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Caring for a Belly Piercing

Posted on February 22, 2014 at 3:55 PM


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.






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.






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 healed and there’s no puss coming out and crusting doesn’t form.






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.


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