Follow these tips and your navel will heal quickly!
Proper belly button piercing aftercare is needed to heal your “brand new” navel piercing. The faster your new piercing heals, the sooner you can try new belly rings!
There are three stages in the healing process:
Stage One: The Inflammatory Stage. Your new piercing is an open wound. Bleeding, swelling and tenderness are all expected.
Stage Two: The Growth phase. This can last several months when you get a Belly Piercing. In this phase, your body reacts to heal the wound. ‘Crusties’ are common to this phase. Crusties are formed when some discharge from your new piercing dries and forms a crust on your jewelry. Never pick at crusties with dirty fingernails. During phase two, your body seals the channel of the piercing. Your piercing is considered healed at the end of this phase but may still be quite tender and will still need care.
Stage Three: The Maturation Phase. The channel of the piercing matures and becomes scar tissue. You may find that your piercing moves from stage two to three and back again many times before it heals fully. If a piercing is mistreated it can regress very quickly and you may find yourself back at square one.
As discussed, crusties, formed by a clear discharge from your piercing, are common. But do not confuse this clear discharge with pus, which is a thick, colored(yellowish-white) and foul-smelling substance. Pus is often indicative of infection.
One other normal piercing secretion is called sebum. This is often mistaken for pus but is recognizable by the fact that it is more solid, or cheese-like. It too, is foul-smelling. It is naturally produced by the body and is not a sign of infection.
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BASIC PIERCING AFTERCARE
There are many things to consider with a new piercing. You must be committed to your piercing and follow the instructions given to the best of your ability.
- Good health
- Avoid trauma
- Soaking in saline
- Cleaning your piercing
- wash your hands before touching jewelry
- change bedding and towels at least once a week
- don’t sleep with your pets
- avoid exchange of body fluids in the affected area
- use disposable paper products to dry piercings
- your own sweat won’t affect the piercing as long as you clean it correctly
- get plenty of rest
- eat a healthy, balanced diet
- drink lots of water
- avoid emotional stress where possible
- avoid excessive alcohol or caffeine
- don’t use recreational drugs
- don’t smoke – smoking causes narrowing of the blood vessels, which inhibits oxygen circulation in the blood, and lengthens healing times considerably.
- do not play with your new piercing
- do not change the piercing too quickly or unnecessarily
- handle your piercing very lightly when cleaning
- try to wear clothes and underwear that will reduce or minimize friction
- take care of your piercing during physical activity such as exercise.
- Do not expose your piercing to hot tubs, pools, oceans or lakes – they are a breeding ground for infection. A Nexcare Waterproof Bandage or Tegaderm Tranparent Dressing can be used to protect the piercing.
SOAKING IN SALINE
Apply salt solution on your fresh navel piercing every day. Just soak some cotton wool with saline solution and place over your navel for 5 to 10 minutes once or twice a day. If there’s some crusting on the belly ring, remove it gently.
You can make saline solution at home – dilute about 1/4 teaspoon of non iodized sea salt to 1 cup of clean, warm water and apply on your piercing twice a day. Or you can buy a saline solution at a drugstore or on the Net.
Don’t forget to soak your piercing with saline solution after your piercing seems to be well healedand there’s no puss coming out and crusting doesn’t form.
CLEANING YOUR PIERCING
- Do not use alcohol, bactine or hydrogen peroxide to clean the piercing under any circumstances. Stick to the following, proven, inexpensive methods and you will be fine.
- Use a mild, antibacterial soap to clean the piercing once or twice a day, preferably in the shower. Clean your hands and the rest of your body before cleaning your piercing. This will also loosen any crusties or other dirt around the piercing. Use cotton swabs or gauze pads to remove any stubborn matter – try to avoid using fingernails.
Belly ring materials that improve aftercare
Your piercing will secrete fluids for some time and they will crust on your belly ring. You’ll clean it with belly button piercing aftercare sticks or saline solution, of course. But it may become infected anyway and you should choose a belly button ring that can reduce the likelihood of infection. Bioplast is a material proven to possess such qualities and you can get bioplast navel ring in great colors and styles. Gold, Titanium and Stainless Steel are also popular choices for first-time piercings.
Another option for the first time belly button ring is PTFE material. This material has a non-stick surface, in other words, body fluids don’t stick to it, thus improving the quality of belly button piercing aftercare.
PTFE is a white material and doesn’t come in colors, unlikely flexible plastic that cannot be used for initial piercings. Some sellers mistakenly sell flexible plastic as PTFE, so watch out – real PTFE doesn’t come in colors! PTFE material is used for piercings for pregnant women because of its flexibility and you can buy the shaft separately and choose the endings that you like.