Getting a belly button piercing can be an overwhelming experience. Nevertheless, it’s certainly fun at the same time as you’re never sure what to expect, and the worse part is about not knowing if it will look good or not.
A belly piercing is something everyone should get if they want to add to their style. Unfortunately, by getting one, you have to remember to invest a lot of time and care to ensure your belly button piercing heals quickly. Once you get a piercing, it becomes prone to infections, which can be frustrating and painful at times..
To avoid this, you should practice effective aftercare, which isn’t that difficult to do, you only have to remain consistent. Belly button piercings take time to heal, and it’s different for everyone.
The moment you stop taking care of it properly, you’re most likely to suffer from an infected piercing, even if it has been over two years since you got the piercing.
It is not uncommon for a belly button piercing to become infect several years ago getting it. This article will guide you on what you can do and how infections take place in the first place.
Why Do They Get Infected Years Later?
One of the most common reasons for a belly button piercing to become infected years later, is the fact that it didn’t heal properly in the first place. The healing process differs for everyone.
For some, it heals within the initial three weeks of the piercing, while for others, it can take around 2 years. Even after your belly piercing has slightly healed, there are still chances of infection if you don’t take care of it properly. This is one of the most sensitive parts of your body, so even the slightest exposure to bacteria means a higher risk of infections.
One of the main reasons a belly button piercing suffers from infection years later, as mentioned earlier, is not taking care of it properly. You have to really clean your piercing with saline solution till it has properly healed. This is especially important when you wear tight fitted clothes. All you need to do is clean it once a day and that’s more than enough to keep your belly piercing safe.
Another reason why it could get infected after all these years is because the piercing may have gotten something caught in it. You may have tugged on your shirt, which may have caused your belly piercing to get caught in the fabric and shift out of place. Sometimes, this could also cause a tear in the piercing which is quite painful when it occurs, but also opens the wound up for an infection.
Another reason you may experience a belly button piercing infection is due to an allergy you may have caught from the jewelry. The metal part in your piercing jewelry might not be sterilized or of high quality, which may have led to an infection.
For this, you must immediately get your piercing changed, but before doing anything, you must contact a professional and follow their advice. Doing something on your own without any proper consultation could make the infection worse, and will make you regret getting the piercing in the first place. You don’t want that, do you?
What Are Symptoms of An Infection?
Usually, when you’re experiencing a belly button piercing infection, you can instantly tell as the side-effects are very prominent. For some it may be hard to detect, as the symptoms aren’t that intense, but it still puts you at the risk of an infection.
If, you see any of the symptoms mentioned below, around your belly button piercing, it’s most likely that your piercing is infected.
When a belly button piercing gets infected, of the first things you usually tend to experience is a weird smelly discharge, also known as pus. Pus can also occur if the belly piercing isn’t infected, but if pus keeps coming out and doesn’t stop, it’s a sign that you may have an infection.
To keep a closer look out for an infection, take note of the color and smell of the puss, as these changes could indicate an infection. Yellowish puss instead of clear is a sign of an infection, especially if you sense a strange smell.
The moment you touch your belly piercing, you will notice the area getting red which is normal, and is somewhat part of the healing process. If the redness appears again after a while and gets worse, this could probably mean you have an infection.
To be sure, touch the redness with clean hands and if you notice the area heating up, you may have a big problem.
If you have a belly button piercing infection, you will surely experience pain that will grow worse day by day. This pain usually occurs due to soreness in the area. If you haven’t engaged in any physical activities that may have caused the pain to arise, it’s likely your piercing that is causing the soreness.
Cyst formation is also a possible sign of a belly button piercing infection. This is when you notice a round fluid-filled cyst on your piercing. Cysts usually drain on their own, but if you notice change in the color of the drainage it’s a possible sign of a cyst infection.
Fever is also a possible sign of an infected belly piercing. The symptoms gets worse within time if you have an infection, and especially if medications aren’t helping the fever to go down.
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How Do You Care For It?
A great thing of an infected belly button piercing is that you can take care of it at home if it hasn’t gotten too out of hand. However; no matter what symptom you spot first, it’s advisable to contact a health professional or your doctor so that they can advise you on what to do next and detect if it’s an emergency situation or not.
The best way to care for an infected belly piercing is by cleaning it daily at least once or twice a day. To clean your belly piercing, you will need a saltwater mixture or saline solution.
You can make the saltwater solution by simply add 1tsp. of salt in 5 ounces of water. With the help of a clean cotton swab, dip it in the solution and rub it around the piercing.
You could also just leave the cotton there for 10 minutes. For a better effect, submerge your piercing in the solution. Doing this twice a day will really help.
