Infected Navel Piercing: Symptoms, Swollen, How to Heal

Do you have an infected navel piercing? Get insights on some of the symptoms to expect and the various treatments of healing infected bellybutton. You will also learn how it look like from the various pictures and photos.

Infected Navel Piercing Signs

Navel piercing is also known as bellybutton piercing. It is a common body art that is done by many women as a show of beauty especially those with toned belly. However, it requires good piercing techniques and hygiene to prevent it from becoming infected. Pierced bellybutton may get infected before or after healing. Therefore you need to take good care of it throughout. You are able to notice an infection by observing the following symptoms:

  • The pierced part and the areas around persistently becomes red, tender and inflamed. Redness and tenderness is normal for the first 1-2 weeks of piercing, when this symptoms persists for more than this, then it can be a clear indication of an infection.
  • Prolonged swelling of the affected area. Your bellybutton may become swollen in the first one week of piercing but when it prolongs for more than two weeks then it should worry you.
  • Yellow or green discharge from the pierced area. Small amount of yellow discharge is normal in the first week after piercing. However extreme yellow or green and smelly discharge is a major sign of infected navel piercing.
  • Persistent bleeding from the affected area. Bleeding is normal immediately after piercing, it is supposed to stop after a short time. When blood comes out of the piercing several days after piercing then you should consider visiting your doctor for infection treatment.
  • Constant sensitivity and soreness that may cause irritation from the touch of clothing.
  • Excessive crusting on the wound is also an indication of infection. Crusting may occur but it is not supposed to be excessive.
  • Delayed healing process. You are supposed to stop feeling any un-comfort within a month from the session.
  • Irritation and inflammations of the piercing.
  • A blister may develop on your pierced bellybutton after several weeks from the session.
  • You may experience fever, chills and nausea after several weeks from the session.
  • Warmth at the piercing site.
  • The pierced hole can become enlarged

Bellybutton infection is common especially when you do not follow the aftercare instructions well. An infection is either caused by a bacteria or yeast.  The above symptoms will help you how to know if navel piercing is infected. Visit your doctor right away for treatment when you observe such symptoms.

Why is my Belly Button Piercing Infected?

Bellybutton piercing is a way of adding attraction to your body but such breaks in your skin may also become a source of infection. The pierced site may be invaded by a bacteria or a fungi that can cause an infection especially when good hygiene is not taken or when wrong piercing techniques is used. However, there are several factors that may contribute to an infection as described below:

  1. Poor self-hygiene

Poor self-hygiene plays a big role in causing bellybutton infection. It gives the bacteria a good chance to enter the pierced site to cause an infection. Bathing daily using anti-bacterial soap may help to reduce the chances of infection. However, you need to perform an extra cleaning on the pierced site to remove the soap deposits and other dirty that may cause an infection.

  1. Poor piercing techniques

Bellybutton piercing has become popular all over the world. Some people especially women may perform the session by themselves. Some may not have the required skills and equipment’s that are necessary in performing the session. Wrong piercing procedure may lead to infection and excessive navel piercing pain.

  1. Regular touching with contaminated hands

Regular touching of bellybutton with contaminated hands increases the chances of infection. Dirty hands may contain bacteria and fungi, the hands may transfer such micro-organisms to the pierced site and hence leading to an infected navel piercing. You are supposed to avoid regular touching, wash your hands thoroughly using antibacterial soap before touching the pierced site during cleaning.

  1. Certain piercing jewelry

Cheaper piercing jewelry made of silver plated metal or gilded can easily result to breaks and irritations in the pierced site. This may delay the healing process and also, it gives the bacteria a chance to enter into your body through the tiny breaks. Consider buying piercing jewelry made high quality material such as steel, titanium, silver or gold.

