Belly switch piercings may appear totally cool and effortless indigenous an outside perspective, however they actually call for serious meeting if you want them come look good in the lengthy run. Lock heal slow than many other varieties of human body piercings, and also they need a significant amount of aftercare.

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This guide will take you with the piercing process and show you exactly how to avoid potential problems together you heal. If you follow this advice, you"ll be mirroring off a piercing that is both stylish and healthy in no time!

Feature image: Spookygonk/Flickr, supplied under CC 2.0

Can You acquire a Belly switch Piercing?

Some human being are disqualified from getting a belly button piercing.

Typically, belly switch piercings go v the “lip” that skin over the ship button. return most human being can technically acquire these species of piercings, it"s best to have a an excellent flap the skin above the belly switch for the piercer to put the jewelry through if you want it to cure properly. The piercing also needs room below and behind the flap so that the area doesn’t come to be irritated in the heal process. If you don’t have a heavy flap that skin top top the top of the belly button, sometimes piercers deserve to go because that the lower lip that the belly switch instead (though this is a rare option).

Here’s an instance of what a common belly switch piercing look at like:


She did it/used under CC through 2.0

Unfortunately, if you have an outie belly button, friend most most likely won’t be able to get the pierced. part people believe that outie belly button piercings are the just "true" belly switch piercings because they actually involve piercing the inner component of the navel.

However, infections in outie belly switch piercings deserve to travel come your interior organs and also become extremely dangerous. Many reputable piercers will certainly not take this risk. In instance you"re unsure of which form of belly switch you have going on, here"s what one outie look at like:


Belly Button-3/used under CC 2.0

The piercer will constantly examine your belly button carefully before beginning the process to watch if your anatomical setup will enable for the piercing to heal safely.

What are the Risks linked With Belly button Piercings?

Even if you believe that your belly button is the appropriate candidate for a snazzy new piece of jewelry, friend should recognize that part health risks come hand-in-hand with gaining this type of body piercing. These risks include:

Allergic reaction to the jewelryExcessive bleedingJewelry rejection or hike (migration is when the piercing move internally come a slightly different spot, and rejection is when your body starts to press the jewel out and you see an ext and an ext of the barbell)Bacterial infectionsPermanent scarring (this can occur if friend don’t stroked nerves to remove the jewelry after your body has determined to refuse it)

You can minimize these dangers by detect a reputable piercer and also caring for her piercing appropriately throughout the healing process (discussed in the next pair of sections).

Does a Belly switch Piercing ache a Lot?

Good news: most human being say the belly switch piercings don’t hurt the much. They’re equivalent to ear lobe piercings in regards to pain. If you’ve gained your ear or sleep cartilage pierced before, that form of piercing typically hurts more than a belly button piercing. You may experience part soreness and throbbing in the first few days, but it shouldn"t interfere with your life significantly.

One fence to belly switch piercings is that they execute take substantially longer than various other piercings come heal. While ear piercings generally heal in 6 to 8 weeks, a belly switch piercing is commonly not totally healed for 6 months come a year (which is why many civilization suggest obtaining your piercing in the winter so girlfriend can present off the totally healed final product come coast season).


If you"ve ever before gotten this kind of piercing ~ above your upper ear, possibilities are the it pains a lot much more than most belly switch piercings. (left ear, provided under CC 2.0)

How to gain Your Belly button Pierced

Here"s a rundown of the steps you must go v to certain the ideal piercing experience. Acquisition the procedure seriously and finding a reliable piercer can make every the distinction in the rate of her healing and satisfaction with your piercing overall.

Step 1: know the Laws and Regulations

If you’re over 18, make sure you bring an official kind of photograph ID like a driver’s patent or passport. If you’re under 18, girlfriend must have actually a parent or guardian present to authorize off on her piercing. This short article has a perform of piercing regulations for every the various US states if you"d like to verify her state"s details policies.

Piercing places sometimes take it these rules further and say castle won’t do certain types of piercings top top minors or i will not ~ pierce everyone under the period of 16 even with the consent the a parent or guardian. In enhancement to check the laws in her state, research the regulations at the specific place where you arrangement on getting pierced to see if lock have any special stipulations.

Step 2: uncover a an excellent Piercing Place

The top quality of the piercing place makes a substantial difference in the likelihood that your piercing will heal properly. Look for areas near you that have great Yelp reviews and also appropriate credentials (check to watch if the piercer is a member the the combination of experienced Piercers). Many piercing places additionally have websites where you can check out the portfolios of their piercers and read evaluate from various other customers.

Avoid going to sketchy booths in the middle of the shopping mall or really any kind of place the doesn’t look prefer a doctor’s office as soon as you get into the piercing room. The piercing need to be done with sterile equipment in a squeaky clean environment come ensure the lowest risk of infection.

Don’t ever before let anyone pierce you through a piercing gun! They cause too much trauma come the area and also can’t be appropriately sterilized.


