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The most important advice you can get about navel piercing is how to care for the wound as well as the jewelry. It seems many women today wear navel rings, so they must be easy to care for, right? The can be, but any wound requires careful attention.
You can tell if any piercing is healed mostly by the look of it and also how it feels to the touch. Is it still tender? If it still hurts to a minor touch, it probably is not healed. If there are crusts around the edges of the piercing and it is still leaking fluid, it is still healing as well. If your piercing is not leaking, crusting, bleeding or inflamed, I'd say it is probably healed enough to change the jewelry, but generally it is not completely healed until between 4 months and a year. Don't leave jewelry out of a fresh hole for long or it may close up, and I'd recommend having a piercer change the jewelry.
Check the closings of your belly ring at least once a day to make sure they're tight. Turn the closing to the right to tighten it. If you forget to tighten your ring, it could fall out and the piercing could close. Make tightening your navel ring part of your cleaning routine.
When you go in to get your navel pierced, the first thing you should do is look around. Is the shop clean and well lit? Does the piercer look competent (are they businesslike, have they done this before?) Ask to see the instruments that the piercer will be using to put in your navel ring. Most of the time, they will be taken out of the autoclave (sterlizer) or sterile packets right in front of you. This is a good thing - don't accept their word for it that the instruments are sterile.
Have the piercer mark where they're going to pierce your navel with a pen and ask to go look in a full-length mirror before having the actual piercing done. You should be satisfied with the placement before the needle touches your skin.
After getting pierced, make sure the piercer gives you aftercare instructions and lets you know what type of treatment to use on your new piercing. A printed sheet is best, but don't feel weird writing this info down if it's just told to you - this is your body, take care of it! Make sure to ask how long you should wait before showering/bathing, and also ask the recommended procedure if something goes wrong.
This procedure will allow you to get the best experience out of getting your new navel ring.
If you enjoy showing off your belly button jewelry at night or in clubs, you might want to think about getting a flashing or blinking belly button ring. These rings are powered by a small watch battery and can usually be turned on and off to conserve power for when you want to show off that navel piercing!
Also available in for belly button rings are those that can have a glow stick inserted through the bottom ball of the barbell. These are also great for nighttime events and parties, and they don't need batteries. You will, however, have to get several different glow sticks to insert because each glow stick will only last a few hours.
If your belly button piercing should become infected, do not remove the ring. The piercing must be free of germs and bacteria before removing the belly ring or the harmful germs could get trapped and worsen the infection. If your piercing begins to produce a thick or discolored liquid see your doctor to get proper treatment for the infection.
You can get belly chains with or without a belly button piercing, but if you are pierced it makes a much more impressive statement.
When buying a belly chain and ring combo, make sure to check online, as the best prices are often found through Internet retailers. Also, make sure to check the length of the belly chain before buying one, most are adjustable, but only to a certain point. The very skinny or plus sized may need to special order a belly chain. As with rings, you can get belly chains in gold as well as other popular metals.
The navel has long been considered an erogenous zone because of the difference between men and women's stomachs which is why its fun to highlight your belly button with a belly ring. Typically, women's stomachs are longer, more deeply recessed, and rounder in the lower region. There also tends to be a greater distance, proportionately, between a woman's navel and the genitals. Try wearing erotic belly rings to further enhance the sexiness of the navel.
You endured several minutes of pain to make your fashion statement with a new navel ring. What do you do next? How do you care for this tender area? When can you change the belly button ring?
People who get body piercings should educate themselves on proper aftercare.
Here are some tips for aftercare of a newly pierced navel:
· Always wash your hands before touching the pierced area. Do not touch it except to clean it.
· Take showers rather than bathing. Showering will breed fewer bacteria than a bath.
· Wear clean, breathable clothing that protects your piercing during sleep. Make sure your bedding is clean and change it regularly.
· Protect the navel with a hard, vented eye patch (sold at pharmacies) that is secured by using a length of ace bandage around the body (to avoid irritation from adhesive). This patch is used protect the pierced area from restrictive clothing, excess irritation, and impact during physical activities such as contact sports.
· Leave jewelry in at all times. Even a well healed piercing can close easily. Carry a clean replacement in case of accidental loss.
