What to Know Before Getting Your Belly Button Pierced

What to know before getting your belly button pierced

Photo: Minhea Stanciu via Wikimedia Commons

For a while, it seemed as if the once-so-popular belly button piercing was disappearing. However, along with a newfound 90s nostalgia (mostly driven by a generation that did not experience the decade itself), this iconic piercing is finding its way back into the mainstream (perhaps not entirely unrelated to Hailey Bieber flaunting hers a year or so ago). 

Some people (we are not naming names) once received theirs at the back of a tattoo and piercing studio on a Greek island between beers (for free, because they knew the owners who happened to be bored as business was slow). Yes, in the 90s. While this makes for a good story, this is not something we recommend. Here is what you need to consider before getting (much more planned) your belly button bejeweled. 

Easy to care for, easy to dress up

Double horizontal navel piercing by Jodie at the Birmingham studio

First, the good news – belly button piercings are relatively painless due to going through flesh, as opposed to cartilage. They are also easy to care for as they are easy to see even without a mirror at navel height. And there is plenty of beautiful jewelry to choose from. Once it is healed, you can play around and match your outfits as much as you like. 

However, as you know, not all belly buttons look alike. This place that was once our connection to life itself differs anatomically between people, and as such, a piercer may say that yours does not qualify for a regular piercing. (Weight, on the other hand, has nothing to do with it). Have a consult with your piercer about what kind of piercing they think would look best for your unique belly button. You could get an upper (what most people envision when they think of a navel piercing), a lower, or a dermal belly button piercing. Some also get a double (both upper and under), but this is pretty unusual. 

Healing and changing jewelry

Implant-grade titanium barbell by Josie from Vivd Ink Birmingham

Once the piercing is done, you want to wait for a long enough time to change your jewelry to make sure it is completely healed before you do. It will most likely take anything from six to eight months to heal fully, but it could be up to a year. During this time, it is a good idea to wear loose-fitting clothing to cause as little irritation to the piercing as possible. If you have any uncertainty around whether or not enough time has passed, check with your piercer, and have them help you if you feel unsure of how to change it safely. 

Whether it’s from a bout of nostalgia or you are experiencing the navel piercing boom for the first time, it is an excellent choice to add some bling to your midsection. The typical jewelry of choice is a curved barbell with a small bead on each end that can come in various degrees of bedazzlement. This should be made from implant-grade stainless steel, titanium, or gold of at least 14 karats. 


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