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Signs and Treatment of an Infected Belly Button Piercing

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Whitney is an expert on piercings and tattoos, with experience in the body modification world.

Here's how to tell if your belly button piercing is infected.

Here's how to tell if your belly button piercing is infected.

Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, board-certified infectious disease physician and senior scholar at John Hopkins University, stresses that "any time something breaches the skin—a key component of the immune system—there will be a risk of infection. Any type of pollutant, whether it's from your sweat, unclean water, or dirty fingers, can easily be the culprit. Meticulous hygiene is important to diminish this risk in the early days after a piercing." This is why you must wash your piercing twice daily with a salt solution and clean cotton swab to prevent bacterial growth and infection.

Many people mistake signs of healing for an infection. You may experience persistent redness around the belly button, soreness, or pain that is simply a symptom of healing, even though these can also be signs of a problem. Below, we will discuss the signs of an infected belly button piercing versus a healing one and learn how to treat an infection.

Signs of an Infected Belly Button Piercing

Sometimes it can be hard to tell if your piercing is infected or just irritated. Pay close attention because an infection gets worse, whereas a little time may soothe an irritation. Proper aftercare should prevent any problems, but some people are just more prone to complications than others.

Definite Signs of Infection

  • Redness around the piercing that grows more intense.
  • Greenish-yellow, brown, gray, or off-white discharge.
  • Red lines radiating from the piercing site.
  • Burning sensation.
  • Increasing and persistent swelling around the piercing area.
  • Growing abdominal pain (a little soreness at the surface is okay as long as it doesn't get worse).
  • Foul odor from discharge.
  • The skin around the piercing is warm or hot to the touch.
  • Fever and/or nausea.

Possible Signs

  • Redness around the piercing.
  • Discharge: If it's yellowish-green, you might have an infection.
  • Pain around the piercing: Although you can expect some bruising and sharp pain, continuing severe pain means there's something wrong.

Not Likely to Be an Infection

  • Crustiness or what looks like dead skin. This can be dry skin caused by over-cleaning. Unless it's accompanied by another symptom, you're probably okay.
  • Mild redness.
  • Soreness.
  • Clear or very light yellow discharge is normal in a healing piercing.

If you have one of the clear signs of infection, you should start treating immediately to prevent further complications like abscess formation. If you think your piercing might be infected, do not remove the jewelry. Doing so can block in the infection, causing an abscess beneath the skin. You want to have proper drainage so that the piercing can heal.

How to Treat an Infected Navel Piercing

Below are the instructions provided by Dr. Ryan Neinstein, Plastic Surgeon MD, on how to properly treat a belly button piercing infection. Follow these instructions closely and carefully.

  1. Do not remove the jewelry, especially if you are experiencing drainage. If you remove the jewelry, the piercing will not drain properly and the bacteria will get trapped inside your body, which can cause an abscess to form as the hole closes up.
  2. Wash your hand with antibacterial soap before you clean your piercing (and don't touch it for any other reason).
  3. Clean the piercing with a saline solution or a salt water mixture (1 tsp. of sea salt and 5 oz. of warm water). You can use a clean cotton swab to rub the solution on the piercing, or you can turn the cup with the solution upside down on your piercing while laying down to submerge it completely for 10 minutes. This will kill the bacteria causing the infection. Do this no more than twice a day.
  4. Consider using an antiseptic cream for a mild infection (not an ointment, which is oilier). You don't want to leave a gob of it around the piercing, as this can attract more bacteria. Just put a little on the site and wipe away the excess. Try carefully pushing the jewelry in and out so that you can pull some of the antibiotic cream into the wound.
  5. If there isn't any pus, consider using a hot compress to increase blood circulation to the area. (Make sure to disinfect the compress with hot water and salt.) Wipe the area dry afterward.
  6. Even if there is pus, do not use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, as they can dry out the area and cause more cracking and irritation.
  7. You can apply some diluted tea tree oil, but don't do this more than two times a week because tea tree oil is very astringent and extremely drying. Avoid tea tree oil if you have sensitive skin.
  8. Go to the doctor immediately if you experience fever or nausea. You may need antibiotics, especially if the infection is spreading.

If you think that your belly button piercing is infected, don't ignore the symptoms and hope the infection goes away on its own. You want to treat it before it develops into an abscess or spreads to your abdomen.

Healing belly button piercing vs infected

Healing belly button piercing vs infected

Healing Belly Button Piercing vs. Infected

As you can see from the photo, a healing belly button piercing will have a little redness and some crustiness that is concentrated around the area of the piercing only. If you have an infection, however, the redness will spread to the larger abdomen area and may even appear as red lines radiating from the piercing; it will feel hot and painful, and there will be foul-smelling puss oozing from the site.

Why Do I Still Feel Pain?

It is completely normal to feel pain during and after a navel piercing. You may also feel soreness for up to a year because this is how long it takes a belly piercing to fully heal.

However, if the pain gets worse over time and there are other accompanying symptoms (such as green or yellow discharge, a foul smell, or a burning sensation), then you may have an infection. Seek professional help right away before the infection spreads!

Belly Piercing Healing Time

According to Dr. Neinstein, "In general, your piercing should heal by the 3- to 6-month mark, however, each person varies in the pace at which they heal.

Why Hasn't My Belly Button Healed Yet?

In some cases, a person may experience discomfort for up to one year. The key is to distinguish between discomfort and actual infection." In other words, a navel piercing may look healed after three to six weeks, but it can take 6 months to a year to fully heal, no matter how good it looks on the outside.

