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Belly Button Piercing Infection

Piercing of the belly button has been in vogue among women for several years. But this form of piercing, like others, is prone to developing an infection. Therefore, it is best to be aware of its symptoms and treatment methods.
ThoughtfulTattoos Staff
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2018
A bare belly always looks sensuous. However, the sensuousness manifolds when it is pierced and the sparkle on it catches your eye. Although many people would like to get the piercing, they shy way from getting one done with the risks associated with it. If proper care is not taken after a belly button piercing, it can lead to an infection. The steps to prevent the infection are not difficult, however it is important that the steps are followed diligently.
Signs of an Infected Piercing
The signs of an infected belly button piercing generally do not go unnoticed. Infections are caused due to growth of bacteria and fungi in the area around the infection. If inappropriate methods are used for piercing, or if the hands of the piercer were unclean and unhygienic, or if any kind of pollutant comes in contact with the wound, such as polluted water, it can lead to severe infections around the pierced area. The symptoms of the same are as follows:
  • The first sign of an infection is pain. The pain can be accompanied by swelling.
  • Redness around the piercing is also a symptom of an infection. You must pay heed to this sign as can be one of the primary indicators of the start of a very painful infection, which you would have preferred to do without.
  • The pierced area can feel hot to touch.
  • The wound in its initial stage releases a fluid commonly called pus, this stage is called cellulitis. The discharge often is watery. In the advanced stages of infection the piercing wound begins to bleed along with a yellowish-green discharge. This is a sign of sepsis-septicemia.
  • When there is pus formation, odor from the piercing is observed. In some cases, the odor can also be due to bacterial infection.
  • If you do not tend to the infection in time, there is a possibility of the formation of an abscess, etc. The symptoms seen in this condition include swelling around the piercing, darkening of the skin, hardening of the tissue, pain, etc. An abscess if not treated in time, can also prove to be fatal. Oral antibiotics are prescribed to get rid of the condition.
  • In some cases the infection can spread to the entire abdomen, at times also leading to abdomen infection and food poisoning.
If your piercing is infected, do not neglect the symptoms and have yourself examined by a physician immediately. Some of the treatment methods which can be used are given below.
  • Use an antibacterial soap to clean the infected area. It is recommended that you use a soap which does not have fragrances in it.
  • It may seem like a common knowledge to remove the piercing, however, refrain from doing so. The chances to letting the piercing close are high when you remove the jewelry.
  • If there is pus discharge or an abscess formation, oral antibiotics are often prescribed. However, in rare cases, surgical help might be required to remove the abscess.
  • Antiseptic creams which are available over-the-counter can be used. This line of treatment works only in case of mild infection. However, these creams should not be used for an extended period. The antiseptic creams block the pores, which increases the healing time.
  • If the pus is not draining from the wound, use a hot compress, it will help increase blood circulation to the affected area. Before you use the hot compress disinfect the container properly. Dip the compress in a solution of hot water and table-salt and not Epsom salt. The hot water and table-salt solution will disinfect the compress and will also help in disinfecting the wound.
The saying prevention is better than cure stands true even in the case of body piercings, wherein neglect can result in various types of infections. Therefore, it is better that you take good care after undertaking body piercings to avoid further risks.
  • When you touch the piercing area, make sure your hands are clean, for dirty hands can transmit germs to the said area, which can cause infection.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting the pierced area is important. It is best to clean the area twice a day. Always disinfect the pierced area after swimming, exercising and after taking a shower everyday. It is best to avoid going swimming till the piercing has healed. Pat dry the area, so that no trace of water remains around the pierced area.
  • Salty water solution should be used for the cleaning and disinfecting the region.
  • Often people fidget a lot with the piercing. This is not recommended, as it leads to infection. When the piercing is not bothered, it will heal faster.
  • When you move the navel ring, do so gently. Often when people move the ring, they end up hurting the healing tissue, which aggravates the condition. Do not move the ring too often.
  • Do not be in a hurry to change the navel ring. When you remove the old ring and put in a new ring, the chances are high that you will hurt the piercing, which in turn will affect the healing time.
  • Usage of a waistband should be avoided, till the healing procedure is complete.
Consulting the artist who did the piercing is recommended, if the infection is in its nascent stage. Remember, following a few simple instructions and directions to keep healthy and maintaining and inculcating the correct habits can go a long way in preventing a lot of discomfort for you. If it is causing a lot of irritation, then it is advisable to consult your general practitioner.
Belly Button Piercing