After getting your navel pierced, you need to make sure you keep the ring, as well as the area surrounding the piercing, clean and sanitized. Cleaning the jewelry and the piercing daily will help keep the hole from getting infected as it heals. Though the pain and irritation may fade as the piercing ages, it's important to clean it daily until it's fully healed. According to Dr. Dean Edell, author of the book "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Healthiness," a belly button piercing takes anywhere from three to six months to heal.
Wash your hands thoroughly with fragrance-free antibacterial liquid hand soap and hot water before touching your belly button ring.
Soak a paper towel in warm water, and gently clean any crusted discharge and dirt from the belly button ring. This keeps impurities from getting in your piercing during the cleaning process.
Squirt additive-free, sterile saline solution onto a clean paper towel, and place it over the piercing and ring. Leave the solution on the area for about 10 minutes to sterilize it. If you can't find the solution in stores, make your own by mixing 8 ounces of warm distilled bottled water with 1/4 tablespoon of noniodized sea salt.
Pour warm water over a fresh paper towel, and wipe the belly button ring and piercing site to remove salty residue from the area.
Clean the navel ring and piecing site with soap when you're in the shower. Squirt a few drops of fragrance-free antibacterial liquid hand soap onto your fingertips, and gently rub the soap into the piercing and over the jewelry. Rinse it off immediately.
Pat the jewelry and piercing site dry with a paper towel. Never use cloth towels on fresh piercings, as the material can harbor bacteria. The rough surface of the towels can also snag on the belly button ring, notes the Association of Professional Piercers.
- "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Healthiness"; Dean Edell; 2005
- Association of Professional Piercers: Suggested Aftercare Guidelines for Body Piercings
- Center for Young Women's Health: Body Piercings