If you follow these aftercare guidelines you will have a better chance of combating possible infection.
Getting your belly button pierced can be exciting. Choosing your belly button ring may be thrilling, but what are the risks?
There are some health risks associated with body piecing. Listed below are some the common risks you need to know before your pierce your navel.
Infection--Can result from inadequate care or improperly sterilized equipment. Certain types of infection can cause scarring and even lead to blood poisoning, not to mention it is very unattractive.
Allergic Reaction--Can result from allergies to metal in jewelry, which can lead to difficulty breathing, rash, swelling and maybe even hospitalization.
Excessive Bleeding--If you hit a large blood vessel and cannot stop the bleeding you may have to go to the hospital to get it cauterized.
Cross Contamination--Needles that are not properly sterilized can contaminate individuals with hepatitis, HIV or other blood-borne pathogens.
Keloids--These are toughened knots of scar tissue that look like cysts at the base of a piercing.
Can't donate blood--You cannot donate blood for one year after getting a body piercing--no exceptions.
These risks may seem minimal, but they can be extremely dangerous if they are not treated early. Know what to expect and educate yourself about these and other risks before you pierce your navel or any other body part.
Before getting your belly button pierced, you should make sure to chose a ring that is surgical stainless steel if it's your first piece of belly jewelry. Stainless steel is non-reactive to your skin and open wounds like a piercing, and will allow your new belly piercing to heal much faster.
You should also pick a ring that is easily cleaned for your first belly ring, so dangles and other large jewels are not recommended. Save the fancier styles for after your belly piercing has healed.
Your first instinct upon getting a new navel piercing might be to show it off by wearing a midriff top or going to the beach. This isn't the greatest idea, however, as your new navel ring is very vulnerable to infection.
Wait at least a few weeks, preferably months, before exposing your new piercing to the elements. Don't go out in the sunlight, or allow water to get into a fresh piercing, both of these things can slow healing or even cause infection. Navel piercings can take up to a year to heal fully, so be careful with the area until you know it's done healing.
Wear a one piece bathing suit if you're going to be out on the beach, and cover the area with a bandage if that's not possible. Above all, keep your navel ring clean of dirt and debris, which includes lotions and sunscreen. Ask your piercer about the best cleaning solution or method to use on your navel jewelry.
If you're looking to get a different type of belly button piercing, ask your piercer. You might be able to get a lower belly button ring (which is where the bottom area of the navel is pierced) or a horizontal belly button piercing (instead of a barbell inserted above the navel, a ring is pierced horizontally above the navel).
These belly button ring styles are not as common as the typical belly button piercing, but can give you a different look. Just make sure to go to a reputable piercing shop and ask if the piercer has experience with different types of belly button piercings. Both you and the piercer should feel comfortable with any piercing that is done.
It is a bit more difficult to do a belly button piercing of an “outie” belly button than it is to pierce an “innie” belly button, but it certainly can be done. An “outie” belly button has a significant amount of surface scar tissue, which is very tough. Therefore, you should look for a belly button piercing artist who not only has a good reputation, but also experience with piercing “outie” belly buttons.
You should avoid having any clothing rubbing against your navel rings (not “naval body jewelry”!), so you may want to unbutton or unzip the top of your pants until your belly button piercing heals. The rubbing from clothing will not only be painful, it will disturb the healing process. Correspondingly, you and your friends should avoid touching your navel ring until your belly button piercing is fully healed.
When piercing your navel, or any part of your body, you run the risk of infection. Your belly button must be cared for every day. It typically takes 38 weeks for your navel piercing to properly heal.
While healing there are some problems that may arise. Here are some signs that there might be a problem with the pierced navel.
1. You have a green or yellow discharge.
2. The pierced area is bleeding, splitting, oozing or cracking and it is more than a week old.
3. The navel jewelry is moving or migrating from its original position.
4. Red streaks are radiating from the piercing or pain and redness.
5. Developing a rash or hive soon after the procedure.
6. A lump or bump forming at the base of the pierced area.
If you have any of these signs after you get a navel ring then you need to seek the advice or your piercer or in some situations a medical professional. The main thing is to alleviate the problem as soon as possible.
