Navel (Belly Button!) Piercings

So a couple months ago my now ex-boyfriend’s roommate thought I needed a belly button ring. My mom has one, so it wasn’t some dramatic idea, and I figured, “What the hell? Why not?”. So I went down to Sinful Skin Tattoo and Piercing on Plumb Lane in Reno because the roomie said it was a good place. The outside looks sketchy, okay? No other way to put it. There’s a bar next door and the windows are tinted black so you can’t see inside, and it’s not in the best part of town. I was not sure.

Inside, however, the place is lovely! Very clean, very professional. There were a couple people at the front desk who asked me if I needed help, and they were the nicest receptionists at a tattoo parlor EVER. Quite frankly, most people who sit at the desk of a tattoo parlor/piercing shop are mean, rude, and condescending. I was quite impressed.

I can’t remember what his name was, but a young man with brown hair and a limp took us back to the piercing section. He had me pick out which jewelry I liked, and they had the best selection! Not just those cheap candy-colored barbells, but very cute dangling jewelry and even a selection of real gold. He was such a flirt, I swear he could have talked me into anything. Watch out for that smooth talker! So I filled out paperwork and he led me into a private room to get my piercing done. It was small, but I liked that it had mirrors on one side of the wall so you could see what he was doing from the chair. He set everything up and was very professional. Gloves on, instruments taken right out of sterile bags, clean and fresh everything.

I was nervous, but in the end I laid down in the chair and let him do it. He took a black marker and marked the spot where he was going to make the incision, and he made sure I liked where it was. Then he cleaned the area and took a needle and pushed it through. Didn’t take more than a few seconds as he pierced the area.

Pain? No. I didn’t even tense up. It burned a little as he pushed the needle through, but it didn’t even feel like a needle at all. NO PAIN!! Piercing your ears hurts worse than that. There was a few drops of blood, but he wiped it away and it stopped bleeding instantly. And then I had my belly ring (a dangling fender-style guitar) put in and I was free to go. The whole ordeal cost me $55, but I didn’t think that was outrageous. The staff was friendly and professional, my piercing was clean, my jewelry was stainless steel and very cute.

Of course, after a while it became really sore and red. This is normal! Your body tries to heal the area and the redness and soreness is just your body’s natural defense. It took a few weeks for the pain to subside. I slept on my back and side since sleeping on my stomach hurt for a while. I wore lose shirts and pants without belts to keep my clothes from catching on my ring. Oh man, those couple of weeks really hurt me! And I was super careful in the shower to not snag my ring with my towel or washcloth, but I got lucky and it never happened. After a few weeks the pain subsided, but it does take 6 months to a year before the navel piercing actually heals up.

Now, here’s what you need to know about cleaning:

  • Don’t touch your piercing with your hands. Your hands always have bacteria on them and you don’t want an infection.
  • Use q-tips and dip them in a bottle of peroxide, then rube the wet q-tip on each side of your belly ring. Move the ring around so the peroxide gets inside the piercing. It will bubble and fizz, which means it’s killing bacteria and cleaning you up.
  • Afterwards, dry the area with a clean end of a q-tip.
  • Then get Neosporin or some kind of anti-biotic healing cream and squeeze some on the end of a clean q-tip. Rub this on both ends of your piercing and move it back and forth, getting the cream inside your piercing.
  • Let it sit and do this TWICE A DAY. That’s it- that’s all you have to do.

Pussing is normal. You will get yellow-tinted puss possibly from your piercing but that’s okay! Just keep it clean. It will be red sometimes and sore sometimes, but that’s okay. Remember that it takes at least 6 months to heal so it’s a slow healing process. Also KEEP MOVING THAT RING! It might hurt or feel ‘stuck’, but it’s good to occasionally push your ring back and forth so that it moves smoothly through your skin. You’ll need to move it anyway for cleaning so you can get every part of the piercing.

Only use stainless steel jewelry! This will keep you from getting an infection from unclean jewelry. Most rings are a standard 14 gauge, just so you know. And if you’re looking for cute jewelry, look no further than eBay. I get the cutest rings and, even with shipping costs, it’s at least $10 cheaper than any local jewelry store.

Rememeber, 6 months minimum to heal! You can change your belly ring any time you like, though I wouldn’t do it the first few weeks of getting your navel pierced. Remember that if you leave your ring out then the skin will close up almost instantly and heal.

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3 Responses to “Navel (Belly Button!) Piercings”

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