Belly Button Piercing Healing [Stages, Time & Tips]

Belly button healing stages

How long does it take for a piercing to heal? A critical look at the belly button piercing healing stages, time, process, swimming, normal, pictures.

Stages of Belly Button Piercing Healing

Belly Button Healing Stages

Belly Button Healing Stages

A piercing follows a very normal and also very predictable progression starting from a new wound to a much healed piercing.

During this particular time the flesh tunnel or even the fistula made during the belly button piercing and into which the jewelry material was inserted will then form, heal and also toughen or even mature.

The normal stages of the belly button piercing healing are normally; Inflammation, epithelialization and angiogenesis and then finally the maturation stage.  These stages are not separable but will overlap slightly and can be occurring at the same time.


Inflammation is the normal body’s response to any harmful stimuli like the damaged cells that is brought about by the piercing.  After the initial piercing, chemicals are usually released from the damaged tissue of the body cells that triggers the inflammatory response.

The body normally uses the inflammation so as to protect the piercing and also initiate the healing process of the tissue. The piercing can be swollen, red and also tender.  This is all very good and also normal.

Read more on Infected Belly Button Piercing Treatment.

Epitheliazation and Angiogenesis

Epitheliazation is the next step that occurs in the belly button piercing healing stages. This happens when the body tries to create a new epithelium (or even the new skin) after laying down the new basal cells.  The epithelial cells will then start to increase in size from the edges of the piercing moving inward and eventually they grow together and then mature fully lining the piercing thus forming the fistula.

You can notice a scab like substance grow over the wound during this stage.  Leave the scab intact as it protects the piercing.

Angiogenesis is the process which there is growth of the new blood vessels happens from the pre-existing blood vessels.  These particular new blood vessels are very much fragile and this is the reason as to why new piercings may sometimes begin to bleed after a perfect belly button piercing healing experience has been observed.


The last phase that is in the wound healing stages is the maturation or also indicated as the remodeling of the new skin cells. Normally when this process happens, then the wound will be fully healed, but having a piercing that has jewelry, it might take a longer period of time than a normal wound take so as to toughen up and might even revert to the earlier stage of the belly button piercing healing if it is traumatized.

Some of the piercings might take several months so as to toughen up and be completely healed.  A good indication of a healed belly button piercing is that it is no longer appears red or even tender and no longer has the crust that are forming secretions,  The edges will be very smooth and not as much ragged.

Due to the nature of piercings, which is a hole in the body, then there will be exudate that is present which is made up of the cellular waste as well as the keratin, it normally protects and also lubricates and is malodorous (implying that smells bad).

Since there are several types of the piercings and several degrees of the trauma that is involved, the rate in which a belly button piercing heals normally varies. Appropriate aftercare is very vital for the body to heal itself more naturally.

Make sure that you are well caring for the belly button piercing until the wound is fully healed. Keep the piercing very clean and also protect it from any injury. If you are experiencing a wound that is not healing as required, then consult a piercer first as they can be able to give an advice on the steps that are required so as to speed the healing process.

Belly Button Piercing Healing Time

Each body piercing area has its own normal healing time. Common skin areas normally heal within different time frames. Healing entirely depends on several things.

It may depend on the size of the piercing is and the thickness of the tissue at the area. A person’s ability to heal may also affect the belly button piercing healing time. For the navel, it takes up one year for complete healing.

A piercing may not heal as fast if it gets any kind of infection or if scar tissue in any way forms. You might be required to see the doctor if the piercing does not appear to be healing.

Belly Button Piercing Healing Process

Belly Button Piercing Healing Process

Belly Button Piercing Healing Process

Belly button piercing healing times usually vary widely from one individual to another. There’s several movement in this particular area, as the body usually hinges at the waist, and that might keep the new belly button piercing to be always irritated. Also, the waistbands of the cloths can rub against the piercing throughout the day, thus further irritating an the piercing that’s already sensitive from being pierced.

Belly buttons tend to be a trap for dirt, thus making the dedicated navel piercing aftercare very crucial. If you keep the navel piercing very clean and do what you can so as to reduce the friction by putting on the low-waisted pants and generally loose-fitting type of clothing, then the new belly piercing can be able to heal faster and also better.

It can appear to be completely healed within a period of about 6 weeks, but it can take about 6 months and at times up to one year for the belly button piercings to fully heal.

