Navel Ring & Belly Button Piercing Guide
Want a navel ring but don't know where to start? Do you have questions about your navel piercing? Our guide/FAQ covers everything from what to expect before (and after) you get pierced, as well as how to how to choose the best belly button ring.
Whatever your concerns are, we have the answers you’re looking for! Even if you already have a belly button piercing, we go into detail about all of the most important topics related to belly rings and navel piercings.
Scroll down to learn where to get your belly piercing done, how much a navel piercing will cost, navel piercing aftercare details, and more!
Where to go to get your navel piercing done:
It’s very important to only get your navel piercing done at a professional tattoo or piercing studio. There are countless studios all over the country and a quick Google search for shops in your area will yield numerous results.
Read the reviews for the studio that you want to get your piercing done at before scheduling an appointment.
- Important: Do NOT get your piercing done with a piercing gun. These tools are not recommended/used by any reputable piercing artist, and have numerous issues regarding healing, bacteria, and skin damage.
- Super Important: Navel piercings that are not done with a quality piercing needle (by a professional piercer) are likely to “reject.”
What is belly button ring rejection?
Navel piercing rejection is when a piercing that has not been properly performed is “rejected” by the body. Basically, the piercing is forced out by the skin.
Rejection usually happens when a piercing has not been professionally done, however there are numerous reasons why a piercing might migrate or reject. Click here to learn more about rejections.
How bad is belly button piercing pain?
- Getting your belly button pierced is no different than getting your lip or earlobes pierced. There will be a quick pinching sensation and then a little pressure as the ring/piece of jewelry is put into the navel.
- The pain is not major at all and goes by very fast. After you have gotten your piercing, the area around your navel may be a little sore.
- If you’re sensitive to pain or just don’t want to deal with it during your piercing, ask the piercing studio if they can apply a topical anesthetic you’re your navel before you get it pierced.
- Most studios will have no problem doing this in order to make you comfortable and relaxed. Read our blog about belly button piercing pain to learn about our owner's experience with getting her navel pierced.
How much will it cost to get my belly button pierced?
- Navel piercing costs vary from shop to shop however $40-50 is a pretty normal price range (for most areas). If the artist/piercer is highly reputable they may charge more (which is most likely worth it).
- Beware of low cost piercers, as the quality of their work may not be the greatest.
Where should a belly piercing be located on the navel?
Navel piercings are typically done about one half to one inch above the navel. The actual piercing hole is made through the upper part of the navel cavity. This ensures that the bottom part of the ring covers the top of the navel.
If your belly button happens to be an “outie” then it might change the placement of your piercing (but not that much).
- Note: If the piercing artist wants to do the piercing so the bottom ball of the ring is above (not below) the upper part of your navel they are doing it incorrectly. This would technically not even be a belly button piercing but a surface piercing (which would dramatically increase the chances of the piercing migrating/rejecting). This is not a common issue at all but it does happen from time-to-time.
- If you have any questions about the placement of your piercing talk to your piercer about it (before you get pierced!).
Can I get more than one piercing at the same time?
- The only limitation to how many piercings you can get during one session depends on how much pain you can tolerate. You could technically get any combination of piercings, but we recommend to start out with one and then see how it heals. If you plan on getting multiple piercings it might be a good idea to ask for a topical anesthetic.
What are reverse navel rings?
- Reversed navel rings are no different than normal rings except for the location of the decorative part of the ring.
- Normal belly rings have the decorative end located to cover the upper part of your navel.
- Reverse rings have the decorative part covering above the top of your navel.
- Choosing between a reverse/standard ring comes down to personal preference.
What’s the best type of belly button ring to get for my first navel piercing?
- There are numerous styles of body jewelry that you can wear in a belly button piercing. TummyToys (of course), traditional barbells, seamless, segment rings, septum rings (yes you can put them in your navel), the list goes on.
- Complex styles are recommended for use after your navel piercing has fully healed.
What’s the best material for a starter navel ring?
- Surgical stainless steel and titanium are the two most common (and recommended) metals for a starter belly button ring.
- Titanium is an extremely “inert” material, meaning that it’s the least unlikely to cause a bad reaction.
How often should my belly button piercing be cleaned?
Aftercare is a crucial part of getting any type of piercing. We recommend a complete sea salt soak two times a day for the first 1-2 weeks after your piercing.
Additionally, you should spray the piercing with a saline solution 4-6 times per day. The purpose of spraying/spritzing is to keep the piercing hole clean of dirt/debris (as well as ensure the surrounding skin is hydrated).
- Sea salt soaks: You can use a homemade sea salt solution or an over-the-counter aftercare spray (available online or in most piercing studios). If you want to make your own solution mix ¼ teaspoon of sea salt with 1 cup of sterilized water. In order to sterilize water simply boil it for about five minutes and then let it cool.
- How to use the soaking solution: Fill a small cup or container with the solution (about halfway). Take the cup and press it to your navel (so the cup is firmly pressed against your skin). Allow the solution to soak for approximately five minutes. Use a tissue or cotton ball to gently clean away excess debris when you are done soaking.
