Are you worried that your belly button piercing is infected? We’ll teach you how to spot the signs of infection and When is the time to see doctor. Also, we covered how to clean and care your piercing properly.
How Do You Know If Your Belly Button Piercing Is Infected?
Signs of an Infected Belly Button Piercing
A belly button piercing infection is a medical risk you’d have to assume if you are eager to get a piercing in this area. While the risk is low to moderate as long as you follow the minimum for aftercare after the piercing, the risk remains nonetheless.
There is some confusion about the symptoms of infection after getting a navel piercing. Bear in mind that after a fresh piercing, it is reasonable to experience some pain, swelling, and redness around the pierced spot. These minor signs do not always mean that there is an ongoing infection.
What we are interested in is what happens days and weeks after the piercing.
Clear Discharge From The Piercing
For one, any discolorations and swelling should begin to subside a few weeks after the piercing. It is also reasonable to see some colorless, crystal-like discharge, and crusting around the belly button piercing. This clear discharge is likely fluid from the lymph nodes, and it’s just your body doing its job in preventing an infection.
If you monitor some symptoms like heightened swelling that comes with a lot of pain and discoloration of the area (mainly, redness), then that’s something else entirely. Signs like these may point to a moderate or severe infection that is already taking place in the wound. Another definitive sign that there might be an infection in a navel piercing is brownish or greenish discharge from the wound. Browning discharge is associated with bleeding and the formation of pus, which only happens when a site is infected.
It would help if you also were on the lookout for reddish lines that begin to radiate from the center of the piercing.
Finally, the most severe symptoms associated with a bacterial infection arising from an infected belly button piercing are vomiting, the development of high-grade fever, nausea, and upset stomach and dizziness. The last set of symptoms is dangerous, and you should get immediate medical help when you observe these symptoms.
How to Clean and Care for a Belly Button Piercing
Much of the effort needed to keep anybody piercing free from infection is in personal hygiene and regularly caring for the wound.
Cleaning your belly button piercing regularly can both prevent severe infections and treat mild/moderate ones. The magic number for cleaning a belly button piercing is two per day. If you do it correctly twice a day, there is no need for a third or fourth cleaning. The preferred cleaning solution for healing belly button piercings is a commercial saline solution or a homemade saline solution.
A homemade saline solution is simply ten tablespoons of rock salt or any other salt you might have at home plus clean water. If you can use filtered water or distilled water, then those are fine, too.
DIY Saline Solution
Step 1: Pour the saline solution into a small container.
Step 2: Grab some cotton balls and soak these entirely in the saline solution.
Step 3: Dap the saline solution on and about the piercing.
The saline solution will break up proteins from any dried up secretions. These clear secretions will always be around the piercing. Soak the entire area for five to ten minutes to make sure that it is sterilized. The saline solution kills all kinds of bacteria on the skin.
After cleansing the area thoroughly with saline, it’s time for a regular wash or cleaning.
Using Antibacterial Soap or Natural Soap For Body Wash
While your navel piercing is still healing, we advise against using the body wash, soap, or gels that may contain scents and other harsh chemicals. The last thing on our mind is for your wound to get irritated and possibly infected. Castile soap and non-scented antibacterial soaps are highly recommended. Natural soap is much better than anything with scents. It just won’t work, especially with fresh piercings.
While tempting, you must not use antiseptic agents like rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. The reason for this is that these antiseptic agents can kill bacteria, but they are known for killing healthy cells. The result would be that your wound will heal more slowly if you keep using alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
Wash Hand Before Touch The Piercing
Before touching the piercing or the area adjacent to it, remember to wash your hands thoroughly with some antibacterial soap and water. Wash for at least twenty seconds to ensure that your hands are clean enough to handle the wound. Cotton balls and cotton swabs may be used to clean the wound area if you are not taking a shower. Use a clean cloth in the absence of cotton. A clean towel also works for patting dry the area. We do not recommend paper towels for soaking and cleansing as paper towels are likely to leave bits of it behind. If fragments of paper towel enter the wound, you could end up with a painful problem.
How to Prevent My Piercing from Being Infected?
Do Not Touch The Piercing Area During Healing
The easiest way to prevent infections is never to touch the pierced area as long as it is not sufficiently healed. The first few weeks after the piercing are particularly troublesome, as fresh wounds can easily be infected. Our hands are carriers of bacteria and other pathogens, so keep off your piercing for the time being.
Do Not Touch and Rotate Piercing Jewelry
Also, it is not recommended to touch and rotate the jewelry as this can also cause the transmission of bacteria to the vulnerable site on the skin.
No matter how painful it gets, don’t touch your wound. If you are troubled by it, visit your physician instead.
When is the Time to See a Doctor?
We recommend seeing a doctor the moment you spot any of the severe symptoms above. Extreme pain and swelling are telltale signs that something is wrong, so be observant of your piercing changes.
Belly Button Piercing Healing Time
Belly butting piercings require a handful of months before they fully heal. The healing period is more extended than facial piercings and earlobe piercings and sometimes requires a full twelve months before ultimately healing.
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