Healing Process

Because it takes 6 to 12 months for a navel piercing to fully heal, it is very common to experience redness, soreness/pain, and swelling for up to a year. Do not mistake these signs for infection.

Signs of a Healing Belly Button Piercing

  • The piercing is red or pink. As long as it is not inflamed or painful, this is normal. It's normal to see red or pink skin for up to a year.
  • There is some itchiness in the first few weeks.
  • Clear discharge or puss that dries and forms a crust around the holes.
  • Some discoloration.
  • You may be sore for up to a year. This is normal.
  • Swelling for up to a year.
  • After 4 to 6 weeks, the skin around the piercing should be the same color as the rest of the skin on your belly. This is a positive sign that your navel piercing is healing, however, it is not fully healed until it has been at least 6 months.

Allergic Reaction

You may also experience itchiness, swelling, and redness if you're suffering from an allergic reaction to the kind of metal in your jewelry.

Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction Include:

  • Itchy, spreading rash around the piercing area
  • A pierced hole that looks bigger than it was before
  • A tenderness that comes and goes

If you're having an allergic reaction, see your piercer immediately to have the jewelry replaced.

Best Navel Piercing Jewelry for Sensitive Skin

The best jewelry for a belly button piercing is going to be made of a hypoallergenic metal that is good for sensitive skin.

  • Titanium: This is the safest metal for people with sensitive skin.
  • Niobium: Similar to titanium. Good for sensitive skin.
  • Surgical Stainless Steel: Surgical steel is a bit cheaper than titanium and is a very common metal used for body jewelry. It is safe to use, but it is not 100% biocompatible like titanium is. Most people can tolerate it just fine, but people with sensitive skin should choose titanium instead.
  • Platinum: Most people with sensitive skin can tolerate platinum, but it is a very expensive metal and its heaviness may pull and irritate a new piercing.
  • Gold: Gold is gorgeous, but it is easily rejected by the body. Some people may be able to pull off wearing it without any irritation once their piercing has healed, but gold should not be used on new piercings. Once the piercing has fully healed, choose 14k or 18k gold. Do not use gold-plated jewelry.
  • Silver: Again, only use pure silver to minimize the risk of an allergic reaction. Sterling silver is second-best, but any alloy with less than 92.5% silver should be avoided.

How to Prevent a Navel Piercing Infection

The best way to prevent an infection is to take good care of your new piercing from day one. Do not touch the navel area unless you are cleaning it, clean it with saline solution once or twice a day, and always wash your hands before you start cleaning. Remember to use new cotton balls or swabs to gently wipe the area around your piercing, and then pat dry with a clean towel.

You can also prevent infection by choosing a reputable professional piercer who uses a sanitized piercing needle rather than a piercing gun. A piercing gun should NEVER be used for a navel piercing!

How to Clean a Belly Piercing

  1. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap.
  2. Soak a clean cotton swab with a salt solution (1 tsp. sea salt and 5 oz. warm water) and gently dab on the piercing area.
  3. Allow the area to dry completely before wearing clothes.
  4. Do not use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol to clean, as this will dry out and irritate the skin.
  5. Do this at least once a day, but no more than twice every 24 hours.

How to Help Your Belly Piercing Heal Faster

Follow these aftercare dos and don'ts to help your piercing heal faster.


  • Always wash your hands with antibacterial soap before and after cleaning your piercing!
  • Use clean cotton swabs or Q-tips instead of towels or loofahs, as these can snag (they also harbor bacteria).
  • Use a sea salt solution (not table salt) to soak the site twice a day for the first few weeks, and at least once a day until healed.
  • Leave the jewelry in place for the duration of the healing period (6 months).
  • Wear loose clothing that doesn't cause friction and allows the piercing to "breathe."
  • Sleep on your back.
  • Keep all items that come into contact with the piercing clean, especially until fully healed. This includes clothing but also things like towels, sheets, and blankets.


  • Do not fiddle with or change the jewelry until the piercing is healed.
  • Avoid over-cleaning your piercing since this can cause irritation. Clean it no more than twice a day.
  • Do not use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. These can dry out the skin and cause further irritation.
  • Avoid using ointments, which are oily and prevent your skin from breathing. The excess moisture could also be a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Avoid tanning beds until you are fully healed.
  • Avoid wearing dangly belly-button jewelry; dangling or heavy jewelry can cause irritation.
  • Avoid using CBRs (captive bead rings) and other round rings, as they can irritate the piercing and will snag much easier than a banana barbell. Snagging can irritate and even tear the skin, depending on how hard the jewelry is pulled.
  • Avoid swimming or spending a prolonged period of time in water (any water, including bath water, hot tubs, pools, or the ocean).

What's the Best Starter Belly Button Ring?

If this is your first time getting a navel piercing, good jewelry to start with is a 14-gauge titanium curved barbell ring. Why? 14g is the standard size for most belly rings, titanium is the safest metal, and a curved barbell is the best for preventing infections because it sits closer to your body than other types of jewelry and is less likely to snag on clothes.

After you've fully healed, you can opt for more elaborate jewelry as shown in this gallery of different types of navel piercings.

How Soon Can You Remove Your Belly Ring?

Wait at least 6 months before changing your navel ring. If you do it sooner, you will risk infection because the piercing is likely not fully healed. Some people report changing jewelry after 6 to 8 weeks with no infection, but this doesn't mean it can't happen. To be extra safe, wait at least 6 months.

