Piercing for style might looks trendy. It is not surprising, therefore, that this style has been very popular among the adolescents and young adults. Belly button piercing is one of the most common body piercings done worldwide. This is a piercing procedure which is done near or at the navel. However, belly button piercing is not without any risks. There are some health risks that come along with having your belly button pierced.
Health risk of belly button piercing
Belly button or navel piercing is done in the body part where blood vessels are located. Hence, improper or careless technique of piercing may end up in severe bleeding. If left untreated, bleeding leads to blood loss, which is harmful for the entire health.
Swelling of the skin
Inflammation around the navel is also common with belly button piercing. This may promote pain, swelling, and eventually leads to infection.
Scarring and keloid formation
For those who are susceptible to scarring and keloids, the belly is one of the body parts which is prone to the issue. Hence, belly button pierce will likely cause scarring and keloids if proper wound care is failed to perform.
There is a couple of risk factors to infected belly button piercing, and some of those include:
- Instruments and piercing ring which are not hygienic.
- Improper wound care during wound healing.
- Infection can be very harmful to the entire health, instead of merely the belly button area.
Symptoms of belly button piercing infection
Regarding belly-button-piercing-induced infection, there are two kinds of infection which are possible to occur—the allergic reactions and bacterial infections. Allergic reactions are triggered if you are allergic to the metal used in navel piercing, while bacterial infection occurs as the result of bacteria infestation in the damp, dark, folded navel area. Nickel is the most common metal causing allergic reactions in susceptible people. Whereas, dirt, bacteria, and foreign object which get into the piercing wound before it is completely healed are the culprits of infection.
Symptoms of infected belly button piercing allergy and infection:
- Elevated itchy rashes around the piercing site which spread all over the area surrounding the navel.
- Larger piercing hole and swollen pierced area.
- Stingy pain and redness.
- Abnormal discharge—yellow or greenish sticky pus-like discharge.
- Development of abscess on the piercing hole.
- Fever, dizziness, or nausea.
How to treat
- Warm saline solution
The mixture of salt and warm water is an effective natural disinfectant for infected wound site. Besides, warm water also promotes blood supply which is needed for wound healing, so that the open wound is able to heal faster.
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt into two cups of warm water.
- Dip a cotton ball into the mixture and use it to clean the infected area by dabbing it. Do not scratch and scrub.
- Repeat twice a day.
- Good hygiene
Infection can be caused by bacteria infestation which comes along with poor hygiene. Hence, promoting a good hygiene can help healing the infected area by eliminating this infestation.
- Wash off the navel area gently with antibacterial shower gel.
- Rinse thoroughly and pat dry before wearing your clothes.
- Drain any discharge coming out of the infected wound and apply a thin layer of antibacterial cream afterwards. Avoid using ointment or gel, since it is greasy and thus, may block oxygen from going through the wound site.
- Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil is an anti-inflammatory agent which also has the properties of antifungal and antiseptic. However, do not apply tea tree oil directly to the wound site as it may cause allergy.
- Dilute some drops of tea tree oil into a cup of water.
- Use a cotton ball to apply it onto the wound site.
- Repeat 2 to 3 times a day.
- Loose clothes
Avoid wearing too tight clothes after get a belly button piercing, especially if it gets infected. Instead, choose loose-fitting clothing which is also breathable, so that the infected site will not be aggravated. Be concern also about the pants you are wearing. Choose ones with absorbable garments to minimize irritation and worse infection.