Infected Belly Button Piercing

Belly button piercing is a very popular practice amongst many. When you receive abelly piercing, it is important to remember that there will be a healing process before it looks normal. Although, infected belly button piercing is common, some may not sure how to identify whether the piercing is infected or not. This article will detail identification methods for this occurrence, how to avoid it, as well as what to do if it was to occur.

Do You Have an Infected Belly Button Piercing?

An infected navel piercing can easily be determined via the following signs and symptoms:

  1. Redness or tenderness is common after piercing your belly button, if this persists for longer than a couple of weeks, then it may be an infection.
  2. If your belly button remains swollen, and the swelling does not subside, it may indicate an infection.
  3. Some yellow discharge after your piercing is entirely normal up to a week after having the piercing. If the discharge is of a high volume, or green in colour, then it may point to an infection.
  4. Bleeding is normal during the piercing, if this remains persistent, then it could mean that you have an infection.
  5. A lengthy healing process, along with the appearance of a bump, excess crusts around the site of the piercing, persistent pain and consistent soreness around the area of the piercing (exacerbated when anything touches the area) and/or high skin irritability.
  6. Reduced skin thickness, meaning you can see the navel jewelry through your skin.
  7. The navel jewelry seems to be hanging lower or looser than when it was first inserted. And you can see a noticeable increase in the size of the hole of the piercing.

If you notice one or more of these symptoms, then it may mean that you have an infected piercing.

How to Relieve Infected Belly Button Piercing

After a piercing, if you notice any of the symptoms listed above, then it would be highly advisable to have the site examined by a physician, so as to instill proper treatment methods. Below are some possible treatment options.

1. Do Not Take Pierced Jewelry Out

Although some doctors will advise you take out the jewelry, many experienced people will not recommend that. Removing the piercing may lead to the formation of an abscess, and such an action can make the hole close up, thus the infection is left inside and more complications can be induced.

2. Cleaning Alcohol

If the infection seems to be mild, cleansing alcohol is often used to disinfect the microorganisms that may be causing the infection, halting the growth of the bacteria. This is generally not recommended if you are allergic to alcohol.

3. Warmed Compress

A warmed compress may prove helpful in inciting the circulation of blood and the drainage of pus. Always ensure the compress has been washed or disinfected to avoid introducing new bacteria to the infected area, which will likely exacerbate the infected area.

4. Saline Solution

By mixing around half a teaspoon of sea salt to a cup of warm water to make a saline solution, you can use the solution to clean the infected area. This will help to stop the progression of mild infections.

5. Acidic White Vinegar

Due to the acidic content of white vinegar, it can prove extremely effective in fighting infection, and preventing the spread of infection. Mix white vinegar with warm water and use a cotton swab to apply the solution to the infected area. Rinse thoroughly after.

6. Aloe Vera

With anti-inflammatory benefits, aloe vera can help with infected belly button piercing. You can expel the aloe vera gel out from the leaf and apply it on the infected belly area. Just wait until the area is dry then wash with a wet cloth and dry you’re your towel gently. You can apply this gel for several times each day to get the wanted results.

7. Turmeric

With natural antiseptic properties, turmeric helps in both treating and preventing infections. You can get a paste by mixing water with turmeric powder then apply it on the infected area. When the paste dries, you can wash the area and dry with a towel or tissue softly. Apply this method for about for 2 to 3 time per day. You can also make a drink by mixing 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with honey or hot milk in a glass to help with the healing process.

8. Essential Oils

The use of lavender oil, tea tree oil, or emu oil may help with a navel infection due to their natural healing properties. Other natural healers include vitamins C and D, and zinc, all of which will help to the rapidity of your healing process.

9. Medications

If the site of the piercing is excreting pus, then your physician will likely prescribe oral antibiotics to eradicate the microorganisms causing the infection.Topical antibiotic medications may also be prescribed for mild cases of infected belly button piercing. Besides, if you have pain associating with infections, over-the-counter pain relieving medications may prove helpful in eradicating that pain.

10. Surgical Drainage

If the formation of an abscess occurs, and the pus from the piercing is not draining efficiently, then surgical drainage may be administered. This is only suggested in severe cases.

11. Avoid the Use of Ointments

You may think it wise to use over-the-counter ointments with antibiotic properties, while the opposite is likely true. Use of ointments may cause the bacteria to become trapped, exacerbating the issue and extending the time of healing.

12.  Avoid Allergens

After treating the infected area, you may notice the formation of a rash that may be due to the piercing or cleansers you use it daily. Just avoid such allergens and stop use these substances.

When to Seek Medical Help

If your symptoms persist for 48 hours after the piercing or worsen, then it may be wise to seek medical help. You can either speaking with a physician or the individual who carried out your piercing. 

The video below further explains methods of treating infected belly button piercing treatment:

How to Prevent Infected Belly Button Piercing

If you have recently received a belly button piercing, then it is important to take steps to avoid the occurrence of an infection, including:

  • Keep the site of the piercing clean and dry.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothing during the healing process.
  • Avoid touch or irritate the site of the piercing.
  • Carry out regular daily checks to look out for any signs or symptoms of an infection.
  • Take a shower instead of a bath, as bathwater may lead to the transfer of bacteria.