An Illustrated Guide to Navel Piercings
A navel (belly button) piercing passes through the rim of the navel. While they are typically done just above the navel on the top ridge, they can also go anywhere around the outside of the navel, wherever there is a fold or "lip."
This type of piercing is fairly common, particularly among women. Almost every body type can be pierced in this location. The only exception is if the line your torso creates when you bend over runs directly through the belly button, rather than up around the ribs. If this is the case, healing will be extremely difficult due to constant pressure and irritation, and so it should probably be avoided.
Traditionally, they are not the easiest to heal. I personally have had mine pierced twice. The first time, while in college, I ended up having to remove the ring due to an infection that occurred when I got really sick and my immune system decided to stop functioning properly. I later got it re-pierced. Out of all my piercings, however, I will say that this is the one that gives me the most grief. It frequently gets snagged on blankets and gets irritated every time I am hit with a cold.
Below, find a comprehensive guide to the different types of navel piercings.
Navel piercings are usually done with a curved barbell and can take anywhere from 4 to 12 months to heal completely. Once healed, they can be changed out and replaced with captive bead rings or J-bars (a curved barbell in the shape of a J).
This seems to be the body modification of choice among teenage girls, but it is important to keep in mind that wearing tight clothing can irritate the wound and prevent healing from occurring.
Jewelry comes in all shapes and sizes and can be purchased practically anywhere. In the mall, at Hot Topic, and even down the shore at stands. Many rings include attachments such as butterflies, hearts, or stars that adorn the jewelry by dangling down off the ring.
If you have an outie, don't fret. It can still be pierced. When an outie is pierced, it is called a true navel piercing. Rather than passing through the skin just above the opening, a true navel piercing goes through the belly button itself.
An inverse, or lower, navel piercing is a vertically placed piercing located on the bottom ridge.
A double navel is a combination piercing that involves a standard belly button ring paired with an inverse.
A deep navel is a similar to a standard, except that it passes through a much larger area of skin. Regular barbells will not usually fit in these.
A horizontal navel piercing is a surface piercing that passes horizontally above the ridge of it, rather than going through it. Because it is a surface piercing, it is especially prone to rejection. Rejection happens when the body does not take to the foreign matter that has been inserted. Instead of healing around it, the body attempts to push the jewelry out. Poor health can also contribute to rejection.
Another form of a horizontal is the double horizontal, which is comprised of two separate piercings on either side of the navel that are then joined with one long barbell.
Any stomach that contains one or more piercings may sometimes be called a multi-navel, or navel project. This can consist of any pattern of navel piercings, and an array of body jewelry.
Belly buttons, just like ears, tongues, and noses, can be stretched (also called a gauging). This is done by gradually stretching the piercing over time, coaxing it to hold thicker and thicker jewelry, until you have achieved the desired size.