The Navel Piercing

navel piercing

The torso is a large part of the body but very little of it can be pierced safely – the most popular areas being the belly button and the nipples. More extreme piercings can be done on the back but won’t be discussed here.

The Belly Button (Navel) Piercing:

Healing  Time: 6-9 months.

Initial Jewelry: Curved barbell or J-curve.

Gauge: Minimum 14 gauge, sometimes 12 and normal maximum is 10 gauge.

Size: Curved barbell from 3/8 to 1/2 inch.

Most people are extremely surprised at the healing time for belly piercing – it takes longer to heal than any other piercing. The navel piercing is slow to heal due to the lack of blood supply in this region of the body. This extended healing time means that these piercing can be troublesome. They might seem healed but often are not. Home piercing, incorrect cleaning of the wound (improper piercing aftercare), poor quality jewelry, changing the jewelry too soon and the lack of education on piercing are all contributory factors in the healing process.

The most common place to get your belly pierced is through the fold of tissue at the top of the navel – your piercer will assess your navel to make sure it’s suitable and make sure you choose the right jewelry. Not all belly buttons are suitable for piercings – if your navel area is flat, and you don’t have a lip, and you skin is tough you should not pierce your belly button.

The same is true for navel jewelry – not all jewelry is suitable. The sizes and gauges of jewelry are at the top of this post. Don’t be tempted to choose jewelry that’s too skinny. Migration and rejection of the jewelry are more common with  skinny belly rings, especially if the piercing placement is not perfect. I get many mails and comments from girls complaining that their piercer has pierced too little skin (put it too close to the surface) and are afraid as soon as it’s touched it will break the skin. Unfortunately, this does happen sometimes and is made easier by choosing jewelry that’s too skinny.



Piercing Rejection and Migration.

Two of the more common and undesirable outcomes of piercing are piercing rejection and piercing migration.

Piercing migration occurs when your jewelry moves from its original position, and settles and eventually heals in a new location.

Piercing rejection occurs when the jewelry is completely expelled from the body.

Piercing migration occurs for a few reasons:

  • When unsuitable skin is pierced
  • Not enough skin is pierced
  • Jewelry may be too small in diameter
  • Jewelry may be too thin in guage
  • Jewelry may be of poor quality.

These problems are more common if you piercing is done by an inexperienced piercer.

Piercing migration and Piercing rejection may also occur if:

  • You use harsh aftercare products – read more about piercing aftercare here for more detailed information.
  • You follow poor health habits
  • You experience physical or emotional trauma during the healing phase.

Sometimes your body may reject a piercing for no apparent reason. Sometimes placing a foreign object through your skin is the simple reason the piercing is rejected. Make sure to see an experienced piercer when getting your piercing done and be sure to follow piercing aftercare guidelines strictly. Piercing migration or piercing rejection will be much less likely in these conditions.

If you have ant comments or questions, feel free to comment below.

It’s Worth It!

By Brittany, from La Puente, CA

I have wanted my belly pierced ever since Britney Spears debuted her newly pierced navel in 2000 at her televised concert in Hawaii.

I gave it a lot of thought off and on over the years, and started thinking seriously about it in July 2009. In September, I finally decided to go ahead with it.

I had my then-boyfriend do the piercing, which I regret. Instead of doing it quickly and getting it over with, he went really slow because he was scared he’d hurt me. Well, it hurt A LOT more than I thought it would. We did use a sterile piercing needle and a 7/16″ titanium barbell. I have allergies to metals, so I decided to go with titanium.

I took care of it with daily saline soaks. After about two months, I noticed some problems with it migrating. I was worried it would reject, so I removed the jewelry. There was a lot of blood that came out of the piercing when I took out the jewelry- I think I tore some skin while removing it. After doing a bit more research on rejection, I decided to try a shorte, 3/8″ barbell instead. The longer one was moving around too much, causing the migration.

Now, 4 months later, my piercing is mostly healed. The migration has seemed to slow down, although I keep a close eye on it. It also migrated slightly to the left, so its not quite centered, but its not like anyone sees it except for me, anyways.

I was worried it wouldn’t look good because I’m overweight, but I love it. Everytime I look at it in the mirror, it seems like its a part of me, and I don’t regret it. It was a personal decision, I did it for me. Its not something that anyone knows about unless I tell them, and that is empowering. I like the navel piercing for that reason. I’m 21, so while my parents couldn’t say no, its not something they need to know about because they would disapprove.

Overall, even with the problems I encountered, I definitely love this piercing, and it was definitely worth it. It made me feel closer to my childhood idol, and while that may sound silly to many, it means a lot to me.