What to Look for in a Professional Piercer

To prevent an infection, make sure you go to a professional piercer at a reputable piercing shop. Questions to ask:

  • Does the studio have a license? The license should be in plain sight when you enter their shop.
  • Is the studio clean? Make sure there is a separate area for piercing and another dedicated area for cleaning and sterilizing equipment.
  • Is the shop using an autoclave to clean their tools? If not, run! Every professional shop should be sanitizing their equipment using a machine called an autoclave sterilizer.
  • Ask them if they do belly button piercings using a gun or a needle. If they say they use a gun, then find another shop. Piercing guns should not be used on any part of the body other than the ears, and even that is questionable. They are a haven for bacteria and any professional piercer would know that the safest way to pierce the navel is with a piercing needle.
  • Can they show a portfolio of their work? A full portfolio indicates that people trust this piercer and have had good results.

Prepare Yourself for Your Piercing

Navel piercings are one of the most popular piercings for females (after the basic earlobe piercing) and are most common among youth between 12 and 18, but that doesn't mean that middle-aged women can't sport a navel ring.

Because this kind of piercing is quite common, there is a lot of information on the web about it, but not all of the information is accurate.

Before you get your piercing, do some research to make sure that you get the right information and the proper knowledge before you show up at the shop. If you are informed, you'll find your healing time will be a breeze and you'll reduce any potential risks.

Risks of Belly Button Piercing

Belly button piercings are commonly placed on the upper rim of the navel, but they can also be placed on the bottom, left, and right rim.

Whatever the location, there are basic risks that should be considered. The navel area is subject to sweating, bending, and irritation. Sitting, running, turning around, and other activities can irritate the piercing, as can tight clothes and activities that involve a lot of motion or contact.

Possible Complications Include:

  • Infection (the most common problem with belly button piercings).
  • Excessive bleeding and nerve damage (which may be caused by an inexperienced body piercer that pierces the navel too close to a nerve).
  • Allergic reactions to the jewelry. Stainless steel, niobium, and titanium are ideal for piercings.
  • Keloids (thick scarring at the piercing site).
  • Migration or rejection of the piercing.

Causes for Concern Include:

  • Jewelry of the wrong size, type, or metal. Jewelry that is too small may cut off blood supply, as can jewelry that is too thin or too heavy. CBRs and rings can irritate the piercing and can snag more easily, potentially causing irritation and tearing of the skin.
  • Jewelry made of the wrong metal can cause allergic reactions.
  • Piercings performed with piercing guns cause too much trauma to the piercing site, especially as piercing guns only use stud jewelry, which is WAY too small for a navel piercing, and the piercing gun itself cannot be properly sterilized.

If you want to get a navel piercing, make sure that you choose a professional body piercer. You also want to make sure that you know the proper aftercare processes so that you don't irritate it.

Infections Are Serious. Get Your Parents' Permission.

Because an infection can be pretty serious and something that shouldn't be messed with, you want to be very careful. This is one of the main reasons that I recommend young teens not get a piercing without their parents' knowledge. If an infection develops, you will have to tell your parents, which will get you into bigger trouble because you went behind their back to do something you were told not to do.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


Rileyyyy on March 18, 2020:

The person who did my belly button piercing to come back in like 4 weeks.. is that too soon, should i avoid going back and wait until the suggested time of 6 months? Please answer this. Im 16

kyla on December 13, 2019:

mine is super red at the top and looks like it’s starting to go under. the rest of it’s fine, what do i do?

Emma on October 16, 2019:

Hey, I got my belly button pierced 2 days ago. Everything seems to be fine and I’m cleaning it twice a day. The top of the piercing is fine but the bottom still has blood around it, (the blood is dry.) I can’t seem to get it away as it hurts if I clean it because it’s so close to the hole. Can I just leave it or could that cause an infection?

Destiny Grewell on September 29, 2019:

This isn’t a comment but a question, I just gotten my Belly button pierced 5 days ago, and it’s red, little warm and itchy, and like light puss is coming out of my piercing is that a sign of infection, I clean it twice a day?

Shannon on July 15, 2019:

I have had my belly piercing for 7 years now and I woke up this morning and it’s sore and very red in the middle and on the top a little bit what should I do? This has never happened at all since I first had it done I have never had any issues. What should I do?

MaryJade1 on June 17, 2019:

I’m 44 and had a ring for about 20 years and I took my belly ring out 9 years ago when I had my son and the hole still bothers me. It’s a hole. It is scar tissue. It never fully heals. I just had to drain it last night. I’m unsure if it is just a cycle of constant healing or if it’s some weird metal allergy for having a ring in for so long? Maybe this weeping in my belly button caused my sons autism? It never heals. If it doesn’t feel good - take it out. The fashion isn’t worth it. Your still beautiful without it.

briana on June 06, 2019:

idk if my navel piercing is infected or healing but it has a slightly pink bump near my piercing and the thing is only the top half of th navel piercing is doing this. the bottom half is just fine

Autumn on March 26, 2019:

Hi i just got my belly button periced about 1 week and a day ago and i have dry skin around bith hole and i wanna know if ill be able to go swimming if its not fully heald

Taylor on January 17, 2019:

I recently got my belly button redone with the “floating navel” since I didn’t have the correct navel for a normal belly ring. It’s still pretty pink but my scar is pretty bright from where the other rejected and I’m nervous it’s going to mess up although it seems to be healing WAY better than the last time

anonymous on January 06, 2019:

I got my belly button pierced a week ago and the top of my belly button piercing went kinda through the whole there’s a whole around the piercing

angel on October 16, 2018:

Hey im angel, i got my piercing for 3 months its red, it hurts it doesnt look infected can someone help me

laylaxrose14 on September 20, 2018:

hey im layla, i am 14 and 2 days ago i got my belly button peirced. i have had it done previously but i took it out, it is red and a bit sore, just seeing if anyone could give me any tips or possibly give me your number so i can take a picture of it and send it to you to see what you have to say

Yas on July 24, 2018:

hi I got my belly pierced 5 days ago I clean it it doesn't hurt there is a tiny bit of redness would I be able to go swimming ??

