Problems with Belly Button Piercing
Belly Button Piercing
Navel piercings are very popular, especially among young girls, teenagers, and young adults. They are generally pretty easy to heal, but that doesn't mean that they will always heal without any complications.
Some people experience infections, and others may experience migration, or even rejection. Although, navel piercings typically heal at a high rate, it is actually common for them to migrate or reject.
Depending on your body, it can be hard to completely avoid migration or rejection, as some people can not heal belly button piercings successfully no matter what. You just don't know how your body will react, until you give it a try.
The important thing is to make sure that you keep up with proper aftercare and that you wear proper jewelry, as this will help improve the odds of avoiding migration and other complications.
Healing a Belly Button Piercing
There are many methods that you may hear when it comes to healing a navel piercing, and there may be methods that work for you but not someone else. Below, is the most common method of aftercare for a belly button piercing.
Aftercare for a navel piercing is pretty simple.
- Use saline solution or non-iodized sea salt (not table salt)
- If you opt for sea salt, mix about 6 ounces of water with about 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.
- Pour enough saline or sea salt mix into a cup (the disposable bathroom dixie cups work great).
- Gently place the cup over the piercing, lay back, and let the piercing soak for about 10-15 minutes.
You want to do this about twice a day for the first several weeks. After that, once a day until the piercing is healed, will be sufficient.
You want to avoid using strong products, such as rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. Also, avoid using any creams or ointments on or around the new piercing.
When a piercing migrates, it doesn't fully reject out of the body, but it changes from its original position. It may move just a little, or it may move completely away from the navel, but when a belly button piercing migrates, it doesn't fully reject.
Common causes of migration include:
- If the body doesn't like the metal that was used for the jewelry. (Surgical grade steel and titanium are the best to prevent migration.)
- If the the jewelry used is not the right type of jewelry. (CBRs and other rings are more prone to complications than a curved, banana barbell.)
- If there is tissue damage around the piercing area.
- If there isn't enough tissue strength to hold and support the jewelry.
- If there is incorrect placement of the piercing, such as if it was pierced to shallow or if the piercing was not pierced absolutely perpendicular.
- If there is friction to the piercing, such as caused by pants, belts, or shirts.
- If there is damage to the piercing, such as trauma caused by hitting or pulling at the jewelry that may aggravate the piercing.
- If there is pressure on the piercing, such as caused by another piece of jewelry from another piercing moving or putting pressure to slant the piercing in question.
Another cause of migration and even rejection may include:
- A piercing on a minor, as the body has not been fully developed, and as it grows, the tissues change and alter, which will alter the piercing, potentially causing migration.
If you think that your belly button piercing is migrating, you'll want to remove the jewelry, let it heal, and then try to have it re-pierced. There's nothing that you can really do to 100% stop migration, but you can prevent it, by avoiding the potential causes of migration.
If the piercing continues to migrate, it may actually be rejecting, which is where your body is pushing the jewelry out. Just like the body would force out a splinter, it will force out belly button jewelry. The jewelry is a foreign object, and the body doesn't like foreign objects to be inserted within it.
For some people, they just can't heal navel piercings. There are some who may repeatedly try healing a belly button piercing, but each time the piercing starts to migrate, and for these people, they probably won't ever get a navel piercing to heal.
When a piercing rejects you may notice the following signs of rejection:
- The barbell will appear longer.
- The barbell will become shallower.
- The holes of the piercing will move.
- There will typically be a trail from where the holes moved from their original piercing placement to where they are now.
- There may be redness or scarring, around the holes.
- The jewelry may start to hang differently.
- There may be some sensitivity to the area around the piercing, but it typically will not hurt.
- The hole may appear larger than before.
- The skin between the two holes may start to appear thin and see-through.
Unfortunately, there's nothing that can be done to stop a piercing from rejecting. The best thing to do is to just remove the jewelry, let it heal, and try to have it re-pierced again.
If you do not remove the jewelry, you will be left with a nice scar. In some cases, the body will completely reject the piercing, and will force the barbell out completely.
The good thing is that piercing rejection doesn't hurt.
And no, your piercing doesn't have to be infected to be migrating or rejecting.