5 Things You Need to Know about Navel Piercings January 10, 2023 – Posted in: Piercing Advice, Piercing Types

The styles of the ‘90s and 2000s are back, and this includes navel piercings. Located in the skin around the belly button (usually above, but they can be placed below), navel piercings are cute, sensual, and a bit flirty.

In spite of their prevalence, navel piercings aren’t for everyone. Many people’s anatomy isn’t suitable, even if they have a flat belly, and the location of the navel piercing is ripe for trauma to the piercing site through snagging or pressure from waistbands.

Its healing time is also an important consideration. While you may get the urge to get your navel pierced when the warm weather starts to hit, the healing period may put a damper on your summer vacation plans; you’ll have to keep it dry throughout the healing period, so if you love water sports, this could be a problem.

Before you go through with the piercing, here are 5 things you need to know about the navel piercing.

1. Be prepared for a 9-month healing process 

Navel piercings take a minimum of 6 – 9 months to fully heal. The actual healing time will depend upon your body’s ability to heal, your adherence to aftercare practices, and whether or not your piercing experiences trauma (like snags or chemical irritation).

Although many get the urge to get their navel pierced during the spring when warmer weather allows for swimsuits and crop tops, this probably isn’t the best time to get pierced. During the healing period, you’ll need to avoid standing water, like lakes, oceans, and pools, and you should stay away from sand or other places that might introduce debris to your piercing. This could seriously affect your summer plans.

Instead, opt to get your navel pierced in the fall. This should give you plenty of time to allow your navel piercing to heal before the warmer weather hits. Keep in mind, however, that you cannot place pressure on the piercing, so be careful with your winter clothes, and make sure that your wardrobe is filled with items that won’t cause damage to the piercing.

2. You need to find an experienced piercer for placement

Perhaps surprisingly, the navel piercing is particularly difficult to place. This is due to a number of factors, including the fact that navel anatomy differs greatly from person to person and less experienced piercers often fail to consider your movement, how your belly folds when you sit down, and the proper depth of the piercing. 

woman with navel piercing

Photo by Chris Carzoli on Unsplash

When choosing a piercer, check their portfolio (you can either ask for it or take a look at their social media pages) and pay special attention to the navel piercings they have completed. It’s best when they have had success with a wide variety of body shapes and piercing styles so that you can feel confident that they’ll properly place your piercing.

Improperly placed piercings can often see piercing rejection or migration. It’s unfortunate when you have to remove a piercing and let it heal, and it can often lead to scarring. Make sure that you properly research your piercer and invest in a high-quality piercing experience.

3. Your size doesn’t matter as much as your shape

It’s a common misconception that those who are more slender are more suitable for navel piercings than those who are curvy. In fact, the shape of your navel area is more important than your size. For example, those whose navel areas curve inward when they sit are likely unsuitable for a standard placement of a navel piercing no matter the size of their belly.

Those who have an outie belly button shouldn’t get their navel pierced. Unfortunately, this belly button shape is unsuitable for the navel piercing. Furthermore, if you have scar tissue around the navel, either from surgery or otherwise, you may not be able to get your navel pierced. Your piercer may be able to work around it, but scar tissue, including that under the skin, is typically not suitable for piercing.

When you go to get your navel pierced, go to the studio with an open mind. It may not be safe to pierce you in the location that you wanted, but an experienced piercer will be able to take a close look at your anatomy to let you know which location is suitable.

4. Rapid weight gain or loss needs to be a consideration

Although a change in weight shouldn’t make a difference in a healed navel piercing, it can cause issues for a healing one. Navel piercings are especially prone to migration and rejection. Rapid weight gain or loss can be a factor.

woman with navel piercing

Photo by Mike Von on Unsplash

When you lose or gain weight, the skin around where the piercing is will move, and movement is a contributing factor to piercing rejection. Furthermore, your piercing’s placement will depend on how your stomach sits when you move around, and if you lose or gain a lot of weight, this will change. If you plan on losing weight or if you plan on getting pregnant, then you should wait to get your navel pierced until your weight is more stable.

Slow or minimal weight gain or loss won’t be a problem, however, and once your piercing has healed, this is something that you likely won’t have to worry about. Furthermore, if you become pregnant after your piercing has fully healed, don’t worry; pregnancy rarely has an effect on healed navel piercings, and often jewelry can be reinserted by a piercer using an insertion taper a short time after your baby has been born.

5. Active people may have a more difficult time healing a navel piercing

A major key to healing any piercing is keeping the piercing as still as possible. Because the navel piercing appears on the torso, it’s more difficult to keep this area still. If you’re not super active, this won’t be too much of an issue. However, active people may have a more difficult time, especially if their activities require a lot of twisting in the torso area.

This doesn’t mean that active people cannot get their navel pierced. They will just need to be more careful as the navel piercing heals. Avoid activities like situps, use an eyepatch or other protective wear to cover the piercing when participating in these activities, and minimize movement as much as possible. If this is not possible, then you should opt for a piercing in an area that sees little movement.

In spite of the navel piercing’s popularity, it comes with its challenges. To ensure the success of your navel piercing, make sure that you choose a piercer who has plenty of experience with navel piercings, prepare yourself for a significant healing period, and consider your lifestyle choices and possible changes in the future. If you’re able to do these things (and keep your piercing clean with a sterile packaged piercing aftercare saline solution), then there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy your new navel piercing for years to come.

« On Metal Hypersensitivity: What It Is, How It Forms, and What It Means for Your Piercing
Cartilage Piercing Trends: 7 Cartilage Piercing and Jewelry Ideas We Love »