Firstly, expect tenderness, swelling and irritation for the first few hours/days. It’s nothing to worry about. If it’s been a week or more and there’s no sign of improvement, go back to the piercer and ask for advice.
This is very important: DO NOT REMOVE THE JEWELRY UNTIL YOU HAVE CONSULTED A DOCTOR/PIERCER. If you are concerned ask for help. Removing jewelry might not be necessary, and could cause further infections.
You’re just home from the piercer’s – what should you do? The following simple instructions will ensure your wound heals quickly.
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. See some great products below.
Don’t forget to soak your piercing with saline solution after your piercing seems to be well healed and there’s no puss coming out and crusting doesn’t form. Like taking antibiotics, you should go the full course. Soak in saline every day for 6 months minimum, or until you’re sure it’s 100% healed.
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 allow any crusties or other dirt around the piercing to loosen before removal. Use cotton swabs or gauze pads to remove any stubborn matter – try to avoid using fingernails.
And that’s it! Saline soaks and soap! It couldn’t be easier!
However, I repeat, do not hesitate to get advice from a professional (piercer/doctor) if you feel your piercing is not healing correctly or if you notice anything unusual.
Read our comprehensive piercing aftercare article here.
Belly Button Piercing