One job We will certainly All Die, provided under CC 2.0

Step 3: Prepare to get Pierced

First off, take a shower head beforehand. It’s just polite not to it is in smelly once a stranger has to touch your belly button. Also, make certain you’re totally hydrated and also have consumed at the very least a little something in ~ the hour so girlfriend don’t feeling woozy throughout the process.

Above all, do NOT get drunk before you get your belly button pierced. Any piercing place worth its salt will rotate away one intoxicated person, both because you don’t have the volume to make good decisions after drinking and because drink can reason excessive bleeding in ~ the piercing site. Try to live a healthy, responsible lifestyle at the very least for the 24 hour duration before your piercing.

Step 4: choose Your Jewelry

The products that are the very least likely to irritate the piercing site incorporate surgical stainless steel, operation titanium, Tygon plastic, and also solid 14K gold. You should shot to avoid jewelry made of nickel or sterling silver due to the fact that these steels are the most likely to reason allergic reaction in world with perceptible skin. If you’ve gained other piercings in the past, be mindful of how your body has actually reacted.

Also, choose a item of jewelry the you i will not ~ get exhausted of seeing. Remember, girlfriend won"t be able to take it the end for one more six month to a year. Go with a barbell quite than a ring because there’s much less risk of the barbell getting caught on ingredient in the healing process.

Belly buttons are typically pierced through 12 gauge jewelry, which is around 2 mm in diameter. This is much larger than the jewelry used in a typical ear piercing, which is 1 mm or much less in diameter. It’s far better to have a thicker piece of jewelry because it will make the piercing sturdier and an ext resistant to tearing and also migration.


Triforce de Awesome!, offered under CC 2.0

Step 5: Pay her Piercer

Navel piercings can selection in cost, yet they’re $40-$60 at most piercing places. This consists of both the procedure and also the price of the jewelry. If you’re happy through the means things go, it’s considered good form to provide your piercer a 10-20% tip on optimal of the constant price.

That"s it! You"ll have actually a brand brand-new navel piercing. Currently comes the long and also hard component - caring because that your brand-new piercing.

Caring for her Belly button Piercing

First off, DON’T ever touch or clean the piercing without washing her hands first! If you disregard this rule, you’re asking for an infection. Just leave it alone and also let it heal except for as soon as you require to relocate it about a tiny bit to clean it. Similarly, you need to wear loose clothing the won’t wake up the piercing area in the heal process. Shot to sleep top top your back and avoid tanning beds at the very least for the first couple months the healing. The focused UV beam can set back her body"s herbal healing process.

It’s additionally not a an excellent idea to go in windy pools or warm tubs since the piercing could get infected from whatever gross species of bacteria may be lurking in the water. If girlfriend really feeling the have to go in a swimming pool or hot tub while your piercing is tho young, you need to clean it immediately afterward.

You have the right to still execute sit-ups and also other exercises as soon as your piercing is healing as lengthy as girlfriend don’t experience too much discomfort indigenous the movement.


Like you, this cat is gonna gain his beach human body no issue what the takes. (sit-ups, provided under CC 2.0)

The best means to treatment for the piercing is to wash it through saline solution two times a day because that at least the first month that healing. You can make your very own saline equipment by mixing a teaspoon of sea salt with 5 ounces that water, or you deserve to buy the plain saline systems that is marketed at pharmacies.

Put the saline equipment in a tiny cup. Then, press the rim of the cup against your stomach approximately the piercing, and lean earlier to fully submerge the piercing for 2 minutes. Afterward, take it a q-tip, dip it in the solution, and also gently obstacle it about the areas where the piercing goes v your skin.


Be sure to use sea salt come make her solution, not table salt! (Salt-(sea)_B130623, used under CC 2.0)

You may see her piercing oozing clear liquid that develops a crust around the hole. This is normal early on in the healing process. There may also be some swelling, redness, and discoloration, yet these worries should dissipate fairly soon after ~ you get the piercing. Don’t clean your piercing an ext than the recommended 2 to three times a day. extreme cleaning can reason skin irritation and dry the end the area.

If it"s gone to least a month due to the fact that the piercing and everything watch good, you can stop doing these day-to-day cleanings. You may clean the piercing sporadically after this point if you continue to see evidence that the isn"t completely healed. You have to still minimize the activities listed at the beginning of this ar until you with at least the 6 month mark.

Potential troubles (and What come Do about Them)

In this section, I"ll talk about how come spot indicators of trouble with your piercing. It"s important to take action on this issues instantly so you can avoid significant health aftermath and long-term scarring down the road.

It"s important to know what"s normal and also what"s not. We"ll covering the many important concerns below.

Allergic Reaction

Sometimes, if you gain the wrong kind of jewelry, girlfriend can end up v a nasty allergy reaction approximately your piercing. Signs that an allergic reaction include:

An itchy rash roughly the piercing areaIntermittent tenderness roughly the piercing

If friend think you may have an allergy reaction, go earlier to the piercer, and ask to switch her jewelry out for a different type of material. ns list some suggestions for civilization with sensitive skin in the “choosing her jewelry” advice in the vault section.

