Infected Navel Piercing - Help

Nowadays, navel piercing is more and more popular. This type of piercing is like a decoration, a way of self-expression, a trend... After you get the piercing, there are certain things that you should do to properly care for it. After receiving a navel piercing, you must clean the jewelry, the piercing and the skin surrounding the piercing on a daily basis. The care for your belly button piercing does not end after the six month to one year healing period, the piercing and jewelry needs to be cleaned for a lifetime to avoid irritation or infection.

Signs of an Infected Piercing

The signs of an infected belly button piercing generally do not go unnoticed. Infections are caused due to growth of bacteria and fungi in the area around the infection. If inappropriate methods are used for piercing, or if the hands of the piercer were unclean and unhygienic, or if any kind of pollutant comes in contact with the wound, such as polluted water, it can lead to severe infections around the pierced area.

The symptoms of the same are as follows:
The first sign of an infection is pain. The pain can be accompanied by swelling.
Redness around the piercing is also a symptom of an infection. You must pay heed to this sign as it's one of the primary indicators of the start of a very painful infection, which you would have preferred to do without.

The wound in its initial stage releases a fluid commonly called pus, this stage is called cellulites. The discharge often is watery. In the advanced stages of infection the piercing wound begins to bleed along with a yellowish-green discharge. This is a sign of sepsis-septicemia. When there is pus formation, odor from the piercing is observed. In some cases, the odor can also be due to bacterial infection.

If you do not tend to the infection in time, there is a possibility of the formation of an abscess, etc. The symptoms seen in this condition include swelling around the piercing, darkening of the skin, hardening of the tissue, pain, etc. An abscess if not treated in time, can also prove to be fatal. Oral antibiotics are prescribed to get rid of the condition.

In some cases the infection can spread to the entire abdomen, at times also leading to abdomen infection and food poisoning.

Pierced areas, especially sensitive areas like the navel, can get infected months and even years after they were pierced, though infections most often occur very shortly after the time of piercing, as that is when the portal door is wide open. Local skin reactions may also be caused by an allergy to the jewelry material. Jewelry often contains brass plating, which can cause allergic reactions or infection. It is recommended that you use only surgical-grade stainless steel or solid 14-karat yellow gold, niobium or titanium.

Navel piercing are among the most difficult to heal, and complete healing can take as long as two years. Things like stress, poor diet, illness, or poor quality jewelry can prolong the healing time. Multivitamins (including vitamin C and zinc), clean clothes and bedding, good nutrition and exercise can facilitate healing and reduce your risk for infection.

If you accidentally damage a healed pierce, you can substantially set back the healing process, and become much more vulnerable to infection. Navel pierces are easily damaged by being caught on the waistbands or belts of clothing.

To aid healing and combat infection, it is very important to keep the pierce clean. The pierce should be washed twice a day, but no more than that unless dirt or sweat has gotten into it. Too much cleansing may undermine the body's natural ability to ward off infection. Remember to always wash your hands before touching the pierce.

Apply a salt solution (1/2 tsp. sea salt to one cup water) to the pierce for 3-4 minutes in order to soak off dried material that could cause internal damage. Clean the pierce with soap containing antibacterial agents. Apply the soap directly to the jewelry and rotate it through the pierce for one minute. Rinse thoroughly, making sure that there is no soap residue left in the pierce. Pat dry and apply moisturizer to the skin around the pierce.

Avoid soaps or moisturizers that are strongly scented or contain animal fats. Also avoid disinfectants such as hydrogen peroxide or alcohol. To treat infection, apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment to the pierce. Remove all excess ointment to make sure that the pierce is well-ventilated. Application of warm compresses may also soothe the irritated pierce. Severe infections may require oral antibiotics, which must be prescribed by your doctor.

If you do develop an infection, it is usually characterized by swelling, redness, a yellow-green pus-like discharge, and a sensitivity to touch. An allergic reaction is differentiated by a burning sensation, gaping skin around the pierce (as though it is trying to pull away from the metal), and a clear yellow, rather than yellow-green discharge. In the case of an allergy, the jewelry material should be promptly changed.

In the case of infection, it may be best to leave the jewelry in to ensure proper drainage and to prevent the formation of an abscess. It is essential that you see a clinician right away, especially if you are additionally experiencing fevers or abdominal pain.

Body Modification
Piercing Jewelry Safety
Piercing Pain & Rejection
Body Piercing-Healing Phase