Guide to Belly Button Piercings

Woman's Belly Button Peircing
Pascal Genest/Vetta/Getty Images

Belly button piercings can be downright sexy, but can also be problematic. If you're thinking about getting your belly button pierced, there are several things you need to consider first:

Your lifestyle/activities

People who are extremely active in sports will build up more sweat in their navels, which has to be cleaned out immediately afterward. A lot of bending, twisting, and movement in the navel area could make healing more difficult.

Your clothing

If you wear clothing with any kind of band that cuts across your midsection, there's a good chance it's going to rub against your navel area and cause a lot of irritation.

Your size

Overweight people can get this piercing if they want, but it's not recommended if your navel becomes covered over by skin and fat when you sit. That can suffocate the piercing and build up more sweat, which makes healing more difficult and is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Your personal hygiene

If spending 15 minutes twice a day cleaning out your navel and another 10 minutes a day doing a sea salt soak sounds like too much trouble, then don't get it pierced. All piercing aftercare is important, but the navel is especially important because a small infection can get very bad very quickly. You have to be diligent, every day for at least 3 or 4 months, sometimes longer.

Navel piercings are tricky to heal, even if you do everything right, and they're highly prone to migration and rejection.

Just the nature of the belly button to harbor bacteria and provide it with a moist, dark environment sets a stage for problems from the start. Being careful not to bend and stretch that area when it is your body's primary source of movement is easier said than done.

Recommended starter jewelry is a curved barbell (banana bell) no less than 14 gauge.

Anything smaller will encourage migration even more. Both innies and outies can be pierced, but require special skill by an experienced piercer.