A navel piercing is a relatively quick and easy procedure, and is often over in under a minute. The immediate after-effects are a little soreness in the general area, and it is quite normal to experience minor bleeding. In the days following the procedure, people generally experience mild pain in the region, and a redness in the area is often noticeable. This is again normal, and should not be cause for alarm until it becomes severe.
Beware before you Bare
The recovery process after a navel piercing is quite long, and it can sometimes take six to eight months, or in some cases even a year, for the area to mend completely. It is this period that navel piercing aftercare focuses on. It is advisable to wait for a few days before exposing the pierced area to the elements like sun, sand and sea. In fact, it would be wise to stay away from all bodies of water including swimming pools, Jacuzzis and even your bathtub for a few weeks. It is in these initial days that the risk of infection is greatest.
This recovery process is a little more complicated in the case of reverse navel piercing, which is the term used when it is the bottom of the rim around the navel that is pierced, instead of the top of the navel, which is far more common. The reason for this is that the flesh in the lower part is much more firm and has thicker tissue, which makes it harder to heal. Even the piercing itself is slightly more painful.
Rejection is Hard to Take
In rare cases, your body may reject what is after all a foreign body, and force the navel piercing jewelry out by healing itself behind it instead of around it. This is a slow and sometimes painful process, and is also related to the phenomenon of migration, which can be called the halfway house to rejection. If the jewelry in not taken out while migration is happening, a scar will quite possibly result. Generally rejection and migration happens when the piercing is done very close to the surface of the skin, so be careful when the piercer indicates the spot where she intends to break the skin. All experienced professionals know where to place the pin so that it has the optimal hold, but mistakes do happen and it is up to you to ensure that the mistake does not happen in your case.
Signs that the navel piercing is getting rejected, or that infection has occurred, are:
In any of these cases, you should immediately consult a doctor.
These are, however, extreme instances, and most people only have to worry about much lesser things like temporary aches and pains.
TLC for the BB (Belly Button)
A daily routine of washing and disinfecting the area is strongly recommended, and your piercer will tell you the details of which anti-bacterial soap to use, and how to soak the navel piercing in salt water every day. This schedule has to be followed diligently for at least six months to a year after the navel piercing.
So if you follow general precautions and set aside a few minutes each day to clean and take care of your navel piercing, there should not be any cause for worry and you can start flaunting your bejeweled belly button right away. If something does go wrong, early detection and cure can usually prevent any serious consequences.
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