With piercing on any body parts, there is always a chance of infection. Belly button infection is one of the most common infection occurring after piercing. There are some factors that may contribute to this piercing infection, such as the location and characteristic of the belly button itself and improper piercing practices. Belly button is a deep, damp, and dark. It is also a location wherein sweat is often accumulated. These characteristics are some grounds for yeast and bacteria, which are often the culprits triggering belly button infection. Careless belly button piercing may also result in infection problem, especially if the instruments used are not sterilized. The effects occurred with belly button piercing infection can be various, but in most cases, itching, swelling, and drainage are the common signs of this infection.
Basic practices in treating belly button piercing infection
When treating an infected belly button piercing, you need to consider some things, such as:
- Avoid harsh antiseptic solution, such as hydrogen peroxide, considering delicate skin around the belly button and the wound caused by the infection.
- Take off any studs or earrings before performing any treatments for the infection.
- Avoid wearing tight clothing around the belly button piercing area. This may aggravate the infection as prolonged rubs between the clothing and infection site may result in the occurrence of drainage.
- Keep your belly button area clean. Accumulated debris, sweat, and bacteria may lead to worse infection.
Treatments for belly button piercing infection
Similar to piercing infection that may occur all over the body parts, an infected belly button piercing should be treated immediately. To treat an infected belly button after a piercing, some things can be taken:
Use saline solution to kill infesting yeast and bacteria
Saline solution is an effective substitution for harsh chemicals, such as peroxide and alcohol that may dry the skin out and damage its tissues. You can either buy or make the solution at home by mixing a teaspoon of salt and a glass of warm water. Afterwards, soak a cotton ball into the solution and submerge the infected belly button area with the solution, after taking off the jewelries.
Apply cold compress to reduce swelling
An infected piercing will likely to cause tissues inflammation. To reduce redness and swelling that also cause pain, put a cold compress over the infection site. Cold compress will constrict blood vessels and thus, reduce the inflammation size. Apply the compress over an infected belly button for 15 minutes and repeat the treatment several times a day.
Stop discharge and inhibit infection from spreading using vinegar
Vinegar has an acidic nature, which is effective for fighting infection and thus, prevent it from spreading. You can apply either white or apple cider vinegar using a Q-tip onto your infected belly button after a piercing. Leave vinegar on the infection site for 10 minutes before rinsing it with warm water.
Avoid activities that soak your belly button in the water
Water is sometimes a harbor of bacteria that may aggravate an infected belly button piercing. Hence, avoid any activities soaking your body in the water, such as swimming and bathing. Chlorine contained in a swimming pool, to be specific, is not recommended for an infected belly button, as it may cause worse irritation and may lead to more amount of discharge.
Increase blood flow to infected pierced using warm compresses
Sufficient blood flow is essential in promoting faster healing to any infected sites, including an infected piercing on belly button. Apply a clean towel soaked in warm water onto the infected piercing for 5 minutes to ensure proper drainage and fasten healing process.
Avoid using greasy cream and ointment that may clog the piercing
Although antibiotic ointment might seem good for improving an infected piercing, it may instead clog the piercing, causing delayed healing. When the infected piercing is clogged, it is possible for the infection to spread to nearby area, making it worse and slow to heal.
Do not take of piercing ring if the infection site is badly swollen.
Taking off piercing ring from an inflamed belly button area will aggravate the inflamed tissues, making the inflammation worse. Therefore, let the piercing ring, stud, or earring stay there while you are taking care of the infection and drainage.