Once you’re certain that you have a belly button piercing infection it’s important for you to wash your hand with antibacterial soap so you don’t infect your piercing further in any way. You must also apply an antiseptic cream on the piercing for mild recovery.
Make sure you don’t leave any cream on the piercing for too long as this could attract more bacteria, worsening the infection. A hot compress is also a good way to care for the infected piercing, especially if you have puss coming out form the area.
Using a hot water compress helps increase blood circulation in the piercing area. Tea tree oil may also work to soothe the skin in case of soreness and redness.
If you’re following all these tips, make sure not to make the mistake of removing your piercing jewelry without consulting your piercer first. If the symptoms worsen with time, and none of this helps, you should seek immediate care from your doctor before things worsen and get more complicated for you.
With the help of this article, you can now be sure of what to do when getting a belly piercing, and be careful when it comes to taking care of it. If you’re experiencing an infection, it is best to contact a professional and seek medical help as soon as you can.
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.Can a healed belly piercing gets infected? ›
It can take up to a year or longer for the “wound” from a belly button piercing to fully heal, explains Dr. Hodes. That's a lengthy timeframe that extends your risk of eventually getting some sort of infection.Can a belly button piercing reject after years? ›
Rejection usually happens in the weeks and months following a new piercing, but it can also happen years, even decades, later. If you bump your old piercing in an odd way or have an infection that kicks your immune system into overdrive, you might suddenly see signs of migration and rejection.Why is my old belly piercing hurting? ›
While most belly button piercings heal without issues, bacteria can infect the area before healing is complete. Infections are usually minor. Symptoms can include pain, redness, and swelling, and improving hygiene can help. Complete healing can take 9–12 months.Can a really old piercing get infected? ›
The symptoms of infections in old piercings are the same as in new ones. To treat an infection in an old piercing, people should clean the earring and both sides of the ear with saline solution, and handing it with clean hands.What causes old piercings to get infected? ›
Causes of Infections Later After the Pierced Ear has Healed
Examples are a heavy earring or a rough area on the post. Reason: any break in the skin can become infected. Putting the post in at the wrong angle also can scratch the channel. Use a mirror until putting the earring in becomes routine.
Bacterial infections arise when bacteria from dirt or foreign objects get into the open piercing while it's still healing. Remember, piercings are open wounds that need to be kept clean. Signs of infection include: severe swelling with pain and redness.Why is my fully healed piercing infected? ›
If the earrings are on too tightly, not allowing room for the wound to breathe and heal, an infection can develop. A piercing can also get infected if there's too much handling of the piercing or the post of the earring is rough.Why does my belly button piercing have a bump after years? ›
Keloids are overgrowths of scar tissue that form at the site of skin injury. They're a common side effect of piercings and some people are more prone to keloids than others. They're harmless, but can be annoying and occasionally painful.Will my belly button piercing close if I ve had it for 5 years? ›
Migration or rejection.
Fresh belly piercings tend to close quickly. If you've had one for years, it can close in a few weeks, but for some people it can take longer. Make sure you clean the area regularly until it's fully healed. If you want to keep your piercing for the long term, put jewelry in it all the time.
“That said, emu oil is one of the most foolproof ways for preventing scar tissue. Also, tea-tree oil, properly diluted, works to make a post-healed piercing less visible.” He recommends those oils for scarred belly button piercings, too. that trick also helps it hold longer.What to do if an old piercing gets irritated? ›
Gently pat dry the affected area with clean gauze or a tissue. Then apply a small amount of an over-the-counter antibiotic cream (Neosporin, bacitracin, others), as directed on the product label. Turn the piercing jewelry a few times to prevent it from sticking to the skin.How do you tell if an old piercing is infected? ›
Signs of an infection
Your piercing might be infected if: the area around it is swollen, painful, hot, very red or dark (depending on your skin colour) there's blood or pus coming out of it – pus can be white, green or yellow. you feel hot or shivery or generally unwell.
The most common symptom of a belly button yeast infection is a bright red rash in the skin folds of your navel. The rash is typically extremely itchy. It may burn. You may also see scaling, swelling or a white discharge.Why has my belly button been infected for years? ›
A yeast called Candida causes belly button yeast infections, or candidiasis. Candida yeast grow and thrive in warm, damp environments. Conditions that allow Candida to grow and thrive include: Wearing tight clothing.Why does my old belly button piercing have pus? ›
Bacterial or fungal infections
A common risk factor for bacterial infection is a belly button piercing. An open wound such as a piercing is the ideal way for bacteria to get under the skin and cause an infection. Bacterial infections cause a discharge that has a disturbing smell to it.