How to Care for a Pierced Navel

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Body piercing is what some people considering a form of expressing themselves. It has been a quite popular trend since the early 1990’s. One of the most popular piercing for women is the navel (belly button) piercing. There are usually no problems as a result of navel piercing but healing is typically a slow process. However, there have been some reported cases of severe infections and this is generally due to improper care. In the days and weeks after having any part of your body pierced it is important to pay special attention to that area and keep it clean and as germ free as possible. Because of the location of your navel, you tend to gather a lot of bacteria in that particular region. Because of this it is all the more important to take good care of your piercing. Other parts of the body that people often pierce, such as the eyebrow are exposed to the air all of the time and this will promote much faster healing.

The Day of Piercing

The day you have your navel pierced, the studio you have had it done in will more than likely give you a list of instructions and perhaps even some written information about the care of your new piercing. This is the information you should be listening to. There will always be ten people eager to tell you what you should do to care for your piercing but the person who did the piercing will be the best person to get your instructions from. This is of course provided you have gone to a reputable piercing studio and for this article we are working under the assumption that you have. You do not want to wear anything tight that day and you will be best to go home soon after having your piercing done so that you can take your shirt off and let air get to the site.

Antibacterial Soap

You will probably be instructed to use some sort of antibacterial soap on the piercing several times a day. A very good type of soap to use, although it is a bit pricey, is betadine soap. This soap can be found in the first aid section of your local pharmacy. Is contains betadine so it is a dark yellowish orange and will create a yellow foam. The reason this soap is so effective is that it is much better at killing a larger number of germs than your standard antibacterial soap. The average cost of this soap is approximately $10.00 a bottle but it lasts for a very long time as you do not use very much.

Avoid Hydrogen Peroxide and Rubbing Alcohol

Contrary to what many people may suggest, hydrogen peroxide actually dries your piercing out. This will irritate it and make it sore. Alcohol will have the same effect, not to mention that it will burn like crazy! There is no reason you should ever use either of these solutions on a piercing, no matter what anyone tells you, short of a doctor. The only way a person may be told to use either of these solutions is in the event complications arose and a physician recommended one or both of them. The likelihood of this occurring is about one in ten million.

The Healing Properties of Salt Water

Salt water, preferably from the ocean in a natural state is the absolute best thing you can use to heal any type of wound, a piercing included. If you live in a warm climate and you are local to a beach, go get into the ocean and soak that piercing for a good 20 minutes or so a couple of times a day. If you are not quite so lucky as to live that close to the beach then use a homemade warm salt water solution. You can either fill your bathtub with nice warm salt water or you can use a moist compress on the piercing. If you do decide to use the bathtub please make sure you have cleaned the tub with bleach prior to getting in.

To Neosporin or Not to Neosporin That Is the Question

The answer as to whether or not you should put Neosporin on a navel piercing depends largely on who you are asking. There are some piercers who still promote the use of Neosporin on a piercing (never on a tattoo) and there are some who say it will delay healing and keep the piercing from getting enough fresh air. Neosporin is great for infections and is often used to help clear an existing infection from a cut. However, if you look at the label it clearly says that the product is not intended for use on puncture wounds. A piercing is just a puncture wound by another name, isn’t it? With that in mind it may be best to stay away from Neosporin.

Signs of Infection at Site

Your navel piercing is going to take literally months to fully heal so do not be surprised if you experience a small circle of redness and a bit of pussy discharge for quite awhile. Again, this is primarily because of the location of the piercing. However, please be advised that if any unusual pain should develop or if the area should become hot to the touch or significantly red, you may have an infection and should seek medical attention. In addition, if the discharge should change colors or have a foul odor this is another sign of infection.

As long as you follow your instructions carefully and keep your piercing site clean and sanitary, you really should have no issues. People who have any sort of immunological disorders such as HIV/AIDS should refrain from having any type of piercing done as they carry a risk of developing a serious infection due to their compromised immune systems. The key to taking good care of a piercing is to keep your eyes open for anything which seems unusual and not being afraid to ask questions.

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Margrit Bradley

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