One of the most popular piercings going, the navel or 'belly' piercing is actually a piercing of the upper wall of the navel rather than the naval itself.
Made popular by model Christie Turlington, when she showed hers off at a London fashion show, rings or curved barbells are most commonly worn with a belly button piercing, although there's a wide range of ornate jewellery which can be worn. These piercings take quite a while to heal - with the minimum being quoted at around 8 weeks, but 6 months is also quite common, and for some people, it can take up to a year - it all depends on your general health and diet, as well as how well you cra efor it during healing.
Belly piercing courtesy of Jennipher Fallqvist
AftercareFirstly - Ask your piercer for aftercare advice before or after you get the piercing done - any piercer who knows their job will be able to advise you on all aspects of caring for your new piercing and will be only too pleased to offer their experience.
There's a risk of rejection with a belly piercing, like with all piercings, and just after you get your belly pierced, don't touch or play with it, as it really needs time to recover from the initial shock, and to let your body get used to it. If your piercer hasn't suggested any alternative methods you can 'stem clean' your new belly piercing after a few hours of having it done. Get a small glass, fill it with boiling water, and natural rock salt, and then let the water cool for a while. Lean your body forward over the glass so that there's a seal between you and the glass (you don't want all the water to spill out everywhere as the next step is leaning backwards a little:) Lean backwards a bit so that the salty water makes contact with your navel piercing, and let the piercing soak in it for about ten minutes - salt's a natural disinfectant, and the salt water will clean and cleanse you piercing. Next, you have to dry it, as it helps healing, but don't use an old towel or anything that might have germs on it - the goal is to keep infection away from the area as much as possible, so use a clean tissue, and gently dab the belly piercing until it's dry. It's recommended by many that you clean your piercing regulary for around 3 -4 months or until it's healed fully. It's very important to keep it clean to prevent infection, even when you can't really be bothered anymore, as it'll just mean you have to go through it all again if it gets infected.
When it comes to bathing or showering, have a shower if possible, as the water's contiuously running and is therefore more hygienic - however, if you only like baths, or only have a bath, don't use strong soaps , wash you hair, or shave any part of your delightful form whilst in the bath. Strong soaps, shampoo or oils will irritate a new piercing and cause trouble, and shaved hairs may get into the piercing and cause infection. So wash your hair and shave afterwards once your piercing is safe and dry. After bathing, your piercing may look soggy - just leave it for a while, don't play with or prod it, and then clean with salt water, and dry gently.
Navel piercing with captive bead ring
Wear loose clothing if possible - avoid tight things which won't allow the piercing to get the air it needs to heal, and if you have to wear tight clothes or are involved in sports at school or anywhere, some folks say buying an eye patch helps, which you can use to cover and further protect your belly piercing whilst playing. If you can sleep on your back, it's much better, as sleeping on your front will cause irritation to the piercing as you move around at night - maybe you could try piling pillows up on each side of you so you don't roll over in the night - at least until it's healed a fair bit.
As always, if you have any concerns get in touch with your piercer, as they should be able to advise on aftercar. If you're worried that it's infected, go and see a doctor who may be able to advise on how to sure the infection without losing the piercing - but don't let it get too bad before doing this ...
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