- It’s not recommended to wash your belly button with soap for at least the first few months after you get pierced. Washing it with soap can cause your skin to become dry and even crack (which can increase your chances of infection).
- Use the sea salt solution to clean your navel during the healing process. The average amount of time for a belly button piercing to heal is about three to six months.
Should I be worried about my piercing migrating or rejecting?
- You can lower the chance of your navel piercing migrating/rejecting by ensuring that your piercer makes the piercing deep enough and uses a heavy gauge needle.
- The optimal size for navel piercings is 14 to 12 gauge. Do not go above 14 gauge, because this will highly increase the chances of migration/rejection.
- Belly button piercings, when done properly, should be done as deep as possible. Before the piercing is done, your piercer should pinch a fair amount of flesh/skin. The needle shouldn’t just barely go into the skin, otherwise the piercing won’t last for long.
- Talk to your piercer and let them know that you’re comfortable with them going as deep as they can (without causing too much discomfort). This will ensure a strong piercing.
- All of this is common knowledge to a professional piercing artist. This is why it’s necessary to go to a reputable shop.
- After you’ve gotten your piercing it’s essential to take care of it so that it will heal well. Remember to soak it using a sea salt solution two to three times per day for at leastthe first few weeks after getting your piercing.
What happens if my navel piercing gets infected?
- Read our blog about infected belly button piercing issues for in-depth details about infections.
- It’s common to experience slight irritation around the navel after getting it pierced. The skin around the piercing may become inflamed, and there may be a clear/white discharge.
- These symptoms are normal and do not indicate an infection. However if the discharge isn’t clear/white or your skin develops red streak marks, there may be cause for concern.
- A somewhat common issue that can lead to an infection is if your piercing jewelry is too tight. Jewelry that is too tight can cause hypertrophic scarring as well as hypergranulation.
- If this happens to you then you must see your piercing artist as soon as possible and tell them that you need a larger piercing. Relieving the excess pressure caused by a tight piercing is the only way to resolve hypergranulation.
- If you don’t take care of a piercing that is too tight, you may even develop a nasty type of infection called necrosis (which causes tissue death). After you’ve gone to your piercer and gotten a larger piercing, you will need to implement a stronger aftercare plan for the following one to two weeks.
- Sea salt soaks three times per day coupled with frequent aftercare spray applications in between soaks is necessary.
- If your belly button piercing becomes infected you must visit your doctor as soon as possible. Navel piercing infections are most commonly treated with antibiotics. It’s important to complete the full course of antibiotics (i.e. don’t discontinue usage simply because your piercing looks a little better).
- If you stop taking your prescribed antibiotics before the course is complete, the infection might re-emerge even stronger than before.
If I’m pregnant can I still wear a belly button ring?
- Yes! Just because you’re pregnant doesn’t mean you can’t wear a navel ring. There are a couple different options you have, the first being to purchase a special-made pregnancy ring.
- These types of rings are usually made out of a synthetic material that you can adjust as you get further along in your pregnancy. You can even use them after you’ve had your baby (by making the synthetic shaft smaller). Look into PTFE/BioPlast navel rings if you’re interested in pregnancy rings.
- Another pregnancy belly ring option is to buy multiple surgical steel (or titanium) bent barbells in various lengths and then swap them as you progress in your pregnancy.
I’m still unsure if I want to get a belly ring. What should I do?
We recommend that you check out some pictures and videos of various types of navel piercings to see if it’s something you really want. Browse are HUGE selection of belly button rings today to find the perfect match for your navel.
Is there any way to wear a fake belly ring before I get my actual piercing done?
- If you want to wear a fake belly ring before you get an actual piercing, there is one easy way that you can do it. Purchase a captive beed ring, take the ring off, make the gap in the ring wider, and put it over the upper part of your navel.
- Squeeze the two sides together (softly) and you should be all set.
- You can wear this same ring after you get your piercing done, all you need to do is save the bead.
I want to wear a gold belly button ring. How soon after I get my piercing can I wear one?
- Most piercers recommend that you wait about three to six months before getting a belly ring made out of a material other than titanium, surgical steel, or PTFE.
- TummyToys has the largest selection of handcrafted gold belly button rings on the web. We offer rings (as well as charms) in 14K rose, white, and yellow gold. Click to shop our selection of solid 14K gold belly rings.
How long should I wait to wear heavier pieces of jewelry (such as rings with dangle charms)?
- We recommend waiting about three to six months after getting your piercing before swapping your belly ring out. The reason for this is that the navel will have ample time to repair itself (which will make changing jewellery much easier).
- Once your navel/fistula has healed itself you will be able to wear any type of belly ring you want (including dangle belly button rings). Our dangle belly ring charms are mostly made in silver and gold.
I want to get a custom belly button ring made, how can I start the process?
TummyToys offers numerous types of custom navel rings in a wide variety of metals and gemstones. Contact us to start your custom order today!
Note: Custom navel ring orders can take anywhere from 1-8 weeks to complete, depending on the complexity of the design and the availability of metals/gemstones.