Although your belly button piercing will heal over time, you need to make sure it doesn't irritate. In addition, preventing infection is important to minimize irritation associated with piercing. The most important aspect of preventing and treating an infection in the belly button is to clean it thoroughly. You can also minimize the irritation associated with your piercing by protecting and disinfecting your piercing.
Part 1 of 3: Keeping Piercing Clean
Step 1. Clean the piercing every day
Regular cleaning is the best way to speed up the healing process of your piercing. This will reduce the amount of time your belly button feels sensitive to pain and easily irritated. Regular cleaning will also prevent serious irritants such as infections.
- After washing your hands with soap and warm water, use a cotton swab or cotton swab dipped in a saline solution or antibacterial soap to clean the belly button and both holes from the piercing.
- Rotate the piercing four times after cleaning.
- Make your own saline solution by mixing half a teaspoon of salt and a cup of warm water.
- Continue to clean the piercing and the area around it 1-2 times a day until the redness, swelling, and discharge from the belly button piercing has disappeared.
Step 2. Wash your piercing every time you shower
Even if your belly button piercing has healed, you should still clean it regularly. It is recommended to take a shower to clean the piercing because the bacteria that cause infection can still be left behind if you take a bath with a bath.
- Do not use a washcloth or loofah to clean the piercing, as bacteria may be left on it and can attract and irritate the piercing.
- Use a mild soap to clean both the piercing and belly button and the area around it.
- Let the water from the shower rinse the soap from the body.
Step 3. Try not to get the piercing in contact with body fluids
One of the most common irritants and sources of infection in piercings is body fluids. This fluid can come from yourself or someone else. Try to keep the piercing and the area around it free from saliva, sweat, and other body fluids.
When you sweat, make sure to clean your belly button piercing as soon as possible
Step 4. Avoid standing water
Do not enter swimming pools, bathtubs, or other bodies of water where the water is not running while your belly button piercing is healing or infected. Even a clean and well-maintained swimming pool still contains bacteria and can cause infection or be slow to heal.
Step 5. Follow the cleaning instructions
After you have your piercing, the piercer will tell you how to properly clean and heal your piercing. Write down all the instructions given so you don't forget.
If you have bothersome symptoms or infection related to your piercing, call the place where you got your piercing and ask for the treatment you need
Part 2 of 3: Minimizing Physical Infection
Step 1. Avoid contact sports for two weeks
Your belly button piercing will be very susceptible to infection during the first few weeks. During this healing period, avoid any contact physical activity. What's more, stay away from strenuous exercise that can interfere with the healing process.
- Don't play team sports, such as soccer or basketball, until the piercing has healed completely.
- Avoid activities that involve two weeks of extensive stretching, such as climbing and yoga.
Step 2. Wear loose clothing
A scratch or abrasion can irritate the belly button, especially during the healing period after getting a new piercing or infection treatment. Wear loose-fitting clothes so that they don't rub against or press against your piercing.
Step 3. Sleep on your back
You must prevent navel irritation during sleep. Although side sleeping is actually allowed, sleeping on your back is the safest. You can't sleep on your stomach at all.
Step 4. Try not to tamper with the piercing
Disturbing the belly button will cause irritation and even become an infection. Above all, do not touch or pull the belly button.
If you want to customize your piercing or touch the area for some reason, make sure you wash your hands beforehand
Part 3 of 3: Treating Infections
Step 1. Recognize the symptoms of infection
The area around the new piercing may be red, sensitive to pain, and/or swollen for several weeks. However, if these symptoms last for more than a few weeks, an infection is likely. Similarly, yellow discharge is common for a week after getting the piercing. If this fluid doesn't stop, turns green, or bleeds, there may be an infection.
- Other signs of infection include excess crusting around one or both piercings, constant pain or tenderness to the touch, sensitive skin, the piercing can be seen through the skin, or movement or loosening of the piercing itself.
- If you notice these symptoms, see a doctor.
Step 2. Disinfect the area with a saline compress
A saline solution is another way to clean and disinfect your belly button piercing and reduce pain and irritation from infection. Dissolve teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm, but still safe, water. Take a cotton swab or gauze and soak it in the solution. Lie on your back and hold the salt-soaked cotton/gauze on your belly button for 10 minutes.
- Repeat the process with disposable paper, such as a tissue, to help kill bacteria and reduce irritation.
- Dry the navel with disposable paper such as tissue. You can also use a clean towel or gauze
Step 3. Try not to remove jewelry or apply antibacterial ointment
While tempting, this action actually slows healing. In fact, removing jewelry will lead to other health complications. On the other hand, antibacterial ointments can trap bacteria within the infected area.
Step 4. Consider supplemental medication
Tea tree oil, aloe vera, white vinegar, and chamomile tea are all known to have anti-infective properties. While saline solution is commonly recommended for disinfecting piercings, supplemental medications can help relieve irritation and other symptoms of infection.
Aloe vera gel can help relieve belly button irritation and help prevent scars. Aloe vera gel can be obtained from local pharmacies
Step 5. See a doctor for a serious infection
Home remedies may not be enough to get rid of an ongoing infection in the piercing. If the infection has been going on for more than a week, make an appointment with a doctor.