Table of Contents
- 1 Belly Button Piercing
- 2 History Of Belly Button Piercing.
- 3 Who Gets The Belly Button Piercing?
- 4 Getting a Navel-Button Piercing.
- 5 Belly Button Piercing Health Risks.
- 6 How To Care For Your Belly Button Piercing.
- 7 What To Avoid?
- 8 Advantages Of Belly Button Piercing.
Belly Button Piercing
Belly button piercing today is common to all regardless of age. It is also known as navel piercing and is practiced more by females. Though the name portrays that the actual belly button gets pierced, it is usually not the case. The area that gets pierced is usually above the belly button. A double puncture is usually used where you get an entry and exit point.
Sometimes, the protruding navels get pierced. The procedure is quick and you get to experience minimal pain, only if done correctly. Therefore, you need to make sure that the person piercing you is an experienced professional with high standards of hygiene and processes relevant certifications and licenses. He/she should be cleared by the board of health around.
You should be keen on equipment used to pierce your belly button. Make sure the needle is sterile and you get to see it being removed from an antiseptic and sealed pack.
History Of Belly Button Piercing.
According to PainfulPleasures, the navel piercing is an invention of the modern times. Due to differences between men and female stomachs, the navel has been termed as a sensitive zone. Women are seen to have a more rounded lower part than men’s with a long distance between the navel and genitals. (1)
The invention of Bikini in 1953 successfully revolutionized women’s lives. It was termed to be sexually provocative as it resembles the female genitals. In the 1980s, Madonna gave the liberation a boost by showing on the midriff. Women gained more power and confidence by flaunting their sexuality in public.
According to Suzy Menkes of the New York Times, September 1994, it is easy to pinpoint the moment when body piercing went mainstream. Christy Turlington stepped into the London Fashion show revealing a ring on her navel. Naomi Campbell was quick to follow Christy’s footsteps where she wore a gold ring with a small pearl on her navel on the following day. (2)
Naomi was quick to comment that she liked it and was fun to have her navel pierced. Madonna, Cher and Janet Jackson followed suit. Today, almost all celebrities have pierced their belly buttons. It has become a status and fashion trend.
According to Montana Body Arts, navel piercing has a royal origin. In ancient Egypt, men were said to have their navel pierced and wore golden belly button rings. Strong historical evidence suggests that navel rings were given special royal status which was reserved only for Pharaoh. Any other person other than Pharaoh who pierced his navel and wore a belly button ring was punishable by death. This explains why Egyptians did not practice piercing of their belly buttons! (3)
Fortunately, belly button piercing is no longer a royal practice neither is it punishable by death today. Anyone is free to pierce their navel. In fact, the practice is so popular today that the styles and designs of the belly button rings are vast and numerous.
Who Gets The Belly Button Piercing?
It started with the slender women with modeling physiques that consisted of flat tummies. Today, it has changed. People of all sizes, physiques, backgrounds, genders, and age are free to have a belly button. Though the ages of 16-24 years old are said to rank high in belly button piercing, some places have claimed to have pierced belly buttons of young girls as old as ten years!
Many states require a parent’s or guardian’s signature for piercing a young person’s navel. Women in their thirties have also gained a tremendous urge to pierce their belly buttons and their numbers have gone up. Some attribute this development to the fact that belly button has been accepted as an art by all while others embrace it as a generational invention of their time which to them is no big deal.
Though belly button piercing for men was associated with the gay personalities, more straight men are coming up and going for the navel piercing as a way of expressing themselves. They express their inner selves by wearing symbolic jewels with shapes like swords, dragons, and crosses.
Traditionally, belly-button piercing was done halfway above the naval. It is still common today. The piercer creates a square or star like shape where he pierces the above and the lower lips of the belly button. He also pierces the surface of the navel twice or more as he creates the shapes.
Unfortunately, not everyone can have a belly button. It depends on your navel anatomy. You must have enough room for piercing on your upper side of the navel such that it hangs inside the navel without inserting pressure either from above or below. Get a professional piercer to check you out. If your top room is not enough, it’s good to opt for the bottom side.
An expert in piercing will request you to sit down and lean forward in order to determine if you qualify for a naval piercing. You are not lucky if your belly button closes when you get to sit down. When the upper and the below sides of the navel meet, it creates pressure that will make the navel ring to move a long, and this causes irritation. Belly button piercing is also not for you if you have an “outie” belly button (herniated umbilicus).
It becomes very dangerous if an infection occurs in your “outie” navel within the healing process. The infection can travel to other organs of the body and the intestines. It also has many blood vessels which can cause excessive bleeding. A professional piercer will not agree to pierce an “outie” because of these facts. (4)
Belly Button Piercing Health Risks.
Yes, a belly button piercing will make you look edgy but it might be one of the major things you can come to regret doing on yourself. It is advisable to consider the risks that come with navel piercing before having the piercing done on you. It can be on the top on your daily list of things that annoy you! Here are the risks involved:
1. Infection, Deformity, and Rejection.
The tiny folds around the navel need regular cleaning. A belly button piercing will help increase infection risk. According to India Parenting, the navel collects bacteria, sweat, dead skin cells, and sebum. It houses microbes that can cause infections. Piercing creates a way through for these microbes and you get to risk severe infection.