Dys on July 11, 2018:

I got mine done again for the third time and it hurts a lot , i may be over cleaning it a little bit but the top ball of the ring seems to be going into the skin. Is there any way to help this or get it back out?

Cait on July 01, 2018:

I got my belly piercing done when I was 15. I'm 17 now but it's still healing? It's been over 2 years nearly and it's still sore and has discharge but they don't seem to be signs of infection. Is it normal for it to be still healing after all that time?

Nona on June 05, 2018:

Very useful information thank you

Lisa on April 25, 2018:

So I got my navel piercing 2days ago and it seems to be doing okey I've been doing very thing I should to keep it clean but there is something that's concerns me the skin of the bottom hole turned white like paper white and it lookedelike puss so I then I tried to get it out with a cottonswab

Jay on April 11, 2018:

is there a certain docoter u need to see or ur regular doc ok and having scab around the percing is ok right or wrong ?

Kourtney on March 15, 2018:

My skin is red between the two balls and kinda crusty! Is it ok or should I contact the piercer???

Mackenzie on February 20, 2018:

I had an infection in my piercing (mild but very red and swollen on top hole, white puss, and painful!) and after a week of sea salt soaks, hot compress and a small amount of bactine to clear up bad bacteria.. it was still showing symptoms of an infection. I had my piercing almost 4-5 months at this point and I decided to visit my primary doctor, he gave me an easy 5 day antibiotic for skin infections. Did not bully me to take it out and it was 100% cleared in 4 days. Moral of the story, it’s worth is to just get an antibiotic if it’s showing symptoms for more than a couple days. I remember looking on millions of these sights to the point where I decided it was time to see a doc and that was my only relief! I’m sharing this because I wish someone shared this with me sooner!

Britt on February 18, 2018:

My whole on the top part of my piercing is bigger than the actual size is that normal?

And it’s red with discharge I’ve been cleaning it 1-2x a day

Victoria on February 09, 2018:

Hi, my belly button has no lip on it, but it's still pierced. It constantly hurts, too. What should I do?

Cassidy on December 10, 2017:

I got my belly button pierced 3 days ago and there's been no redness or discharge. I have been cleaning/ picking up things a lot and there's just a slight pain when I do this. Is all of this normal?

Kayla on October 24, 2017:

I got my belly pierced 4 days ago and there is kinda of a red bump on my it infected ?

Calista on September 05, 2017:

I am a CNA and went to work right after getting my belly button pierced. The skin in between the balls is red and sore to the touch. I clean it twice a day with sea salt water. Should I be worried? Can I take it out? It is very painful

Nikita on February 17, 2017:

I got my belly ring December month 2016

And its sore now . And I have a type of a red blood blister of some sort under my bottom piercing what should I do ?

Ava on January 31, 2017:

Hi me belly piercing has I little blood thing in the middle of the skin what dose that mean is is rejecting or what and the skin is getting thinner

Amber on January 24, 2017:

I've had my belly button piercing for about 5 months and it's starting to look like it's just now getting infected. Is that possible? It's a little red around the piercing and kind of sore.

Brooke on January 22, 2017:

Hey, I'm 17, got my belly button pierced two weeks ago and I was just wondering, my belly button is healing on the ring, I clean it two times a day, and it's a little red on the top and it has scabs, is this infected or just healing?

Queen Emz on January 20, 2017:

Hi, why is the whole on the top of my piercing bigger than it original size? Its been 6 days since i got my piercing done and i'm really worried because the top whole is bigger n the ball on the top sits right in it.

Gabi on January 05, 2017:

Hi... Each time I take out my navel jewelry to clean it, it come out perfectly fine but when I put it back in, a long piece of flesh comes out and the jewelry is more difficult to go back in. When I remove the flesh it starts to bleed. What should I do?

Ellie on June 29, 2016:

Hi my belly button has a smaller lump on the top of the blower navel piercing I have bathed it in salt water for a while and so far it has gone for a bit then swollen back up what should I do?

Barbie on May 29, 2016:

I got my fist novil peircing years ago but ended up. Rejecting me n stayd scard i just resently went to the shop n got it done and now i notice next to scar look like a ball is growing inside the skin next to my peirceing n i squeez it kind of hurts n at the same time itches but nothing cums out n it looks like it has pus inside n a lil red to wat should i do

Jayonna on November 05, 2015:

I got mines done November 3rd for my birthday and it hurt really bad and it still does

Abigail on February 11, 2015:

Hi i did my navel piercing like 2 weeks go until my mom found out. I got mad because she told me to take it out.. i took it out but now i want to put it back but i find it stopped up what should i do?

kelia on January 25, 2015:

Hey am 17 wanted to pierce mi belly button but am scared of pain what can I do sugession please

Kyndra on November 20, 2014:

So, i just got my belly button pierced on Nov. 1st 2014. I got mine done on the bottom though. But there is this red, blister type thing inside of my belly button. Every time i sit down, or lay on my stomach, nasty sticky stuff comes out of it & occasionally it bleeds. I don't know what it is but it's making me feel sick. What should i do?

ansley f on October 24, 2014:

Ive had my belly button pierced for a little over three weeks and when I try to move it it's a little difficult... it's not really red, so I didn't think it is infected. Could someon please let me know if this is normal?

