Everything You Need to Know Before Having Your Belly Button Pierced (And Then Some!)

Warmer weather is here, and we all know what that means: crop tops, swimsuits, and summer bodies. There’s nothing that pairs better with these things than a belly button piercing. So, if you’re thinking of getting yours pierced, there are a few things you should know beforehand.

Keep reading on to learn some crucial information about getting your belly button pierced.

Your Piercer Should Evaluate Placement

Before your piercer agrees to perform a belly button piercing, they should first assess your body and ensure your anatomy is suitable for one. This should be done while you’re standing, sitting, and reclining to ensure that the piercing doesn’t restrict your abdominal movement and that the tissue is supple enough to pierce through.

Belly Button Piercing Placement

Not All Belly Buttons Piercings Will Be Simple

A traditional belly button piercing goes vertically through the tissue above your belly button. However, not everyone’s navel is suitable for this type of piercing.

Individuals with the following types of belly buttons will receive what’s known as an “advanced belly button piercing:”

  • Outie belly buttons
  • Surgically altered belly buttons
  • Post-pregnancy belly buttons

If you have one of the above types of navels, your piercer will need to assess your specific anatomy and determine if there’s enough tissue and/or a navel shelf to support the piercing. Additionally, if you have loose or sagging skin around the navel, it will affect the type of jewelry that can be placed in the piercing.

Outie Belly Button Piercing

In some cases, you may need to seek out a piercer who has experience performing more advanced belly button piercings. A good, reputable piercer will let you know if your anatomy isn’t viable for this particular piercing.

Belly Button Piercings Take a While to Heal

Believe it or not, a belly button piercing takes quite a while to heal. The average healing process is 6 months to a year. The reason why this piercing takes so much longer to heal is simply that the abdomen is avascular, meaning it doesn’t have a blood supply. The lack of blood supply in the area will cause the tissue to take longer to heal.

Additionally, your abdomen is an area that has quite a bit of unavoidable movement and friction from your clothes. Try to be as patient with this piercing as possible during the healing process.

Belly Piercing Healing Time

You’ll Want to Make Sure the Jewelry Accommodates Swelling

When you get pierced, the industry-standard size for a belly button piercing is 14 gauge. Additionally, you should be initially pierced with jewelry that’s long enough to account for any swelling that is bound to occur. Once your piercing has healed (around the 6-8 month mark), you will be able to go in and get your jewelry downsized for something that fits a bit snugger to your belly button.

Do Not Go Swimming While Your Piercing Is Healing

We know it’s tempting to immediately cannonball into a pool this summer, but you have to avoid temptation if you’ve got a brand-new belly button piercing. Pools and other public bodies of water, such as the beach, can be full of bacteria that can cause an infection. Additionally, the chlorine in pool water is harsh and can irritate your piercing, prolonging the healing process.

No Swimming Fresh Belly Button Piercing

Keep Aftercare Simple

When healing your belly button piercing, you’ll want to avoid any harsh chemicals. There’s no need to apply anything like Bactine, Neosporin, or hydrogen peroxide to your piercing. These will all irritate your piercing and prolong the healing process.

Instead, keep it simple. You can either use a pre-made saline solution, like the NeilMed Aftercare Spray, or you can use a DIY recipe. For the DIY recipe, you’ll want to buy a gallon of distilled water and some all-natural sea salt or non-iodized sea salt. Mix four teaspoons into a gallon of water. You’ll want to apply the saline solution once or twice a day.

NeilMed Piercing Aftercare

Make sure that you wash your hands before you touch your piercing too! You don’t want to introduce any bacteria to the healing wound.

The Main Point

Belly button piercings are great additions to anyone’s body regardless of your gender or size. While they do take a bit longer to heal, they are fairly simple to heal so long as you keep up with aftercare. For more information on belly button piercings and aftercare, be sure to check out our comprehensive guide.

Written by Jackie Rachel

Jackie Rachel

Jackie Rachel is a poet and Content Account Manager. She has been getting pierced for over 16 years, while taking the time to learn proper aftercare techniques from the Association of Professional Piercers (APP) members. Always enamored by the jewelry options that exist for body modifications, she one day hopes to assist clientele with picking out jewelry and styling ears.