  1. Swimming in public and open water pools

Public swimming pools and showers may contain fungi and other types of micro-organism that may cause an infection. Swimming in such pools before healing of your bellybutton piercing may cause an infection

  1. Improper piercing equipment

There are certain piercing equipment’s that are difficult to disinfect such as the piercing gun. You are supposed to ensure that the piercing equipment are well sterilized before the procedure.
After piercing there are various aftercare instructions that you are supposed to follow to ensure that it heals successfully. Although it is rare but an infection can also cause navel piercing rejection. The rejection signs and symptoms are same to those of an infection. The only difference is that, rejection may even occur after the healing process.
Some of the skin care products such as soaps, lotions, creams and spray may also lead to an infection. You need to be very careful with such products. When you notice infection signs early, it is easier to cure using the various treatments.

How to Heal an Infected Navel Piercing

The bellybutton is deep and it can become damp from sweat, soap and other dirty. This may provide an ample environment for multiplication of bacteria that causes an infection. After piercing, you need to be very careful in following the aftercare instruction to avoid such infections. However, if you are already infected, there are different treatments you can use to get rid of it as described below:

  • Apply a warm compress

Application of a warm compress on the pierced site can help to relieve pain, swelling and other discomforts. The heat also aids in promoting the healing process. To use this remedy, deep a clean wash cloth in warm water, wring it to get rid of excess water and place it over the affected area. Repeat the procedure for several times a day until the pain is relieved.

  • Use warm saline solution

You can prepare warm saline solution while at home using sea salt. This solution is effective in killing the bacteria that causes an infection. It may also help in preventing new infections on the pierced site. You simply add half teaspoonful of sea salt in warm water and stir well to mix. Use a cotton swab to apply the solution on your infected bellybutton piercing.

  • Take over-the-counter pain relieving medications

Taking non-prescribed medications can help to relieve aching, paining, swelling and other discomforts that are caused by an infection. Such medicines are also effective in treatment infected belly button piercing. You are only required to take as recommended by manufactures instruction.

  • Keep the pierced area clean

Keeping your pierced navel clean helps to prevent further growth of bacteria. It also promotes the healing process. Do not over-clean as it may also delay the healing process. Cleaning 2-3 times a day is enough, you may use antibacterial soap while taking shower to kill the harmful bacteria that causes infections.

  • Use prescribed oral antibiotics

When the infection is severe, you may be required to visit your doctor for treatment.  Prescribed oral antibiotics are very effective in treating infected navel piercing. The doctor will diagnose your condition and provide the best treatment. He or she may recommend antibiotic creams such as bacitracin, Polymyxin B, or Mupirocin. Take the medication as recommended by your doctor.

  • Apply tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is also effective natural treatment for infected bellybutton piercing. This natural oil contains antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic properties that are effective in treating various skin infections. To use this treatment, you simply mix 5 drops of tea tree oil in 1 teaspoonful of coconut oil and apply on the affected area using a cotton ball or swab. Repeat the procedure 2-3 times a day until your condition improves.

  • Apply a cold pack over the affected area

Applying an ice pack over the pierced area can help to fight an infection by reducing the pain and swelling. Wrap an ice cube in a cotton cloth and place it over the affected area. Do not apply the ice directly on the affected area as it may damage your skin.

My Navel Piercing is Swollen

A swollen navel piercing is quite normal in the first 1-2 weeks from the session. It normally decreases as the healing process starts. However, a swollen bellybutton may be an indication of an infection or a rejection. The swelling that results from infected navel piercing is accompanied with other symptoms such as redness, pain, presence of yellow or green discharge, formation of a bump on the affected area and delayed healing process among other symptoms.
Migration or rejection may also cause a swollen and sore navel piercing.  Rejection may occur before the healing process is complete or even after the healing process is done. This normally results from your body’s reaction to foreign objects or as a result of an infection. You are supposed to ensure that you use a navel piercing jewelry that does not react with your body. Also consult an experienced piercer about the best piercing jewelry.
Poor navel piercing aftercare may also lead to swelling. You are supposed to strictly follow the aftercare instructions given by your piercer. Swelling and pain can easily be controlled by applying a warm compress over the affected area twice or thrice a day. Visit your doctor if the swelling persists after two weeks from the session.