Suppose you’re considering getting your belly button pierced, or you recently pierced your belly button. In that case, there are several imperative things to know before starting your aftercare routine.
Maintaining proper hygiene will prevent you from the risks of infections and allow for a smooth healing process. Some argue that mild soaps are acceptable to wash the new piercing, while others say that using a saltwater soak is the best way to clean it properly. So, which one is the better option? Let’s find out!
While in the shower, you should avoid letting any soap fall on the piercing as this may cause the newly pierced area to become dry and irritate the piercing. The best way to clean your belly piercing is to run warm water over it for about two minutes and wash the piercing with a water and salt soak, followed by a non-bacterial mild soap and water cleansing.
You want to make sure to ensure an excellent aftercare routine and regularly clean the piercing to lower your chances of rejection to migration. If sudsy water happens to fall on the belly button, it’s okay just as long as you wash it off only by running the warm water and making sure not to rub the area with your hands.
Many individuals prefer to use mild soaps such as “Cetaphil.”
They clean the area by applying a small amount of soap, and lathering it up in the palm of their hands along with some warm water, and gently wash your piercing to remove any crusts that can be around the piercing. You can use apply this no more than twice daily.
It is crucial to avoid applying creams and ointments since they cut off the air circulation needed for the piercing to heal properly. Additionally, it would be best to avoid using ear piercing solution products such as Bactine as this also irritates the skin and is not recommended for long-term use.
Products such as Hydrogen Peroxide, Betadine, rubbing alcohol, and strong soaps can dry out your skin and destroy newly formed tissue, so you shouldn’t risk using these products that can reverse healing.
While many individuals choose this route for their aftercare routine, the most highly suggested products are the sea salt solution products you usually find in any piercing shop or pharmacy you visit.
You can use saline solution products such as:
- H2Ocean Aftercare piercing spray
- Saline Wound Wash
These products are safe to use and help flush out any remains of crust buildups and any secretions in your newly fresh piercing without irritating the skin around it. They also assist in stimulating the circulation of the open wound, allowing it to clean your piercing safely
A great tip is once you are done showering and have run the warm water over your belly button, you should then gently pat the piercing using a dry paper towel versus a towel. The reason being that the towel can get caught with your piercing, and this can cause the skin to become swollen and irritated, which in the long run can cause your piercing to become infected.
You can make your sea salt solution if you’d rather opt-out of purchasing any products and instead make it at home by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt per one cup of water. You then grab a q-tip and dip it in the solution so you can gently remove the surrounding crusts without causing you any pain and discomfort.
There are two other ways of cleaning your piercing with saltwater solutions. You can add the saltwater to
a bottle to allow you an easy way to clean the skin with just one spray, or you can soak a cotton ball in the solution mix and gently dab around the area, and dry it with a paper towel. If you decide to submerge your piercing, let the site soak for about three minutes, and pat dry with the paper towel when you finish the routine.
If you choose to make this solution at home, you should know that you should avoid using table salt, Epsom salt, Kosher salt, and iodized sea salts, as these include extra chemicals that increase the chances of irritating the skin.
It would be best if you also were careful in using the correct measurements of the saltwater solution. Since adding too much salt will cause your skin to become irritated, and adding too little will have very minimal healing effects.
If the homemade solution sounds too complex, you can always ask the professional who pierced your belly button to suggest which saline solution product is best for optimal healing. They save you time and are easy to use with very little mess.
This way, you save yourself the headache of figuring out whether or not you added the proper measurements. If you choose to purchase your solution in stores, make sure to get one with no preservatives and one that has a 0.9% sterile solution. Avoid the solutions that are for nasal irrigations and contact lens as these contain eye-irritating preservatives.
Your safest bet is to stick to pure sea salt to avoid any additives which are harmful to the sensitive area, and it dissolves easily into the solution. Additionally, it would be best to ensure that the saltwater solution includes the proper ingredients and measurements needed for adequate care.
Regardless of whichever route you decide in the end to go with, it would be best if you considered cleaning your piercing anywhere from two to three times per day until it has fully healed. Make sure your hands are clean before making contact with your piercing to keep it as sterile as you can.
Once your piercing shows signs of healing, you should continue to clean it for about four weeks; in cases of infection, you would clean the piercing for much longer than that, being that it can take anywhere from six months to a year for the piercing to heal adequately.
Surprisingly, you can incorporate Lavender oil as part of your cleaning routine. While it doesn’t replace the products mentioned above, you can include it as Lavender is known to reduce inflammation and help speed the healing process. You can apply the oil once you have finished cleaning the site by adding a few drops in a cotton ball or dipping a q-tip in the oil and gently swab the piercing.
That said, whether you just got your belly button pierced or you’re getting ready to plan your visit to the shop, you now have the knowledge needed to ensure that your piercing gets healed the right way. And while it may be tempting, definitely avoid touching your piercing for the first three to four weeks after pierced to prevent transferring germs and dirt to the freshly pierced site.
If the piercing becomes infected and warm to touch, you should contact the professional who did the piercing so they can check the site and confirm if indeed there is an infection. If fever and chills occur, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible to determine whether or not you need antibiotics for the possible infection. Whenever in doubt, ask your piercer what they recommend using, along with any other aftercare rules that might help speed up the overall healing process.