Shannon Keogh on February 11, 2014:

I got my belly button pierced on Saturday, it is now Tuesday and it hurts to touch it, I think the skin around it is bruised because it is a green/yellow colour and is painful, I occasionally find dry blood but there is no other liquid coming out of it, just wondering if this is normal, I wash it with sea salt and water for 10 minutes each night

alexis brim on January 11, 2014:

I got my belly button pierced back in august and ive had no problems with it, no bleeding puss or anything...a few days ago my sis had accidentally kicked my stomach and I noticed last night theres a bubble by the top ball...I can still change it and everything but I was this early sign of infection or did it just tear and swell up some? please help me I don't know anything bout this sort of stuff...thanks

keesha on November 17, 2013:

I had my belly pierced in april I got it as a birthdy present and it was fine until july it started paining and I took it out that night and the following morning in the bath in tore! And I really want to pierce it again but will there be any infection?

Becca on July 05, 2013:

Hi, I've had my belly button pierced for almost 4 months, and I have changes it a couple of times. Yesterday for the Fourth of July I changes it to a dangly one and we went swimming, after about 20 I noticed it fell out. I quickly got out of the pool and got a new ring but when I tried to push it through it wouldn't go so i ha to force it through, and whole I was doing that it was bleeding and this greenish yellow liquid wa coming out, but I did get it through. But the one that is in it now isn't the one I gt it pierced with so the bar isn't as long as it should be and it did get swollen again. So should I change it into the one I got it pierced with now or should I just wait?? If not how long should I wait??

Amy Janne from Gold Coast, Queensland on June 27, 2013:

I had my belly button pierced about 5 months ago. I have changed it a couple of times but I don't have my original bar in and at the bottom hole it looks like a sort of bubble thing and it keeps sticking out and it sometimes bleeds from the bottom hole. At the top hole this liquid stuff has been coming out for couple of days now and I am getting worried. Also around the top hole it looks like its been bruised. And the skin where the bar is seems to be peeling off constantly and one more thing there is a sort of lumpy thing on the inside of my stomach where the top hole is, so if I try to change the piercing the bar won't go through the top hole.

Alison on May 16, 2013:

I need some help i know my belly ring is infected but it scares me because the skin underneath the large ball is going away there is an opening where the ball lays has anybody seen this before how serios is this?

stephanie on May 08, 2013:

hey i got my belly peirce just under a month and ever since i got it done its been nothing but trouble i care for it all the time ever since its been done its red raw pain full and yellow pus comes out of it and i really don't want to lose it

Lucy on April 30, 2013:

Hi, on saturday I went to get my belly peirced&it went okay but I have been cleaning it well 3times a day but today (tuesday) it is bleeding I think I might of banged it but is this okay its not infected or rejecting is it?

McKenna on March 06, 2013:

Hey there, I have had my belly button pierced about 7 months ago and I noticed that there is a small cut of some sort between the top hole and the other end of the hole. Additionally, this cut is secreting that sebum fluid that the actual piercing does too. This cut is, like I said, directly between the barbells on top of the belly button. Is this a sign of infection or something to be worried about because it doesn't hurt, nor is it scabbing? Please someone let me know. Thanks.

Brittany on November 20, 2012:

My bar to my belly ring is too short. the skin is healing around the ball and I do not know where to find a longer bar. Can I use something else to put in it.

jovie on October 05, 2012:

please help? basicly i have had my belly pierced for 2 years now and not long ago i changed the bar. after say a month, i noticed it hurting, but i didn't think anything of it. i started getting yellowy discharge with blood but i thought its because when putting the bar in, i touched a nerve. few days ago it started getting really painful so i took it out to see what's going on. where the area of the piercing was so red i thought the bar was too short so i compared it with my original one and turned out it was more curled and too short. so i cleaned my belly with savion and the original bar and put it back in. the day after it was even more sore and more PUSS! so i went to my college nurse to see what she would say about it and she cleaned it and put a big plaster on to see how much puss comes out. when i got home the plaster came off so i put a similar one on (hypoalergic or something like that), went out and when i got back, i felt itching where the plaster was, so i took it off and seemed the redness has spread all in my belly button. i immidiently took the belly bar out ( from reading this now i realised i shouldn't of) and cleaned my belly with antiseptic liquid and applied antiseptic lotion. it was so unbelievably sore that even applying savion on it hurt. i went to the doctor on the next day and she said that it is infected gave me plasters and put me on antibiotics also said that i have to wait 3-4 months for it too heal then repierce it? but do you think i should try putting it back in now or just leave it?

sarah on July 10, 2012:

PLEASE HELP ME. i've been worrying and freaking our for days. i just got my belly button pierced 3 days and it's red at the top and warm. it's like sore. is it infected?

ayeelj on June 28, 2012:

I am having mine pierced in a week and I'm really scared of infection or rejection. Can someone give me tips on what kind of ring to use and good ways to keep it clean and un-irritated? I'm so scared! Help please!

