According to the Association of Professional Piercers, the initial jewelry used when piercing your belly button is designed for safety, not style. If you want to put in a new navel ring, wait until your piercing has fully healed in order to prevent any type of infection or skin irritation. If your skin around your piercing is still tender or is secreting liquid you should wait until these symptoms stop before putting in a new piece of jewelry. According to Boston Children’s Hospital Center for Young Women’s Health, the estimated healing time for a navel piercing ranges from nine to 12 months.
Wash your hands and the area of your belly button with antibacterial soap.
Dry your hands and stomach thoroughly and put on a pair of new latex gloves for extra protection against infections.
Soak a cotton ball in alcohol and dab your belly button piercing with it to sterilize the environment before you take out your existing piece of jewelry.
Unscrew the top ball of your navel jewelry going counterclockwise. Hold the bottom part of the jewelry with the other hand to avoid it spinning in place while you are trying to unscrew the top.
Push the jewelry piece down with your index finger to remove it from the bottom and dab the area again with your cotton ball.
Take your new piece of jewelry out of its package. Only use presterilized and prepackaged jewelry made out of metal, preferably gold, silver or titanium, to avoid infections.
Unscrew the ball of your new piece of jewelry and insert it from the bottom, placing your thumb and index finger at the top to catch the jewelry piece once it makes it through the piercing.
Screw the ball at the top and adjust the ring to feel comfortable.
Things You'll Need
New latex gloves
Avoid heavy jewelry that will weigh on the skin of your belly button and may sag your piercing or rupture it.
Keep your belly button piercing clean and dry to avoid any type of infection, even once it has healed, since the skin in that area is still new and sensitive.
Consider removing any piercing in your navel if you are pregnant or plan on becoming pregnant, as your skin will stretch and could potentially cause your piercing to rupture.
When receiving a piercing, you can spread or get a serious infection -- including HIV -- if the body piercing equipment has not been sterilized properly, reports the Boston Children’s Hospital Center's website.
Consult a doctor if your navel piercing does not heal within the normal estimated healing time or if it reopens once you have changed your jewelry and it becomes infected.