How to Heal a Naval Piercing

By Errin Reaume

The belly button or navel is a popular place to get pierced on the body, particularly for women. Piercing the navel is not like piercing an ear. An ear can be pierced using a piercing gun, but the navel must be pierced using surgical clamps and a large hollow needle. The piercer forces the needle through the skin and slides the navel jewelry inside the hollow opening. It is critical to care for a piercing properly to avoid infection.

Use only approved and safe metal in a belly button piercing. These metals include titanium, stainless steel and niobium, and are available at any reputable piercing facility.

Wash hands before touching a navel piercing. Moisten a cotton swab with warm water and gently wash off any crust around the piercing. Do not move the jewelry, as this could cause irritation.

Wash navel piercing with a gentle antibacterial soap or approved piercing cleanser. Dry area completely. with a non-lint cloth.

Promote additional healing with a sea salt soak. Pour a 1/2 tsp. sea salt into a 1/4 cup cooled boiled or distilled water. Pour the water into a clean shot glass and bend over, placing the glass over the navel piercing. Hold the glass there and lie down for 15 minutes.


Don't let anyone touch your new piercing.

Replace piercing jewelry only after the wound has completely healed.


Watch out for pus. Unlike crust, which is formed from clear non-odorous liquid, pus is yellowish with a foul smell and is often indicative of an infection.

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