Outie belly buttons can be pierced, but are much more complicated to pierce than "innie" belly buttons. It is important to find an experienced piercer to pierce an outie belly button. If you decide not to pierce your belly button, you can get alternative body jewelry such as a belly chain.
You want a navel ring, but don't know where to go to have your belly button pierced. What should a professional piercing parlor have in order to make sure they are legit?
Here are some suggestions for choosing the right establishment for your navel piercing procedure?
First impressions are essential. Is the waiting area clean and do you feel comfortable there?
Check their credentials. Do they have a valid business license? See if they are members of the Association of Professional Piercers (APP). This will ensure that they went through extensive training and know the proper safety procedures.
Ask lots of questions and be wary if the employees don't know the answers. If they are more like salespeople pushing the jewelry then they probably have a high turnover and that should raise a red flag.
Ask to see the aftercare information. The parlor should have printed information with specific instructions on how to care for your freshly pierced belly button. Make sure the information is current. If the literature still recommends using alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to clean your navel then the studio is not keeping up with the current research in body piercing care.
If you are young and they don't ask for I.D. you should beware. A busienss that doesn't follow rules should raise concern and maybe you should seek out another parlor.
Feeling comfortable in the studio you choose is extremely important. You should make sure the parlor follows proper procedure and is up-to-date on body piercing care and guidelines.
Remember that a piercing is an open wound. Touching it with dirty hands or not caring for it properly will result in an infection. Follow the below tips to ensure a quick and infection-free healing period:
- Avoid sleeping on your belly while the piercing heals.
- Avoid going in public swimming areas while your piercing is healing.
- Wash your hand thoroughly before touching your belly button piercing.
- Follow your piercer's instructions - don't slack!
- Change your bedding often during the healing process.
Navel rings can be "sexy", but you must let them heal properly before you can "dress up" your belly button.
Here are some things to avoid after you pierce your navel in order to allow it to heal correctly.
-Avoid undue trauma such as friction from clothing, excessive motion of the area, playing with the jewelry and over cleaning.
- Avoid the use of alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, Betadine or ointment. Only use sterile saline solution with no additives to clean in and around the pierced area.
- Avoid stress and recreational drug use including excessive caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol.
- Avoid submerging the piercing in bodies of water such as lakes, pools, jacuzzis etc., without protecting the area with a waterproof covering.
- Avoid cosmetics, lotions, fragrances and sprays in or around the piercing. Basically all beauty and personal care products should be eliminated while you are healing.
- Do not hang charms or any object from your jewelry or remove your ring until the piercing is fully healed (which takes around 6 months).
Belly button rings are wonderful as long as you take care of your piercing and keep it free from possible irritants. An infected navel doesn't have much "sex appeal."
There are many places that you can get new navel rings, as they are pretty much the most popular piercing out there right now. When looking for a new belly ring, make sure that you know the material that the navel ring is made of. If it's not stainless steel, real gold or sterling silver, you could have a reaction to the jewelry. Nickel, tin and other base metals can cause allergic reaction or even infection in fresh piercings. Most stores label their jewelry with the material that they're made of, but if the ring isn't labeled, make sure to ask. If the salesperson doesn't know, you should probably shop somewhere else.
The safest place of all to buy new jewelry for any piercing is a piercing shop itself.
As belly button piercings have grown in popularity, so have the types of unique belly rings. Popular belly rings include:
- Navel shields cover the belly button with a stylish body jewelry design or gemstone.
- Blinking belly rings are perfect to wear out on the town.
- Add-on dangles add style and glamour to pain barbells and belly rings.
- Glow-in-the-dark belly rings will announce you (or your belly's) entrance into a dark room.
- Top down rings have jewelry hanging from the top of the piercing rather than the bottom.
You should never have anything pierced with a gun... it can lead to scarring and rejection of the piercing and also other damages to your body. "Guns" are made only for piercing the earlobe (not even the cartilage). There's a chance of getting an infection from cross-contamination and improper use of the piercing gun can add to the risks. I would recommend removing the piercing done with the gun (I'm assuming it's a stud) and let your wound heal. Keep the area clean and wait until it's thoroughly shut. Then I'd find a reputable piercing shop and have it done professionally with a needle.