Hannah on April 30, 2012:

So me and my sister went last weekend so about a week ago to get our belly buttons pierced together...we both have had the same symptoms so i guess everything is ok...there is no oozing no itching it doesn't hurt sting or burn its just a little sore and a little red around the top balls...that is normal right?

Saidat on April 11, 2012:

Hi i had my belly pierced on December 8th 2011 i changed my piercing April 7th 2012 and it has been hurting ever since it feels itchy and every movement i make affects it..What does this mean??? some HELP!!!!

megan on April 08, 2012:

Helo, ive had my belly done nearlly and year now. However underneath the bottom whole there is a bubble looks like its full of blood its been there for a while now im just not sure how to get rid of it, any suggestions please im really worried? Thankyou

ekm12096 on March 27, 2012:

Your belly ring WILL get infected before it gets better! You just need to keep it clean and do not play with it except to twist it so it won't get stuck. Some belly rings might also cause you to get infected so make sure you clean all your rings and holes properly. When I got mine pierced it got a green bubble and snot looking stuff came out. I had to change my belly ring and clean it extremely well multiple times a day. All you can do is keep it clean. If it doesn't go away within a week or is bruised or looks really bad you should most likely go see a doctor.

ShiAnne on March 27, 2012:

i got my belly button pierced about a week ago and the top ball has started to sink in to my skin its starting to worry me. its really red and it stings sometimes. anything that can halp please im up for suggestions.

Deanna on March 21, 2012:

What do you do when your bellybutton has an abscess?

tiffany on March 18, 2012:

Hi, i got my navel pierced on dec. 26, 2011 and i cleaned it twice a day first with the bactine then with sea salt. But for about two weeks now i've hadthis clear kinda yellow ish sticky stuff come out the top hole. It does not hurt to move it or to spin the piercing around the bactine bubbles bt does not sting the sea salt mist just goes in. The bottom hole seems tight to the ring while the top hole is easily move able. My question is it infected? The stick ish stuff jus come to the top when i lightly touch around the hole and i just wipe it off with a cotton ball throw that one away and get another to clean around the hole.

Taylor on March 07, 2012:

So I got my belly button pierced about 3 days ago and I was cleaning it and I lifted the too ball and I got a whitish clear skin looking thing out from back there. Is that okay?

Lucy on March 07, 2012:

ok so i have had my belly button pierced for 4 months now and i have been cleaning it twice a day. today i was cleaning it and i saw this glob of this greyish-greenish stuff mixed with blood(yucky). i have had no problems with it so far and i have had no pain except for when i got it pierced. is this an infection and if it is is there anything i can do to prevent it from getting worse?

plz and tank u! ?

courteney on March 03, 2012:

i got my belly peircing done on 14th january 2012 and it is now the 3rd march 2012, i regulary clean my peircing but i normally get crust around the top of the bottom ball and the other day it started to bleed again and it wont stop bleeding can somebody please help me!!

Vesha Warren on February 29, 2012:

Why is top of my belly button pierving hole is bigger

veshia on February 29, 2012:

Ok so i had mi belly button puerced for abt a week now. N tha top hole has streched so now mi top ball is sitting n tha whole wat shud i do????

Stephanie on February 21, 2012:

Okay so jve been searching up lately about navel piercingly so I can prevent infections. Im 14 and I just got my belly pierced feb 18 2012... And now it's feb 22 and I been cleaning it 2 times a day with this soap the piercer gave me. It's called TATTOO GOO for tattoos and piercings . . I just want to say thank you so much for thus information .. But when they pierced my belly I fainted and he told be it was normal because I was nervous .. But there is this yellowish coming out of the bar when I clean it. It's like gooey . But I have no scabs . I clean it well . But I'm just wondering . Would it get infected . ? Answer me at (: thank you it will mean a lot .

Icey on February 19, 2012:

is it possible to get infected after 7 months of belly pierced?

? on February 17, 2012:

Okay, So, I got my belly button pierced february 9th and itd s little red and kinda itches. It has little crustys around the bottom top ball and i squeezed it when i was cleaning it and light greenish stuff came out. I'm not sure if this is okay, but i called my piercer and he said to just clean it how i have been and if it gets worse to go down there so he can look at it. I'm pretty sure its fine and whatever is wrong with my piercing will go away. Well, I hope it. ?

Ciara on February 17, 2012:

Hey dudes

I got my belly dune last Saturday

And today I cleaned it like normal n I had a fray coloured puss web I sweazed it but I clean it 2 times a day with tcp and hot water , and hot water and sea salt and I put tea tree oil 5% on it to

Omg some one help me ?

Rani on February 16, 2012:

I had my belly button pierced about a week and a half ago, everything seemed fine, slight itchind and soreness for the 1st few days. Ive been cleaning it 3x a day, once with saline soak and 2x with savlon anticeptic spraay and keeping it very dry, for the past few days, the top ball looks very very red and sore, not too painful though and a bit itchy, and it looks like there may be a scab forming under the top ball at the hole, i don't know if this is normal or if the piercing is irritated or getting infected. please help, at a glance it looks like the 1st top picture on this page of the priecing.

lauryn on February 11, 2012:

i got my belly button done on th 3rd of december 2011 so abt 2 months agoo.. and the ball you screw in the top has fell out now twice during my sleep and i shouldn't cause i haven't even been playing around with it! last week in school it was really hurting me so i checked it out and the ball was out so i had to put a plaster on it til i got home, me and my friend had to go to her house and she had to give me on of her balls we just washed it with water.. mine is red only down inside my actuall belly button in that part its all red and there is constandly like all gooy gell stuff coming out of it every 5 minutes and all hard crispy stuff if sticking to the bar .. and like sometimes it smells do its not swelling or anything like that tho .. it absolutley disgusting ive been cleaning it like mad anol .. any advice would you say thats infected ?

