Infected Belly Button Piercing: 5 Causes Of Infection & 5 Easy Tips To Prevent It

To pierce a skin fold just above your belly button and insert a jewelry piece into the hole isn’t a big deal. And although the procedure itself is considered fairly safe, problems may occur through many reasons. Navel infection may happen to anyone if one of the safety rules has been neglected. In most cases belly button piercing relates to young girls’ passions. Many of them feel extremely excited about having one but aren’t very eager to give it proper care afterwards. If you are considering to have your belly button pierced or have just had it, this article is for you. We offer important information in regards to infected belly piercing: how can you tell if it’s infected, what causes infection and how to avoid complications.

Infection In the Pierced Navel: When Can It Begin?

Actually, body piercings turn out more prone to development of infection. However, some young impressionable girls take normal after-procedure signs for infection symptoms. You should keep in mind that if infection occurs, it won’t reveal the same day when you have your navel pierced. The first days after piercing the wound will excrete lymph, a substance only distantly reminding discharge of pus. That shouldn’t cause your panic. Simply do soaks with saline solution or table salt (¼ teaspoon for a cup of water). They will clean lymph off the wound and disinfect the belly button area.

Some bruising and bleeding right after the procedure also reveals almost in everyone.

Normally if you’ve got your belly button infected during the procedure, infection becomes evident only a weak after.

Infected Belly Button Ring: Normal Symptoms Or Infection?

  • Lymph (a clear slightly yellowish discharge) is a good sign of healing, forming a crust on your jewelry. Any darker discharge should alarm you.
  • Reddening and swelling for an extended period of time also don’t mean anything good.
  • Some stinging and burning (but not sharp pain) is acceptable a few days after the procedure.
  • Pus. Its color matters: white pus occurs in case of minor infection that will pass if you go on with your aftercare routine, yellow or green pus indicates serious infection.

Navel Piercing Infection: Causes

  1. Improper piercing equipment. So called “guns” are very hard to disinfect properly. If you opt for piercing with a gun, you can’t be absolutely sure that it won’t cause any harm.
  2. Piercing jewelry. Jewelry made of surgical steel, titanum, sterling silver or high quality gold normally don’t trigger any problems. Cheaper jewelry made of gilded or silver plated metals can easily break or cause skin irritation. In some cases this leads to potentially dangerous infections in abdominal cavity and even blood infection. Risks are especially high if navel piercing hasn’t healed completely. Such complications occur rarely yet you should do everything to prevent them.
  3. Swimming in swimming pools and open waters or visiting sauna shortly after piercing was carried out can also end as an infected belly button piercing.
  4. Poor aftercare. Cause #1 for navel piercing infection is playing with jewelry or touching the wound. You can touch your navel only when you are doing aftercare procedures – washing with antibacterial soap or soaking in saline solution. Covering your piercing with plaster isn’t a good idea since plaster blocks air circulation, necessary for healing.
  5. Self-piercing. If you are not an experienced and licensed piercer, it’s highly unrecommended to pierce anything yourself. Not only it’s more difficult to carry out the procedure on your own body, but also such factors as improper use of equipment or unsterilized tools may trigger problems and end up as an infected belly button piercing.

How Do You Know That Your Navel Piercing Got Infected?

Typical signs include pain, reddening and skin inflammation in the navel area. The same symptoms in a moderate form may occur right after the procedure but if it has been weeks, yet the look of your piercing is aggravating, it’s likely to be infected. Sometimes the wound excretes pus and skin around is getting hot. If you have these symptoms, seek for medical help as soon as possible. Here is a list of dangers, associated with belly button piercing infection:

  • Abscess: accumulation of pus around the navel piercing. In difficult cases abscess needs surgical drainage. Don’t try to handle such problems yourself, you will only aggravate the situation and cause scarring.
  • Sepsis. In other words it’s blood poisoning that may start along with abscess or independently.
  • Toxic shock syndrome. This condition is an uncommon yet very serious bacterial infection, potentially fatal.
  • Keloid scars. If a wound doesn’t heal fast, you may get keloid scars. They are very visible because of rich pink or red color. Treatment of keloids is quite problematic yet contemporary cosmetology has an array of effective methods to offer.

Easy Rules To Avoid Navel Piercing Infection

  1. Keep your belly button dry.
  2. Don’t touch it without need. If you want to touch your pierced navel, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and dry them with paper towels.
  3. Take a shower once a day. Don’t leave soap on the wound longer than 30 seconds. Rinse it off thoroughly. Dry your belly button right after the shower, not with a body towel but using a hair dryer.
  4. Make sure you have washed your belly button after training or another activity that makes you sweating. Sweat acts like acid, causing inflammation.
  5. Go on with saline soaks throughout the healing process.

The Bottom Line

We are not trying to scare you or talk out of getting an awesome belly button piercing. However, if you’ve made up your mind to have it done, find a licensed piercer or a trustworthy licensed body shop where nothing threatens your safety. Ignore your friends’ remarks who claim it’s pretty easy to do piercing yourself at home. Remember that this procedure is close to surgery. That’s why this mini-surgery should be carried out only in an appropriate setting.