3 Jul 2012

Yet another recent message from a woman who got a navel piercing and she didn't think it was done properly:

Navel piercing with ring
Hi! I got my belly button peirced at a body peircing shop called "the purple scorpian" in Salem, MA. The lady there wasn't friendly but not rude either. She was straight to buissness & didn't ask or say anything. I saw her take out all the necessary tools out & they all looked new she cleaned me & the tools & she wore gloves. She did use a captive bead hoop & I asked if that was ok because I heard not to get those & she assured me they we're better because I'll be sweating & its the summer I confessed I was a little nervouse & I just don't want anything to go wrong but she told me after 8 weeks I can change to a barbell but she needs to start me off with this one. I just want to make sure I have nothing to worry about & I'll be ok to change to a barbell in 8 weeks.Also I did purchase the sea salt spray but is there anything else I must do. To keep it safe & for it to heal fast? All she told me was to read the instructions. I want to be as safe as possible so I can keep it healthy.I have looked things up online but I rather know from an expert. If you can please help me be educated I would appreciate it soooo much!!!!!!

My reply:

It is NOT standard to use a ring, and normally initial jewelry should stay in for 6 months! But if the jewelry you're wearing is hindering healing, that would be a reason to change it sooner. You should follow the care as outlined here: http://piercingbible.com/piercing-care
There's also information about saline soaks here: http://piercingbible.com/saline-soaks

The best thing I can suggest to help you make good decisions about piercing is to become a more well-educated consumer. If you found my website informative, I think you'll be amazed by all of the valuable facts and practical advice in my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing.  It contains loads of information about evaluating piercers and studios, piercing placements, appropriate body jewelry sizes, styles, and materials, aftercare, troubleshooting, and much, much more. My website contains just barely a taste of the information in my book!

Here's a brief excerpt:
Navel Piercing: Bar or

The piercing placement and initial jewelry style are more closely interrelated for navel piercings than for many others. Depending on your build, the shape of jewelry that is first inserted—whether ring or bar—could be the one you must always wear. Ring- style jewelry gained early favor as the navel ornament of choice simply because it was the design most readily available. The belly piercing craze preceded the availability of curved bars—and even the mass production of body jewelry. Nowadays, curved bars are the preferred initial jewelry style for most navels. If your abdomen is relatively flat or your navel is not deep, bar-style jewelry is best.

If your navel is deep and has a distinct lip, a ring may be used for a vertical piercing. On navels with this shape, a diameter of 7/16 or 1/2 inch is most common. A 3/8-inch ring should be used only if you have a petite, but perfectly defined, lobe-shaped navel. When a ring is used as initial jewelry for a vertical navel piercing, the bottom must be pierced well away from the edge to keep the ring from protruding too much. But, if you change to a bar later, the bottom ball will be hidden inside your navel. This may be uncomfort- able and not aesthetically pleasing.

If you are among the minority of people who have a flap only on the bottom of your navel, you must consult a piercer to see if you are a candidate for a piercing there. A bar is the preferred jewelry for lower-navel placement.

Bar-style jewelry must be long enough to accommodate the expansion of tissue when you recline. Generally an extra post length of 1/16 to 1/8 inch (added to the size needed when you’re standing) is ample.

As I mentioned, normally the starting jewelry should be left in until you are through initial healing. But that is ONLY if the jewelry is appropriate. If your jewelry is causing excess trauma and makes it impossible for you to work, then it should be changed out. I suggest you visit a professional to have your ring changed out for a quality internally threaded curved bar. My piercer referrals are located here.


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