Bacterial Infection

Infections are really common with belly button piercings due to the fact that they’re in such a vulnerable area. Signs of infection include:

Yellowish-green discharge v a foul odor an extensive redness roughly the piercing, particularly if it it s okay worse over timeSkin roughly the piercing is hot to the touchYou feeling a burning sensation in the areaProlonged swelling about the piercingAbdominal pain (in really serious cases, the epidemic can become internal)Red lines radiating native the piercingConsistent acute pains (although slim bruising and also occasional sharp pain from activity are normal)

Here"s what one infection have the right to look like:


See how the area around the piercing is red and also swollen? This will probably additionally be hot and also painful come the touch.

It can even look worse than this, v leaking pus around the piercing.


(Sorry, I recognize it"s a little gross, yet it"s essential to know what something bad looks like.)

If girlfriend think you have an infection, first of all, contrary to what you could think, friend should leave the jewelry in your belly button. taking it the end could reason further complications, consisting of the formation of abscesses in the area. Use the very same cleaning procedure in-depth in the vault section, yet soak the piercing because that ten minute in the saline solution. You may be able to rub a tiny bit of antibacterial cream roughly the piercing come soothe the infection, but use that sparingly.

If the infection doesn’t walk away in ~ a week or two, go to a physician to inspect if you should take more drastic steps to avoid it from emerging further (i.e. Taking oral antibiotics). You might need to go back to the piercer to obtain the jewelry taken out if the epidemic has end up being too severe.

Lean top top the side of careful - it"s always far better to acquire something checked out and have nothing wrong, than to shot to difficult it out and make a difficulty worse.

Migration and Rejection

Another concern that is typical with belly button piercings is migration and also rejection of the jewelry. Signs the migration and also rejection include:

You can see method more of the barbell 보다 you could when the was at first pierced (because it’s getting pushed out of your body)Noticeable activity of the holes of the piercing marked by a trace of redness Redness and also scarring in the areaHole appears larger 보다 it was originally The skin between the holes is translucent and thin

If you notice this happening to her piercing, girlfriend will need to go to your piercer to gain the jewel removed, let whatever heal, and also eventually try piercing the again. There’s no method to settle the worry without taking out the piercing and beginning over.

Migration and also rejection don’t median the piercing is infected, therefore they aren’t as whole health risks, but they come with much more aesthetic troubles when they’re not addressed. Piercings that the body rejects however that are not gotten rid of promptly often reason serious scarring.


Rejection happens v a most body piercings. You deserve to faintly see the refusal scar from mine eyebrow piercing in this snapshot (I waited too long to take it out due to the fact that I preferred it for this reason much). (Sam Lindsay/All rights reserved.)

How carry out You recognize When You’re excellent Healing?

As discussed above, the takes around six months to a year for a belly button piercing to cure to the suggest where you have the right to take it the end and adjust it. If you with the six to nine month mark and aren’t experiencing any of the worries detailed in the ahead section, friend can inspect the piercing to view if it’s totally healed.

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Wash your hands, and try sliding it ago and forth a little bit to make sure it moves easily without pain. If whatever feels and also looks good, I’d recommend going earlier to her piercer so they can verify the you’re totally healed. Lock will be able to take out the piercing and also replace the jewelry for you.

If you adjust your piercing on her own, be certain to sanitize both the brand-new jewelry and also the piercing site prior to insertion. Infections are a risk even in piercings that space essentially fully healed, for this reason don’t shed all respect because that hygiene after month of vigilance.

Summary: crucial Tips for acquiring a Belly switch Piercing

Here"s a fast rundown that most crucial things come remember when obtaining a belly switch piercing. Before you gain pierced, girlfriend should:

Check to make certain your belly switch is a an excellent candidate for piercingUnderstand the threats involved and also be ready to take on the responsibility of keeping the piercing cleanBe aware of the regulations for her state (may entail asking your mommy or dad come go v you)Find a trustworthy piercer

When you"re at the piercing studio, you will need to:

Choose jewelry that is least likely to irritate her skinVerify the everything shows up sterile and professional in the piercing roomBe all set to endure a bit of ache (about the same as getting your ear lobe pierced)Pay (and tip) the piercer

After you gain your belly switch pierced, friend should:

Never touch it there is no washing your hands firstClean it two to 3 times a day with saline systems for at the very least the an initial monthAvoid tight clothing about your midsection, tan beds, warm tubs, windy pools, and also sleeping on her stomach until the piercing is in ~ least largely healedMonitor the piercing website to make certain there are no concerns with allergy reactions, infections, or refusal of the jewelryDon"t adjust your jewelry until six to twelve months right into the healing process when you have the right to slide the jewelry earlier and soon without pain or resistance

If friend have much more questions about any particular problems you"re enduring with her piercing, you have to talk to your piercer to acquire an expert"s opinion. Otherwise, just proceed to reap your awesome brand-new belly bling!