If you just your belly button pierced or are thinking about getting one, you likely preparing to see the best ways to care for it as it heals. While cleaning your piercing is critical, it is also essential to think about how to best care for it at night while sleeping.
Many people worry that their piercing may catch on their blankets or clothing while they are sleeping and rip it out. Whether or not you cover a belly button piercing at night is a common question that arises.
Generally speaking, covering any new piercing is often frowned upon by professional body piercers. In order for any wound to heal, it needs fresh air and room to breathe. The same goes for a belly button piercing.
Tight coverings or latex bandages can hold moisture and cause your piercing to get an infection. If you are worried about your piercing getting caught at night, however, a few products will allow your piercing to be protected while you sleep while avoiding any negative impact on the healing process.
How long after the piercing should you cover it?
As a general rule of thumb, you should not cover a belly button piercing. Putting a bandage over a piercing can trap moisture against the skin, which can cause your new piercing to get infected. This is especially true during the first few days after getting your piercing when it is most vulnerable.
If you toss and turn a lot during your sleep and are worried about ripping out your piercing, it is crucial that you cover your piercing with something that is breathable and does not trap moisture. Using a product such as the EZ Heal Guard is an option that protects the piercing but also allows it to breathe. This particular product uses a foam circle covered by mesh on one side and is sticky on the other.
You place this covering over your piercing so that the sticky side attached to the skin around the piercing, and the mesh is on the top. This product helps to protect the piercing from getting caught, it keeps it clean, and the mesh allows moisture to continue to escape.
Covering your piercing with this type of foam ring will allow you to protect the piercing without touching it. The foam ring is designed to only touch the skin around the piercing while hopefully giving enough buffer as not to irritate the piercing itself. The most critical thing that this particular type of cover does is keep your piercing safe from getting caught on things like bedsheets.
Another option is to wear a loose-fitting t-shirt to sleep, which will provide some protection for your piercing. A t-shirt will still allow your piercing to get fresh air and breathe while also protecting it from getting caught on your sheets. If a t-shirt is too loose and comes up during the night, you can always tie the bottom of the shirt into knot and make it tighter around your waist line to help keep it in place during the night.
Make sure that the t-shirt you choose to use is clean so that it does not accumulate dirt or other debris into the wound.
What not to cover your piercing with
As mentioned above, the most significant danger of trying to cover a piercing is infection. Getting a piercing causes a wound, and the goal is to heal the wound around the new jewelry. In order to do this, a wound needs to be kept clean and dry.
It would be best if you never covered your piercing with antibiotic ointment or tight bandages. Band-Aids and other types of latex coverings trap dirt, sweat, and water into the piercing wound. The most common cause of issues with new piercings is an infection, and covering your piercing with the wrong thing can cause problems.
Many athletes cover new piercings with tape. This is also not recommended for similar reasons to bandaging. The tape will trap in sweat which is not suitable for your piercing. The tape also sticks directly onto the wound or to the jewelry. When you pull off the tape, you will pull on the wound and the jewelry, irritating the wound and delaying the healing process.
When you get a new piercing, your piercer will tell you not to cover your piercing with bandages, but they also might mention not wearing tight clothing. As mentioned above, your piercing will heal best and fastest if it is kept clean and dry with the ability to breathe.
While it may not seem like tight clothing traps moisture, it still does not allow your new piercing to breathe as much as it should. If you think about tight workout clothes, they often hold in some moisture if you sweat. At night, in particular, many people sweat more often than during the day, which is not something that you want to trap against the skin
Three important takeaways
The best thing you can do for your piercing is to avoid touching it as much as possible outside of normal aftercare treatments. Your body knows how to heal the new wound, and you do not need to cover it with antibiotic ointment or anything else in order to help it heal.
If you are worried about your piercing getting caught while your sleep or if you are concerned that you may accidentally roll onto your piercing at night, the EZ Heal Guard is an excellent example of a possible product to use to heal your piercing.
This product keeps your piercing protected without trapping in sweat. Any similar product that uses a foam ring and mesh top will ensure that you do not irritate the piercing while sleeping.
Band-aids and other tapes are cheaper alternatives to the EZ Heal Guard, however, they do come with many drawbacks as we mentioned above.