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Navel piercing: Belly button piercing

Navel piercing: Belly button piercing

 - Navel piercing: Belly button piercing
Nice navel piercing; Lindsay Lohan © Rex Features
Having a bejeweled belly button looks great if you have the kind of stomach that stays flat even when you're slouched over watching Gossip Girl re-runs, but before having a navel piercing here's the lowdown on navel piercing no-no's...

From needle nightmares to infections from hell, to unfortunate sex-accidents, a navel piercing can be subject to yanking, soreness and pain, when all you really wanted was to brighten up your belly button.

We've heard many a navel piercing horror story, so to give you a balanced view of navel piercing here's our guide to belly button piercing the right way...

Will a navel piercing suit me?

When deciding whether to have a navel piercing you need to think beyond whether your stomach is your best attribute or not.

You should also consider if having a navel piercing will suit your lifestyle. How sporty are you? Will your penchant for lingerie and corsets bother your belly button? Are you hoping to have children any time soon?

Thinking about these factors should help you to make a decision. If you're going to get pierced you'll want to enjoy it, not be constantly worried about someone knocking it at step aerobics.

Where to go?

If you're set on having a touch of sparkle in your navel then go with a professional body piercer. Usually quality piercers can be found at reputable tattoo parlors and beauty salons but for a comprehensive list of trustworthy practitioners head to the British Body Piercing Association where all members adhere to a code of ethics and practices.

Word of mouth is a great way to find a body piercer to your taste - if one of your friends can vouch for them, then that's always a good sign.

As a checklist your body piercer should:
  • Use sterile equipment
  • Use a brand new needle for every customer
  • Use a new pair of disposable latex gloves for each customer
  • Have sound knowledge of the anatomy and nerves
  • Provide after care information

What does the procedure involve?

First the area is cleaned with a 70% alcohol solution and is left to dry. Your piercer will determine the best location for the piercing and will use a clamp on your belly button to pull the tissue forward, making it easier to pierce.

A sterile, hollow needle is used to pierce your belly button then a curved bar with screw on balls at either end will be inserted.

Once pierced take care not to wear any belts close to the area (that means no waist cinchers) and expose your navel piercing to the air to help with the healing process.

How long will it take to heal?

The NHS advise that a navel piercing can take up to one year to fully heal, unlike an ear piercing which only takes six weeks. If you're going to get your belly button pierced it is a commitment and you will need to care for the area daily for many months to come, to ensure it remains infection free.

How to care for your navel piercing

The aim of a belly button piercing is to look sexy and having a strict aftercare regime in place can help keep bubbles, blisters and pustules at bay.

That means washing your hands before touching the area to avoid introducing germs and keeping the piercing clean.

Your body piercer should provide you with aftercare instructions and cleansing products specifically formulated to disinfect new piercings.

Always listen to the advice from your piercer and if you have any issues with your navel piercing always see a GP.

More information:

Check out these celebrity piercings


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