It's typically easier to find cheap body jewelry, like a belly ring or belly chain, online. You should always shop around, but a belly button ring that normally retails for $38 can be bought for $24 via an online retailer. Online retailers can afford to sell their products for less because they don't have to pay people to stand behind counters, and they don't have to lease or buy property for retail stores. Save money on great Navel Rings at a site like bodycandy.com.
Belly button jewelry is a relatively modern invention. Although the belly button area has long been considered an erogenous zone, there is no evidence from primitive cultures to suggest that they practiced belly button piercing. Christy Turlington's revealing of a belly ring at a London fashion show has been cited as the moment that belly button jewelry became part of mainstream fashion. Soon afterward, Naomi Campbell, Madonna, Cher, and Janet Jackson were also sporting navel rings.
There's hardly anything more sexy than dangle belly rings. Not only do they accentuate the belly button and tummy, but the dangling portion sways just below your belly button, hinting at the treasure below your belt.
Dangle belly rings come in all sorts of styles to suit your personality. You can choose form a tiny martini glass to a native American feather. However, keep in mind that dangle belly rings are not intended for everyday wear. The loose portion can snag on clothing, towels, etc. Keep one or two handy for special occasions. You can even purchase a couple that you like on the same day you get your piercing. Think of them as an incentive: The better you take care of your piercing, the sooner it will heal and the sooner you can wear your new sexy dangle belly ring!
Typically belly button rings can be worn up until the 5th or 6th month of pregnancy. After the 6th month you run the risk of your navel ring popping out or the skin tearing. Once the skin begins to stretch the ring should be removed or you can "upsize the gauge."
There are retailers who sell specific navel rings made for pregnancy. These rings are made to stretch. Rings that are made of Monofilament nylon or Teflon tend to be better than metal jewelry during pregnancy because of their expansion abilities.
You should certainly consult your doctor on whether or not to keep your navel ring in throughout the duration of your pregnancy.
A navel that has been pierced for several years will usually not close if you take out your jewelry although it will shrink and you may need the aid of an insertion taper to install the original jewelry.
Why do people choose to pierce their belly button?
There are many reasons people of all ages choose to pierce this part of their body, but the number one reason is "sex appeal."
Many individuals think a belly button ring is "sexy." Some may disagree about who should show their belly button rings publicly, but there seems to be a consensus among body piercing supporters that a navel ring is appealing.
Other reasons you many choose to get your navel pierced are:
Rebellion. Many young people use body piercing as a rebellious act against parents who do not approve of such acts.
Keeping up with the trends. Body jewelry has become popular and "oh so trendy." Some individuals are motivated to keep up with "extreme fashion trends."
Peer pressure. This usually involves young people, but adults can feel the pressure to compete with their peers too.
Whatever the reason, belly buttons are a popular body part to pierce and navel jewelry is readily available for purchase.
There are many different types of navel rings available for you to put in your belly button piercing. The best navel jewelry to get initially is made of stainless steel, as it is easier to sterilize and less likely to react to your body. You have the choice of a CBR (captive ball ring) or a barbell, and while you might be tempted to get the barbell, a ring is easier to keep clean and will heal faster. You can turn the ring and clean the entire length of the navel jewelry better than if you were to get a barbell, but once you're healed you can always change into a barbell.
Healing typically takes about 6-12 months, and if you want to change jewelry, make sure to get it done by a piercer, as they are more likely to be sterile than you are at home!
What is the difference between a belly chain and a dangle belly ring?
Dangle belly rings have a single attachment that hangs down from the navel ring. They can have charms, gems, or other precious stones. The dangle ring will hang down from the belly button and may be more noticeable than just a regular ring.
Belly chains are readily available at any body jewelry store and they are designed to enhance your waistline. Add some "spice" to your wardrobe and dress up your "look" with a sexy, gem-filled belly chain. The belly chains will typically drape around your entire waistline and there will be several layers that dangle.
Whether you choose a simple one tier dangle belly ring or full belly chain you are sure to enhance your style with a new accessory for your navel.
If you are looking for a daring look with your belly button ring, you can have a piercer stretch the hole of your belly button piercing. This will need to be done once the piercing has healed completely, which can take up to a year.
