Belly button piercing is not an uncommon form of body art. Although they are safe it done by a professional in a clean environment using the right needle, it can also result in infections. The major reason for an infected belly button piercing is unhygienic conditions and poor aftercare. It can result in bacterial infections.
It can even take two long years for a pierced belly button to heal completely. All this time, there is a risk of infection. Any kind of injury to an old piercing can also result in an infection. For instance, if your piercing gets stuck with your belt buck buckle or gets caught with your pant.
How to Tell Belly Button Infected
Now you are probably wondering how can you really tell whether your belly button is infected? Well, it depends on the real cause of your infection. Make sure that the metal used for piercing is safe.
Some of the metals that are safe for body piercing are platinum, titanium, niobium, solid 14 karat or 18 karat gold and surgical steel. Otherwise, you are at open risk to infections. For instance, piercing jewelry that is made of nickel can result in allergic reactions and infections.
Here are some of the common signs that show your belly piercing is infected:
- A bump or bubble on the piercing
- Redness and severe swelling with pain
- Brown, grey, green or yellow discharge with foul odor
- Nausea and vomiting
- Red lines originating from the site piercing
- Tenderness that you may experience on and off
- Itchy rash around the site of piercing that spreads to a bigger area
- Fever, dizziness and upset stomach
- Skin discoloration if your infection has progressed to an advanced stage
- A hot sensation and throbbing pain when you touch the pierced site
- Poor drainage can result in the formation of abscess
- Prolong healing process
- Irritation and inflammation
- Swelling for a longer time than normal
- Piercing bar or ring hanging more loosely than when it was pierced
- Excessive crust formation on the wound
There are more signs of infected belly button. These are just the common ones. As soon as you notice something that you feel is not normal, you should check with the professional to find out the reason behind it. Keep in mind that mild bleeding, redness, aching, tenderness and swelling are normal symptoms when you have just had your piercing but it should continue for just few days and not more than that. Immediately go to a doctor you there is severe pain, excessive discharge or your navel is badly swollen.
How to Treat Belly button Piercing Infection
Here are some of the ways you can treat the infected belly button piercing:
1. Sea salt soak
This is among the most effective ways to get rid of the infection particularly when it is at its initial stage. All you have to do is take a little sea salt in a cup and add warm water to it. Take a clean cotton ball and dip it into this solution of sea salt water. Squeeze to get rid of excess water and press this cotton ball with a light hand on the site of pierced belly button. Repeat this 4 to 6 times and apply a fresh cotton ball each time. Use clean warm water and let it flow over the site of pierced belly button. This will help get rid of the salt residue. Make use of a clean paper towel to dry it. Repeat every day to both prevent and heal an infected belly button piercing.
2. Chamomile Tea Bag Compress
Take a cup of warm water and dip a chamomile tea bag in it. Use it to press it on your pierced site. Let it stay for a minimum of 5 minutes. Do this every day to have positive results faster.
3. Tea Tree Oil
It is no secret that lavender oil, emu oil and tea tree oil are natural healing agents given to us by nature. You can use a few drops of any one of these oils and apply it on your piercing site using a cotton but. However make sure you dilute the tea tree oil as using it directly can burn your skin. It is the vitamin C, vitamin D and Zinc that makes the healing process faster.
4. Aspirin Paste
Aspirin is soothes wounds as it is considered an anti-inflammatory agent. Simply crush an aspirin and add a little water to turn it into a paste. Use this paste on the pierced site right before you go to sleep. Keep using it on a daily basis till you get rid of the infection.
5. Use oral antibiotics
Use antibiotics prescribed by the doctor. The doctor might give you a topical antibiotic or an oral one according to your condition. Some of the topical antibiotic creams that are used most commonly are Mupirocin, Bacitracin and polymyxin B. Doctors recommend oral antibiotics when the infection spreads to a larger area around the pierced site due to a bacteria. It is best to see a doctor for proper diagnosis as it could just be a belly button piercing rejection rather than an infection.
Things You Shouldn’t Do
Do not use any ointment
Even though it will be really tempting for you to use an over the counter antibiotic ointment on your piercing, simply DON’T. It can clog your piercing and even trap the bacteria in it which might be the real cause of your infection
Do not remove infected belly ring
If you want to minimize your chances of piercing abscess, simply don’t remove the infected belly ring. Only remove it when a professional recommends it. Let the professional do his job particularly when the infection seems to be spreading
Useful Care Tips for an Infected Belly Button Piercing
Here are some efficient care tips that can help you take care of your pierced belly and help it heal faster:
- Make sure you don’t use a towel to clean as the threads can get caught in the ring.
- Avoid nickel and use titanium or gold jewelry for piercing
- Make sure you choose a cleanses that suits you as it can irritate the pierced navel. For example, if there is a red bump you should use a mild cleanser to avoid irritation.
- Use a loose bandage on your pierced site and it is better to wear loose clothes as well. This will help prevent any injury or bleeding.
- Do not use hydrogen peroxide or rub alcohol as it can lead to dry skin and crusting.
- Sleep on your back to prevent any contact with the belly ring.
- We have looked at symptoms, treatments, and how to clean an infected nave piercing. It is time look at some of the good care tips that can ensure you heal quickly.