It is very crucial to allow the pierced skin area to completely heal on its own as puncturing of the skin is much more similar to the wound and it must be given enough time so as to heal. Most of the people avoids to wear the jewelry or they try several kinds of jewelry before the piercing heals fully and this may cause infections as well as allergies. Changing of the jewelry can also interrupt the natural belly button piercing healing process of the pierced skin area. Healing process of the body piercing is usually divided into three different phases.

Inflammatory process
The first few days that follows the piercing is known as the inflammatory process where there is a lot of changing or even playing with the jewelry may lead to bleeding from the affected skin area. Most of the people also have symptoms like the pain, swelling as well as the tenderness that may be found in and around the area.

Proliferative Phase
This process normally happens during the belly button piercing healing period and during the process, the body normally tries to produce enough proteins and the cells for the skin area to heal. During this process, the edges and the pierced skin area get fully healed. Proliferative process normally takes a long time during the healing process.

Maturation Phase
This is normally considered as the last process for the healing where the body in itself tries to produce cells that usually strengthens the lining that is around the belly button piercing.

During this particular process, the pierced site usually discharges a somewhat yellow or even a white discharge that is around the jewelry at first. This happens when the sebaceous glands that are in the body are producing this substance so as to moisturize the already pierced akin area.

But, the healing time for the piercing entirely depends on factors such as the place of the piercing as well as the procedure. Genitalia piercing is normally considered to be the fastest healing piercing which gets healed within a period of 4 weeks.

Belly button piercing takes a longer period of time to heal and it might take around one year for the skin area to completely heal.
The healing time for the nose piercing normally depends fully on the place.

Normal Belly Button Piercing Healing

Normal Navel Piercing Healing

Normal Navel Piercing Healing

Getting a very new piercing is a thrilling experience. But, to ensure that the navel piercing provides a satisfying addition to the appearance of an individual, you have to keep the piercing very much clean and also healthy.

To keep the piercing very healthy, all you should do is incorporate a thorough cleaning routine especially during the belly button piercing healing process, while consciously avoiding some other irritants that might prevent enough recovery.

Taking care of the wound post-piercing should assist to get rid of most of the issues, but you should watch out for any signs of abnormalities.


One week after the piercing, the swelling is supposed to decrease very much significantly. If you observe that the piercing skin area is continuing to grow much larger, contact the physician. Complications that come along with the swelling include the discomfort that is around the navel, tenderness as well as the irritation due to the wound rubbing against the clothing.

If the piercing is pushed out of the hole because of large amounts of the swelling, the person’s body might be rejecting the navel piercing. Contact the physician urgently if any of the above happen.


During the very first week of belly button piercing healing, post-piercing, pain as well as tenderness are very normal. Depending on the individual’s pain threshold, you may be not be able to bend at the waist or even wear very tight clothing.

If the pain doesn’t get any better or even continues to worsen after one week, contact the doctor as it’s very much likely that you may be having an infection at the piercing area. Infections might be very serious, entering the blood stream and leading to several complications.


Warmth at the piercing skin area is usually normal for the first days, but should then subside soon after. Redness is also very normal within the first week, and might be accompanied with very minimal amount of the swelling.

But, if warmth or even the redness persist beyond the first week, then you should contact the physician immediately. This might also indicate an infection that can be very serious.


A telltale indication of an infection is the presence of the pus, which can be a thick, yellow or even brown colored fluid that is seeping from the piercing skin area. Although a small amount of crusting at the pierced area is normal, discharge is not supposed to be looked at immediately.

Also, if the skin is much discolored, you require to contact the physician urgently. Black skin that is around the piercing skin area shows that the tissue is dying out.


While the keloids are normally very harmless, they are unsightly and might lead to the irritation around the piercing area. Navel keloids happen at the belly button piercing area after the skin has completely healed. The bumps are flesh-colored, but might appear red or even pink. It might also be smooth or lumpy and might lead to itching as it grows in size.

Surgical treatment is normally unnecessary, as keloids might become smaller in size with time. Corticosteroid injections can assist to reduce the size of a keloid. In very extreme cases, laser treatments, cryotherapy (which is the freezing) or even the surgical procedures might be important to get rid of the growth.

Keloids might lead to discomfort, or irritation brought about by friction, like the navel piercing that is rubbing against the clothing.


If you are pregnant and having a bellybutton ring, then you might be much concerned about what effect the stretching of the tummy will have on the piercing. However, body jewelry manufacturers created pregnancy navel rings.

These particular rings are banana-shaped and are much larger in size than a standard navel ring. The ring is large enough so as to accommodate the growing stomach. But, most of the women might find that even the pregnancy ring is small in size for their ever-growing stomachs.