Marilyn on January 25, 2012:

Hey, so I got my belly pierced about 3weeks ago and around the hole of the piercing, it's red and crusty, it doesn't hurt alot. Could it be infected?

Meghan on January 23, 2012:

Hi! So I got my belly button pierced back in July (so 6 months ago?) I haven't had any problems with it but I haven't changed it yet. I started to notice that it just isn't healing. Not to mention it's getting really nasty green crusties and puss when the crusties are gone. I've been cleaning it, but haven't been using the salt water treatment anymore. I looked at my belly button today and on the bottom ball underneath its like red and swollen and it's coming out of the hole from my piercing. It won't go away when I wash it in the shower.

It's really freaking me out and I have noooo idea what to do anymore. I really don't want to have to take my belly button out, so someone please help!

Oh and it doesn't hurt. The only time it's sore is if I really bump it by accident.


Elena on January 21, 2012:

I got my belly button pierced about a month ago, and it fell out while I was out last night. I won't be able to get another piercing for a day or two. Will the hole close? And will I get an abscess? There was some whiteish pus coming out of it recently and the area is a little red but it's not sore to touch and I don't think it was an infection.

Michelle on January 19, 2012:

Ok so ive had my piercing for 2 months and it was alright. The kin on the top amd mostly buttom kept sticking to the ring and when i tried to unstick it, it would ooze (eww sry) than after having it for 7 weeks i tried changing it and i still have the ring i changed it with in. But it is like swollen and kind of hard around the ring and about 3 or so millimeters away from the ring and it hurts 2 touch it, and it still oozes a like yellow liquidy puss. Also, at one point it was kinda red around the top but i started putting bactine on it and the redness went away. Does this mean its infected or what??

Sam on January 18, 2012:

Olright, so my ring got stuck on my blanket while I was sleeping so When I got up it pulled really hard, hurting really bad. It's not red, tender, and hurts to be touched/cleaned. It bled a little and is crusty with a scab around it, not to big or noticeable though. Should I just keep cleaning it until it goes away or should I use a cream like Noesporin? Or maybe should I maybe take ring out and thoroughly clean it then put it back in? How long will it be this way until it heals?

Brielle on January 17, 2012:


Well the redness could be caused by the type of ring you have in such as stainless steal , gold ect , it may also be caused by friction moving it too much. If you begin to see any purple blackish color & green yellow puss comes out & it begins to get swollen , then be causious that it might be an infection , go back to your piercer & ask what to do . Also changing it back to your old ring could help , but it kinda doesn't make a diiference now because its already been taken out & messed with . Just keep cleaning it daily about 3-4 times a day & make suree you wash your hand before & after

Hoped I helped you out(:

Savannah on January 17, 2012:

After I changed my belly button ring it has been a little red and it hurts while i clean it, It's been 5 and a half months so i was sure it would be okay to change. It doesn't look bad at all, just a little red on the top; no real sign of a dramatic infection. Does anyone know if this redness is being caused by my new ring itself or is it an infection? Should i take this one out and put my orignal until the entire 9 months are done? Thank you. :]

Joselynbg on January 15, 2012:

Please help asap!

So I got my belly button pierced about 5 months ago , I changed my ring & now ive noticed at the botton of my hole I have a red bubble looking thig!? Is that an infection or is it rejecting it . My mom tells me its fine if I keep cleaning it w. Alchohal & take an antibiotic but I just don't know I would gladly apreciate a response thanks (:

G, on January 10, 2012:

Hi, iv just had my belly pierced, its the 2nd day now, its only a little red.. But the litrtle ball at the bottom sits at the very back of my bellybutton & u can barely see it. My friend ssay its just cuz the skin is tight & once it loosens up it will stick out alot more & i can position it & it will most likely stay in place. But im still concerned... & my belly button is kinda scrunched up.. is this normal?? help...

reli on January 09, 2012:

Me and my bestfriend got our bellys pierced together five days ago. Hers was hurting,couldn't even see the bar. She was cleaning it with saline and with antibacterial soap. Turns out she was infected! I am not hurting or anything..what should I do? Should I get it checked out or relax? Opinions? Ty

Little girlszJay! on December 08, 2011:

Hello everyone, Great website :)


~im 14 and Iv had my belly button pierced for 6 an half weeks know and it's a bit red and swollen, and its a bit painfull to move because of the swelling. IS THIS NORMAL HEALING OR INFECTION???? someone help please x

Jermisia on December 03, 2011:

I got my navel did a year ago it still hurt sometimes and my ring keep pushing up. i need help asap

Steph on November 08, 2011:

I had mine done over a year ago. And I took it off 2 months ago cause it got infected now I have a dark bump on my belly button where the top ball to close the ring is..and I've been getting a pretty bad belly button pain..would anyone know what to tell me it is I have? The doctor told me it could be cause of my piercing but I took it off a while ago...I need better answers from anyone who thinks they know about this. Thanks!

mxm538 on October 18, 2011:

I just had my belly pierced again. I waited for about 3 to 4 months. It rejected about 4 months after I had it done. This time i have a bioflex bar in. Its very light weigh and it bends with me.@ Zahra Make sure there is no infection. Have your piercer check it. Get it a few months to heal up. Then he can do it again. @ karen Don't have your daugter clean it to much. Her body can heal it on its own. Does she have a bio flex bar in? With a metal bar it can put a lot of pressure on her skin. That's what happened to me.I bend down a lot in my job. Does she do hot water soaks? A little puss is normal.

