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Belly Button Piercing Info, Infection, Aftercare

The belly button is often known as the navel and is basically a scar caused due to birth. However, it is very sensuous to look at and the trend to add a little bit of zing and sparkle to it by piecing it has become quite the rage in teenagers and young adults.

Before one ventures into this unknown territory of belly button piercings, one has to be absolutely sure as to what it entails. It sure is a trendy fashion statement, but one also has to be aware of the potential risks and dangers of belly button piercing, the after-piercing care tips and treatment in case of infections.

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Belly button Piercing Infection

The upper portion or end of the belly button is the most favoured region among body-piercing aficionados. However, unlike the other regions of the body, the belly area takes a really long time to heal. So belly button piercings take a longer time to heal than piercings to any other part of the body. Additionally, the piercing may come into contact with sweat, dust and constant rubbing against fabrics or clothing that may aggravate the piercing and delay the healing process.

A belly button piercing may heal in three to four months or can take up to a year to heal completely.

Some of the dangers of belly button piercing are listed below:

  • Infection-
    • One of the most common problems associated with belly button piercing is infections by microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. Most of the infections result from the use of unsterilized needles but that may not always be the case.
    • Some of the signs of belly button infection are painful piercing, swelling of the area, increased sensitivity and redness of the pierced skin and the area may be hot to touch.
    • In some cases the infected belly button piercing may discharge pus which may eventually lead to bleeding along with a greenish discharge. If this is not treated then it can lead to the formation of abscess which can prove fatal.
    • In severe cases, the infection may spread to the entire abdominal area and may result in abdominal poisoning.
    • One can treat the infection by cleaning it with a disinfectant and then remove the belly button jewellery. In case there is discharge of pus, then the jewellery should not be removed as it may lead to the closure of the piercing and internal spread of the infection.
    • The pus can be drained using a hot compress or hydrogen peroxide. In addition one can take oral antibiotics and apply antiseptic creams on the belly button piercing.
    • In case, the above steps do not help visit a doctor.
    • It is important to get a belly button piercing done by an authorized practitioner; else it may result in excessive bleeding or nerve damage. Any damage to the blood vessels can lead to increased bleeding and any damage to the abdominal nerves can lead to numbness of the area.
    • The pierced belly button may also have an allergic reaction to the piece of jewellery. Hence care must be taken to choose a jewellery item made of stainless steel, gold or titanium. One should avoid silver jewellery as it can lead to tarnish deposits on the skin leading to permanent darkening of the area.
    • Keloids or the formation of thick scarring of the pierced belly button is another risk and are caused due to the interference of the scarred tissue with the nearby healthy tissues of the body.
    • The size, shape and type of jewellery metal can also determine whether or not a belly button piercing leads to problems. A thin or heavy or a very short and tight piece of jewellery may cause ceasing of blood flow to the area resulting in pain and swelling.

Belly button piercing aftercare

There are several aftercare instructions that an individual can follow after a belly button piercing. Some of them are listed below:

  • Do not touch the piercing with unclean hands or excessively play with it.
  • Wear light fabrics and loose clothes till the piercing heals.
  • The piercing should be cleaned at least two times a day with an antibacterial soap. Before starting to clean the belly button piercing one needs to clean the hands with warm water and soap. Then, with the help of a cotton ball dipped in warm water, one can clean the area. After that one can lather up the soap and place it on the piercing for about a minute and then wash it off. A soft towel can be used to tap the area dry.
  • It is also important to note that one should not indulge in excessive cleaning of the belly button piercing as it may lead to irritation. Also, one should put any lotions or ointment on the belly button piercing till the healing process has completed.
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