How to Heal a Naval Piercing

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Expect to care for a piercing for several months..
Expect to care for a piercing for several months.. (Image: Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

The belly button or navel is a popular place to get pierced on the body, particularly for women. Piercing the navel is not like piercing an ear. An ear can be pierced using a piercing gun, but the navel must be pierced using surgical clamps and a large hollow needle. The piercer forces the needle through the skin and slides the navel jewelry inside the hollow opening. It is critical to care for a piercing properly to avoid infection.

Things You'll Need

  • Antibacterial soap
  • Piercing cleanser (optional)
  • Non-lint Cloth
  • Sea salt (optional)
  • Shot glass (optional)
  • Cotton swabs

Use only approved and safe metal in a belly button piercing. These metals include titanium, stainless steel and niobium, and are available at any reputable piercing facility.

Wash hands before touching a navel piercing. Moisten a cotton swab with warm water and gently wash off any crust around the piercing. Do not move the jewelry, as this could cause irritation.

Wash navel piercing with a gentle antibacterial soap or approved piercing cleanser. Dry area completely. with a non-lint cloth.

Promote additional healing with a sea salt soak. Pour a 1/2 tsp. sea salt into a 1/4 cup cooled boiled or distilled water. Pour the water into a clean shot glass and bend over, placing the glass over the navel piercing. Hold the glass there and lie down for 15 minutes.

Tips & Warnings

  • Don't let anyone touch your new piercing.
  • Replace piercing jewelry only after the wound has completely healed.
  • Watch out for pus. Unlike crust, which is formed from clear non-odorous liquid, pus is yellowish with a foul smell and is often indicative of an infection.

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