If this is the particular case, a pregnant woman is required to contact the piercing salon so as to discuss tygon, which is a metal that may be cut and then sized so as to create a custom piercing for the growing belly.

Read more on Belly Button Bleeding.

Caring For Your New Navel Piercing

Navel Piercing Healing Picture

Navel Piercing Healing Picture

Get the navel professionally pierced.

Do research so as to find a reputable shop that has a trained, professional piercers. You may ask friends about the places that they got the piercing done, or if they would recommend a place. You don’t need want to skimp on the quality of the establishment or piercer you visit.

The more professional the business and certified its employees, the less likely you’ll have infections with the piercing. An experienced piercer might offer expert advice on the sizing, jewelry, as well as answering other questions that you might have while getting the piercing being done.

    • Visiting a safe and a very reputable piercing shop can imply that the piercers have to use quality jewelry for the piercings. Quality piercing jewelry includes the ones that are made from implant grade stainless steel, solid white or even the yellow gold, and niobium.
    • A professional piercer can also make use of a hollow needle so as to create the piercing rather than use of a needle gun. If the piercing shop would want to make use of a needle gun so as to create the piercing, then you should look somewhere elsewhere. Needle guns are able to damage the skin much significantly, and are also likely to lead to infections.

Handle the piercing using clean hands. To enhance fast belly button piercing healing, always wash your hands thoroughly using antibacterial soap and water before touching the piercing with the fingers. Dirt and also the oils from fingers can transfer to the piercing, and potentially lead to an infection.

    • Try to make sure that you use the nails so as to scrape out and get rid of any dirt from underneath the nails. Dirt from underneath the nails might also transfer infect the piercing as it is touched.

Wash the piercing daily. Use a Q-Tip that is dipped in warm water so as to wipe and get rid of any built up crust that is from around the piercing skin area. Do this process very gently, avoiding to move the jewelry around very much.

Then, wash the piercing using antibacterial soap. Just add a small amount of soap to the fingertips, and then massage the soap onto the piercing for about a period of 20 seconds. Use the shower water so as to thoroughly rinse off the residue of the soap. Exit the shower and then dry the piercing by use of a dry paper towel rather than use of a bath towel.

    • The piercing should be washed using soap twice a day. But, you can make use a Q-Tip that is dipped in the water or even salt water so as to get rid of the crust also. Just try not to clean it using a Q-Tip more than 2 times a day. You would also want to avoid over cleaning the navel piercing.
    • You should always shower rather than taking a bath. With a shower, you have a steady stream of clean water, whereas a bath contains standing water mixed with sweat, dirt, and residue from your bathing products.
    • It’s recommended to dry the piercing by use of paper towels, as they are clean and are also disposable. Bath towels, can harbor moisture and also the bacteria.
    • Avoid twisting or even turning the piercing so much as it is cleaned in the shower. Any excessive movement may lead to irritation and also bleeding.

Rinse the piercing using saltwater. Mix about ¼ teaspoon of sea salt into boiled water. Wait for the warm water to cool down. Pour the salt water mixture into the small glass, lean over (so that the stomach is perpendicular to the top rim of the glass), then securely put the glass on the stomach, and hold it very tight in place as you lay down on the back.

Allow the vacuumed glass of salt water to soak on the piercing for a period of about 15 minutes at least once a day. The saltwater is very effective in fighting off the bacteria, and might also assist in getting rid of the crust from the piercing area. You may also make a warm compress using salt water, or use a sterile sea-salt spray obtained from the local drug store.

Take a lot of vitamins. Some of the piercing professionals have found out that that taking vitamins like Vitamin C, Zinc, or even multivitamins are vital in stimulating the belly button piercing healing. Getting vitamin D exposure from the sun can also greatly assist promote healing of the navel piercing.

Avoiding Irritation to the Piercing

Keep off from touching the piercing.  It’s appropriate to touch the piercing using clean hands being washed, but avoid playing with, pulling, or even fondling the piercing unnecessarily. Any excessive amount of touching (especially by use of unwashed hands) may make the piercing to be much more susceptible to opening up and also bleeding, or even becoming much infected.

Leave the jewelry in place. The initially piercing jewelry is supposed to stay in place for the period that the belly button piercing healing is supposed to take (usually 6-12 months).

Getting rid of the jewelry before the piercing is completely healed can lead to the piercing area to close up, which may in turn make reinserting jewelry to be difficult and also very painful. This added irritation might potentially lead to more scarring and then slow down the body’s natural healing process.

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