Zahra on October 17, 2011:

I hav had my belly button pierced for abwt 2 months now an it's all fine but I've noticed it's not been pierced straight it's slanting right. if I close it will it fully close and can I repierce it? and when?

Susanna22 on October 11, 2011:

HI i just got my belly button pierced like 3 weeks ago, and i been cleaning it, but with just normal water. ANd like clear and green stuff is coming out of it. Is this normal? is it healing or is it infected? i am kinda worried. Please answer my question. ASAP. oh and it is kinda red around the top ball. is it becauase it is healing or infected?

Karen on October 08, 2011:

My 13 year old daughter got her beely button pierced 4 weeks ago. Just after the needle went through she moved and the needle slipped back up through the bottom hole. The piercer had to move and wiggle to find the hole to push the needle back through. My daughter was fine afterwards with no pain at all. I asked all the questions about cleaning and sporting activities and even took her back a week later for it to be checked out. All was going well, she cleans it extremely well at least twice a day but for the last couple of weeks strings of puss have been coming out of the top hole. It is a yellowish colour, possible slightly green as well. I have made her clean it even more but this hasn't helped. She has no pain at all, it doesn't hurt to touch and she can freely move the ring. Is the puss just a natural part of the healing or is there more to it. She is very active with dancing and acrobatics and we were told that as long as she felt comfortable and had no pain it was ok for her to do this. Can you please let me know what you think. Thanks

Taylor on October 04, 2011:

To everyone who has had their belly pierced for about a week or less, don't stress about any redness or soreness - you've just had a needle stabbed through your belly button and like any other piercing it's going to hurt. Think of anytime you've had a scab or cut... It goes red around it and scabs when it's healing, your belly button will do the same. As long as you are cleaning it 2-3 times a day it should be fine. If the greeny puss comes out (which I have experienced. So gross btw) make sure you don't touch it too much and just keep it clean and give it air, and it should soon pass. If you are really worried the best thing you can do is go see your GP or doctor and if it's serious they can give you some antibiotics which can aid the clear up of any infections quite well. Hope this helps and don't stress too much guys:)

moonshinegirl on October 02, 2011:

will someone please answer my question im really worried thanks?

moonshine on October 02, 2011:

i got my navel pierced aug. 31 and on the bottom of top hole it has a little red bump or spot and no stuff is coming out of it which is good i guess and it don't really hurt but im just worried about that spot or bump is that normal i clean it everyday so?

……… on September 28, 2011:

Angie, what your describin sounds like what happened to me, i just used the cleaning solution that i was using when i got it and it just went away

Angie on September 15, 2011:

I have a problem with my belly button piercing, like someone said it seems like "flesh" is coming out like inside the belly button area. What do I do exactly?!?!?!!? I really need help. Should I buy sea salt and clean it with that and warm water??

Please answer my question! Thanks

mell on August 29, 2011:

So i got my belly button done over 2 months ago, and it was doing fine. I've been cleaning it with a saline solution. In the morning it gets crusty on top. I took it out to clean it and it was bloody and had whitish ooze coming out of it. When i tried to wipe it away, it wouldn't move. I used my finger nails to pull at it (i know, gross) and it came away from the hole in a very stringly manner. When i squeeze it, the same blood and ooze occurs. What do i do? Am i rejecting it? Should i put in a plastic barbell?

Lindsey on August 29, 2011:

I got my belly button pierced about 2 days ago and its still red, on top and bottom. Very little lite green discharge is coming out, but the tattoo people said it was normal. Do you think its infected already?

martina:) on August 29, 2011:

Hey, I've had mine done for about 4months and it was infected but i got rid of the infection by cleaning it with diluted dettol, but now the skin around my bar is soo tight and i can't move the bar, it doesn't hurt at all unless i try to move it. will this get better on its own or should i be doing anything to loosen it? If anyone can help ide really appreciate it:)

Tamsin on August 27, 2011:

This may seem a bit premature to be asking, but I got mine done yesterday and the pains completely gone. After about an hour of having it done it stopped hurting and it only hurts if I knock it, but I've been having really pains in my stomach like when you're going to throw up. I was just wondering if this is normal and if it's not any suggestions?

tashaaaaa101 on August 23, 2011:

Hi! I got my navel done just over a month ago, and I am wondering if I can change the bar while it still has yellow stuff coming out? -tash.

kelsey? on August 21, 2011:

Hiyss. Ive had my belly button done for 3 days n it is gettin itchy, and abit red at the top? please can you help me

Milissa on August 19, 2011:

i got my belly button pierced 4 days ago, it was looking good, but today i noticed the top ball is irritated, and under the top ball is a little black spot.. i have no clue what it is. help this chicka please

vanessa on August 19, 2011:

hay again have my belly button dun a week now bu theres like a clear puss cumin out of it and my friend said that's normal its just healing and cleanin itself out is that true?? please help mee

Tiffany on August 18, 2011:

hi i got my belly button pierced 4 weeks ago and i think its heeling fine. no puss or redness or anything like that but it has dead skin by the top ball and its kinda greyish in that area too. i wash it normally with h2ocean and everything. is it infected? or will it be?