepid Tara



To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Tepid Tara
Treat your piercing like you would any other open wound. Keep it dressed and well protected with antibiotic ointment. Since it's in a strange place where air won't bet getting to it quite as easily as if you got your ears pierced, you have to be sure and keep it dry. Damp or sweaty clothing can irritate the piercing.

Here's how to care for it:

  • Wash it twice a day (morning and night) with a soap that contains antibacterial properties. Don't over wash it, too much cleaner may interfere with your body’s natural ability to fight off infection.
  • Gently pat the area dry with disposable paper products such as tissues or gauze. A cloth towel can breed bacteria.
  • Apply a diluted salt solution to your piercing for five minutes in order to soak off dried material (i.e. blood and bacteria).
  • Rotating the piercing is controversial. Some say that it helps to keep the hole open, others feel it aggravates the healing process. It's entirely up to you - I would get an opinion from the person who's performing the piercing. If you do decide to rotate - do it for one minute, once a day.
  • Rember to sanitize your hands before touching your belly button ring.

Belly button piercings can take up to a year to fully heal so be patient with the process. I've also learned that they are not right for everyone. If this is the case you can always pierce your tongue or your (blank) , right?

But seriously, you need to have the proper amount of skin (outties are better) in that area for the piercing to be successful. A lack of skin will likely cause the ring or bar to migrate out and thus it won't lie flush against your navel.

It's also important to be aware of the risks. There's always a chance of contracting a serious abdominal infection/blood poisoning from improperly sterilized equipment. Also, allowing someone with little experience to peirce you can result in nerve damage or scarring. Keep in mind that if your piercing looks infected - see a doctor immediately.

Note: If you are pregnant you can wear your belly button ring up to the 5th or 6th month. Once the skin on your abdomen begins to significantly stretch you should take it out just to be safe.

Here's a great link where you can find cute body jewelry.

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