The piercer will "taper" your belly button piercing up to a larger gauge gradually, so that they don't tear the skin or damage the area. This can be an uncomfortable procedure, so be sure you know that you really want it done before you get into it. Once your belly button ring is tapered up to a larger gauge, you can wear different types of barbells and jewelry for a different effect.
One reason to make sure you take good care of a new belly button piercing is to avoid migration. This can happen when a belly button ring is played with too much, or sometimes just happens if your body "rejects" the piercing.
Migration happens when the belly button ring grows out of your skin. As it heals, it moves closer to the surface and can eventually come out. If your belly button piercing does migrate out, you will need to wait until the area fully heals and then get your navel pierced again if you still wish to have a belly button ring.
Navel rings are available in every price range. Diamond and platinum belly button rings will give your belly button an extra special look. Like most diamond jewelry, diamond belly rings are more expensive than fake gemstone body jewelry. Expect to spend several hundred for diamond belly rings.
If you want to get your belly button piercing noticed, you can try getting a belly button ring that dangles. There are many different styles of dangling belly rings, some are set with gems, have characters or symbols, or are just balls.
You can also get dangling belly rings in many different materials, such as stainless steel, gold, titanium, nobium and even nylon or different types of plastic. The dangling pieces can have synthetic gems or even diamonds. There are enough styles of dangling belly button jewelry to wear a new one everyday!
Belly button rings are not just hoops anymore. You can buy any shape or style imaginable. Some rings are larger than others. They come in all shapes and sizes. There are belly button rings with gems, crystals and other stones. Rings come in shapes of flowers, animals, hearts etc. Many rings can be customized.
Surgical steel or other high quality metals are a must when it comes to belly button rings and other piercing. Sterling silver or pure Titanium is metals that are safe to use in body piercing. Materials that lack quality or contain nickel, tin or aluminum may cause infections and lead to other problems.
There are many different styles of unique belly rings and navel rings. For example, there are platinum belly rings, reverse belly rings, gold belly rings, diamond belly rings, NFL belly rings, Playboy belly rings, and other sexy belly rings. You may want to buy a few different styles for different occasions and different moods.
There are many varieties of blinking body jewelry and barbells that you can wear at night. Flashing jewelry will get you noticed at the club and help your friends find you when you get lost. There are also crystal belly rings that are nice for catching the nighttime lights. Of course, more subtle navel rings may provide your suitor with a good excuse to get closer in order to see your body jewelry.
Whenever you need to take out your belly ring (or if you've bought a new piece of jewelry) you'll need to store it. The best way to do this is to store each piece individually in small plastic baggies. If you put them all together in a group, there is always the risk of losing balls off the ends of your rings, or getting dangling items tangled together.
The plastic bags will also keep your items relatively sterile, if they were in that condition when put away. To be safe, clean your jewelry thoroughly before you put it into your belly piercing.
There are different beliefs as to what to do with your belly button ring when you're pregnant. Some women take their piercing out immediately upon finding out that they're pregnant, being afraid that the belly button ring will somehow interfere with their pregnancy.
Belly button rings will not harm your pregnancy or baby. Eventually, you will feel your piercing getting tight as your stomach gets larger, and if it's digging into your skin or feeling uncomfortable, you should take it out. You will probably need to get repierced or have your belly button ring reinserted by a piercer after you give birth. Never get a new piercing while you are pregnant, however, as the piercing is an open wound which can introduce bacteria and other foreign elements into your bloodstream.
For a classier and more exotic look, try buying a gold belly ring. Most stores carry belly button rings in both 10 kt and 14 kt gold. If you have skin that is sensitive to nickel and other metals, go with the 14 kt belly ring, as they are less likely to react to your piercing.
Expect to pay between $40 - $100 for a 14 kt gold belly button ring from a reputable online store.
Wearing navel rings during pregnancy is a personal decision. Some women will remove the belly button ring during the late stages of pregnancy because the stretching of the abdomen causes a pulling sensation. However, some women will leave their belly rings in throughout the entire pregnancy. Besides, it may be something fun for your baby to grab onto when he or she comes out of the womb.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|