Belly button piercings, also called navel piercings, are one of the most common and popular piercings of all. And for good reason — they’re fun, sexy, and can accommodate a variety of jewelry styles. If you’re considering getting your belly button pierced but still have some questions about the process, recovery and aftercare, or belly button jewelry, you’re in the right place. Here we’ll answer some of the most common questions about navel piercings so you can be fully informed before you commit.
Where does a belly button piercing go?
The most common belly button piercing placement is through the 1/2”–1” lip of skin directly above the belly button and into the navel cavity itself. With this placement, the top ball of your belly button ring will sit 1/2”–1” above your belly button and the bottom ball will sit inside the navel cavity. It is possible to perform this piercing from any angle around the navel, but the bottom ball of the belly button ring should always sit inside the navel cavity.
Can anyone get their belly button pierced? Even “outies”?
In order for a navel piercing to be placed and healed successfully, the lip of skin around the navel must be large enough to grasp with piercing forceps and to comfortably accommodate 14g to 12g jewelry. If the lip of skin is too small, the piercing may be too shallow or require smaller-gauge jewelry, which both seriously increase the risk of rejection and infection.
If you have an “outie” belly button, you can still get a navel piercing as long as you have a large enough navel lip to accommodate it. However, your piercer may need to alter the placement slightly to avoid the outie skin plug. If you do not have a large enough navel lip, it is unlikely that your piercer will pierce the outie skin plug itself, as it is much more painful and easily infected when pierced than the skin around the navel. The only way to know for sure whether your belly button can be pierced is to find a trusted and reputable piercer and set up a consultation.
How bad do navel piercings hurt?
How much it will hurt depends on your particular pain tolerance. You should expect some sharp pain and pressure as the piercing needle actually passes through your skin, but like other soft tissue piercings, navel piercings are generally on the lower end of the piercing pain spectrum.
Can I wear a belly button ring if I’m pregnant?
In short, yes! However, as your skin stretches during pregnancy, you may need to swap out the standard barbell for longer barbells or buy a pregnancy belly ring. Pregnancy navel jewelry is made of flexible material that you can cut to a specific length, ensuring a comfortable fit during any stage of pregnancy. For more detailed information about wearing navel jewelry while pregnant, check out our article Pregnant and Pierced.
Where can I get my belly button pierced?
As with any body piercing, make sure you find a reputable and trusted piercer. Online tools like Google and Yelp make it easier than ever, though you can also ask friends for recommendations. Once you find a piercer you like, set up a consultation to discuss what you’re looking for. For more information on selecting a piercer, check out our tips from the Association of Professional Piercers and our article on Choosing a Piercer.
How much does a navel piercing cost?
Although total costs will vary depending on where you are and the style of jewelry you select, you should expect to pay about $50 for the piercing itself. In a bigger city, it may be more expensive, while in rural areas it may be less.
How long does it take a navel piercing to heal?
Because of its location, the average healing time for a belly button piercing is longer than many other piercings. It can take around six months, though this varies from person to person. The waist and torso are constantly bending and moving, making it more difficult for navel piercings to heal. Additionally, navel piercings are much more likely to be irritated by frequent contact with clothing.
In order to keep the healing time as short as possible, make sure you do the following:
- Try to wear low-waisted and loose clothes that do not sit tightly against the piercing.
- Keep your belly button clean and clear of dirt, lint, and debris.
- Take care of yourself. Get a full night’s sleep and eat well. A healthy, rested body will heal faster.
- Practice good piercing aftercare.
What is the navel piercing aftercare regimen?
The basic aftercare steps for a navel piercing are the same as for any other piercing, but because of its location and the tendency of belly buttons to trap lint and debris, thorough and regular aftercare is especially important for the duration of the healing process.
The Navel Piercing Aftercare Routine
Always wash your hands before you clean your piercing.
Soak with sea salt solution twice per day.
Dry the piercing completely.
Rinse with aftercare spray between soaks.
Keep it consistent.
For an in-depth explanation of these aftercare steps, read our full Belly Button Piercing and Healing article. Additionally, be sure to avoid the following throughout the healing process:
- Unnecessarily handling your piercing or jewelry
- Moving your jewelry to break up dried lymph fluids, or “crusties.” Instead, use SSS or aftercare spray to soften the crusties and gently wipe them away with a clean cotton ball or facial tissue
- Applying balms, creams, cosmetics, or ointments to your piercing while it is healing
- Completely submerging your new piercing in water
See your piercer immediately if swelling presses your skin uncomfortably against your jewelry, or if you develop a rash or other signs of an allergic reaction. In these instances, you may need jewelry of a different size or material.
If the skin around your piercing becomes hot to the touch, streaked with redness, discharges thick, yellowish pus, or if you develop a fever, see your doctor. These are all symptoms of infection, which you may need antibiotics to address. If you do get an infection, you don’t necessarily have to give up on your belly button piercing — just follow your doctor’s instructions and keep up with your aftercare routine.
What kinds of jewelry are there for navel piercings?
Navel piercings can accommodate a wide variety of belly button rings and other jewelry. When your belly button is initially pierced, your piercer will fit it with a 14g internally threaded bent barbell, which is the most common and comfortable type of belly button ring. These come in hundreds of styles and provide the opportunity for customization by pairing different internally threaded bars and ends. For the first 3–6 months, you should keep this starter jewelry in place.
Once your belly button piercing is fully healed, however, your options expand significantly. If you prefer to stick with a bent barbell, you can find hundreds of jeweled belly button rings for a more flashy look, or find a dangly style for some eye-catching movement. You can also turn your look on its head with a reverse belly button ring, in which the decorative part of the jewelry sits on the outside of the belly button instead of inside the navel cavity. A healed navel piercing can also accommodate captive bead rings, seamless and segment rings, clickers, or circular barbells.
As far as materials go, titanium and surgical steel are the most inert and least likely to cause allergic reactions, though BioPlast is the best material if you know you have highly sensitive skin. If you’re looking for a more refined style, gold is also a popular material for navel jewelry.
Whatever your aesthetic, our online store is sure to offer belly button rings to suit your style.