Many people have body piercings, and the belly piercing is a very popular choice. In order for them to heal properly, all piercings need careful aftercare and cleaning, and above all, the patience to allow the body to repair itself. This article includes some tips on what to do when you get your belly pierced, but if you have any doubt, always see your doctor.
The most important thing to remember is to always wash your hands before cleaning your piercing. It is also best to avoid swimming pools and spas, but if you swim regularly, you should wear a waterproof bandage over the new piercing. If the piercing gets any water on it, clean it with antibacterial soap.
Although belly rings are one of the most popular piercings, they can actually take the longest time to heal. They can take anything from six months to a year to heal, and the healing time can be increased by clothing rubbing on the piercing
(such as tight tops or high waist bands). Repeatedly bending of the waist can affect the piercing too. The original piece of jewellery should only be changed when the piercing has healed completely. One of the most popular pieces of jewellery in a belly piercing is the navel bar, otherwise known as a body bar.
Your piercer will give you some solution to clean the piercing with, and will also tell you how often it needs to be cleaned. However, as a general rule, the belly button should be cleaned twice daily with antibacterial soap or saline solution. As well as cleaning the piercing, salt water aids the healing process. Before the piercing is cleaned, any crust which has formed around the jewellery should be gently removed with a cotton bud. It is important that you do not stop cleaning the piercing before the wound has fully healed. After two or three months, it may well look healed but that doesn't mean it is. So, you should keep cleaning it.
It is worth bearing in mind that the primary reason navel rings become infected is because people repeatedly touch and play with their piercings. It is important that you only touch the piercing when you absolutely have to and then only with clean hands. Bruising, swelling and a slight crust around the piercing are all normal and there is nothing to worry about. Signs of infection include pus leaking from the piercing and the area around the piercing feeling hot to the touch.