The constant friction with your clothes will not only cause a lot of pain but also severe infection. Simple normal acts that you can’t do without like sitting or sleeping will also cause a naval infection. Sometimes, the body rejects the piercing, pushing it out as the skin heals slowly. In such cases, the belly button gets permanently deformed.
2. Injury, Trauma, and Allergies.
The skin around the naval swells up with a small inflammation. The skin gets irritated by the pus and liquid that oozes out of the pierced belly button. The healing skin keeps on being distracted when caught up by fabrics and belts and the healing process has to start all over again. It also increases the injury every time it happens, turning it into a big wound. Your day-to-day activities get limited and you can no longer go swimming, work out, or even lay in bed comfortably.
Some materials used to make the naval jewelry are allergic. Women are more prone to these allergies than men. If you go to seek services of the back street piercers and quacks, they may damage your major blood vessel which will lead to profuse bleeding, irritation, and severe inflammation.
3. Bacterial and Viral Illnesses.
Use of non-sterile and dirty piercing equipment such as needles will expose you to dangerous diseases such as hepatitis C and HIV. A perfect example is Pamela Anderson, a renowned celebrity, who contracted hepatitis C by use of a dirty and contaminated needle. Always check the safety codes and certifications of the piercing agency that you decide to use. Do your research and ask for credible sources and recommendations. (5)
4. Pregnancy and Skin Stretching.
Your stomach size is not static. With time, it will change as a result of weight gain or when you get pregnant. Your skin gets to stretch. The piercing gets irritated with the change of your stomach size. Sometimes it gets inflamed. The healing skin gets irritated with the stretching of the pierced navel. The accumulating bacteria, sweat, and dirt around the wound will cause inflammation and a lot of pain.
It gets worse with pregnancy. The piercing may tear out when you experience labor pains. It is advisable not to wear your belly button ring while pregnant. Unfortunately, once you remove your navel ring for several weeks, the hole closes up, forcing you to go through piercing again if you still need to wear your favorite belly button ring. (6)
5. Minor Disturbances.
With naval piercing, you get to experience chafing. You need to be innovative to evade chafing. Since some belly rings are made from metal, they alarm metal detectors. Security and medical X-rays also detect the naval rings. To avoid infection, you have to clean your naval ring several times per week.
How To Care For Your Belly Button Piercing.
Just like ear piercing, belly button piercing should be managed with care due to its location. Many people get the naval piercing with ease as the rate of rejection is low. Before you get your navel pierced, look for a legitimate piercing parlor that conforms with all the government and local Health Boards regulations.
After you get the belly button piercing, make sure the pierced area is always dry. You should be keener after bathing or having a swim because if the area is moist, it becomes favorable for fungal infections. It is not normal for the pierced area to redden or the surface to become crusty.
It may not be necessarily a healthy problem but if you have doubts it’s advisable to visit a doctor. The slightly milky discharge is also not a cause for alarm but it’s also advisable to seek medical advice in case you have any question.
It takes up to one year for a navel piercing to heal. But many people have reported having taken only three and four months to heal. Make sure you get a set of instructions from your piercer on how to take care of your pierced belly button. Follow them to the later and always consult your piercer or medical advice in case of any query or infection. (7)
Wash your new piercing with salt water twice a day. You can also use sea salt spray. Always wash your hands before touching your navel pierced area or the naval jewelry. Wait for one and a half months before you can remove the navel jewelry. Don’t remove it now and then.
If the jewelry is taken out earlier, the hole closes up quickly as a result of the body healing and it becomes difficult to wear the jewelry again. Avoid tight clothes or fabrics which can entangle with the jewelry while you wear or put off your clothes. Sleep facing upwards or side ways to avoid suppressing and irritating your naval piercing.
What To Avoid?
- ·Thick ointments as they cut the supply of air around the pierced area.
- Hand sanitizer, peroxide, alcohol, and perfume soap cause irritation and are harsh to the pierced area.
- Tight clothes restrict air into your pierced belly button.
- Touching your pierced area often causes infection, irritation, and inflammation.
- Heavy jewelry pulls your skin that causes a lot of pain.
- Unclean water causes infection and irritates your naval piercing. Allow your belly button to heal first before you go swimming in pools, lakes, hot tubs, and oceans.
Advantages Of Belly Button Piercing.
According to OccupyTheory, belly button piercing is a great way to express your individuality. The piercing portrays who you are in the inside. It is a way of enhancing your fashion temporarily. When you decide it’s enough, you just stop wearing your belly button ring and allow the hole to heal. You get to choose when your naval piercing can be seen or not. It allows you to diversify your fashion choices.
Belly button piercing is among the common piercing of our modern world today. Get to understand the pros and cons involved before having your naval pierced. For the young, consult your guardian or parents before allowing your Belly button to get pierced.