Caring for your new piercings
Sacramento Belly Piercings
Here are a few tips for caring your new jewelry:
1. Wash your hands before touching your piercing, EVERY time! Buy a separate bar of antibacterial soap and keep it in a travel container for soap or in a baggy. You don’t want to wash your hands with the same bar of soap that somebody used to wash after using the restroom! Bar soap can harbor bacteria! If possible, I would recommend using a liquid, fragrance-free antibacterial soap, since this is easy to lather and clean with and is much less likely to be contaminated with bacteria.
2. Clean your piercing! GENTLY soap up the belly button with the soap 2-3 times a day. SOAK off any crusty material (this is a normal part of the healing process) but do not pull on it or you will damage the healing tissue. Gently rotate the jewelry so that the soap enters the hole, let it sit for about a minute, and then rinse completely clean! If you were given a special cleanser by your piercer or different directions, follow them!
3. Wash your bedding frequently! Make sure that your sheets and blankets are kept clean while your piercing is healing. This is especially important if you sleep on your stomach!
4. Wear clean, loose-fitting clothing and pajamas! Rubbing and irritation from clothes is horrible for new piercings, so be sure to wear loose tops and low-cut, soft material pants to avoid irritating the piercing. If your clothing may catch, rub, or irritate your piercing, cover it with a hard ventilated eye patch to make sure you don’t cause scaring or infection.
5. Do not bathe or swim! Bathtubs, swimming pools, and standing water can harbor all sorts of bacteria, so no swimming while your piercing is healing! Take showers only!
6. Do not remove your jewelry! Removing the jewelry can not only allow the hole to close up if it has not finished cleaning, but can allow bacteria to contaminate the post of the jewelry or the piercing site with bacteria.
7. Make sure to check your ball closure frequently! Use clean hands or a disposable clean paper product (unscented facial tissue or sterile gauze pads) to make sure your piercing is closed tight several times a day and before and after cleaning. Remember the tighty-right, lefty-loosey rule! It is also a good idea to keep a second clean ball closure in a CLEAN baggy with you at all times just in case you loose a closure!
8. Be sure to clean all jewelry before inserting it into the piercing! If you decide to change the jewelry, be sure to wait at least 3 months so that the piercing will be healed enough to handle the change.
9. Only use jewelry made of implant grade stainless steal! The different metals used to make jewelry can cause different effects. Choosing the right piece of jewelry is important to avoid the dangers of your belly button piercing being rejected. If the piercing metal is rejected, your body will attempt to force the jewelry out of the body, causing scar tissue and potentially nerve damage. Since gold plating can easily flake off and cause irritation, and solid gold is more easily rejected, gold is not a recommended metal for body jewelry. In addition, silver can tarnish and permanently stain the healing skin, which just doesn’t look good at all! If you really want gold jewelry, wait until your piercing is completely healed and only use jewelry that is at least 18-karat gold. Your best bet, and only option when getting the initial piercing, will be stainless steal or highly polished titanium. They are both used in medical procedures and are least likely to cause your body to reject the jewelry. No matter what jewelry you choose, be sure the jewelry is clean and made specifically for body piercings.
It is also very important to care for your jewelry if you are active in sports. When playing sports, it is very important too keep your jewelry covered to avoid having it torn out. This can best be done with a hard, vented eye patch placed over the belly button area. These can be found at Wal-Mart or any local pharmacy, and can be held on through adhesive patches, surgical tape, or an Ace bandage wrap (all located at the pharmacy as well!). I cannot emphasize this enough, as I have had personal experience with the greatest danger of belly button piercings – having them ripped out!
At the time of the accident, my belly button had been pierced for close to a year and was completely healed. I had a pretty little dangly piece of jewelry in and was driving in a midriff-showing shirt top. Normally, I would have made sure to tape an eye patch over the top of the piercing to ensure the seat belt wouldn’t snag it, but was rushed that morning getting out of the house. About 10 minutes into my drive, I was side-swiped by a reckless driver and sure enough, the belly button ring caught on the seatbelt and was pulled down through the hole, causing a good amount of bleeding. The doctors at the emergency room had to force the jewelry the rest of the way out, the same way the seat belt had pulled it, and there were several cuts along the edge of the piercing that caused the bleeding. The trauma to the area caused scar tissue and a very nasty-looking healed piercing site.
Despite this accident, and the other dangers of belly button piercing, I would still completely recommend that a belly button piercing is a relatively safe form of expression. If properly cared for, it can be quite a cute or sexy piercing to show off with a midriff shirt or low-cut jeans, but if not cared for it can cause many complications. It is critical, if you decide to get any piercing, to take good care of it to prevent infection or injury.
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