Despite always wanting it, I held off on getting it pierced, I mean:
But after years of always dismissing the idea, I finally got it! Despite the years of deliberation, it was still fairly impromptu - I decided to get it the week before my exams. I mean, all I had really been up to that week was studying. Though I'm not sure that was really the best timing to have to worry about sitting up properly and not slouching over it!
Anyway today was a sad day, I actually took it off. It was a really short-lived experience, since I had it for approximately less than two months! And the reason why, is pretty typical, it was rejecting.
So I thought I would just throw out some knowledge here and there to answer any questions people may have about getting their belly button pierced and etc.
Did it hurt?
Um, not reaally. I never really thought that I had a high pain tolerance, but I'm starting to think that maybe I do? I know that this varies considerably from person to person. I mean, I obviously felt it - you are sticking up a 14 gauge chunk of metal through your skin, so to some degree it did feel slightly uncomfortable. I think it just hurt about as much as I had expected it to!
I actually had my cartilage pierced before, and I think the entire healing process hurts a lot more for that. You spend a lot more time with it feeling like it is throbbing and what not. While with my belly, I could barely feel that it was pierced for the rest of the day or week (unless I hit it).
How much was it?
I paid about $45 for the piercing and the belly jewelry. I actually went in on a Wednesday where the piercing parlour had discounted piercings. However I did pay an extra $15 (so overpriced) for an aftercare kit. They sold something that was pretty interesting (I don't think it's typical) where it was a box with about 36 Q Tips that could be snapped to release some healing treatment. So altogether it was about $60.
How do you treat it?
I mean mine didn't heal well (mind you it was my body's decision and not any fault of my own really), but there are two different things you have to be careful with. For the first week I was told you should be cleaning about twice a day, and so this is with a Sea Salt Spray, the strange Q tips, or a Sea Salt Soak which is what seems to be the sought after after-care by the piercing community. Here is some helpful advice on the forum, from a really informed nurse, about the benefits /rational behind it.
In addition to this you should be cleaning it in the shower. Along with the earlier mentioned product of the spray, Adrenaline also sells a cleaning solution. I didn't actually get mine pierced there but I was super lucky that my roommate had leftover cleaning supplies from when she got hers done there. My piercing parlour just told me to use Spectro Gel, which is antibacterial I think, similar to Cetaphil. I was always too afraid to touch the piercing in fear of irritating it, so even in the shower I just ran the gels around it super softly and kinda cupped my hand around it so water could fill up around it. I also read that it's important to do this step of cleaning it in the shower last, to remove all the junk that comes from your shampoo and conditioner!
I keep hearing about rejection, what does that mean?
Rejection is a much more passive process, and doesn't have anything to do with an infection. It's simply your body's natural process of removing foreign objects. Although I'm slightly mad at it for not accepting the piercing which I loved, I guess I should be slightly grateful to know that it is trying to take care of me. So what this generally means that it is pushing the piercing towards the surface, and for a naval piercing that generally means that the skin between the two exits will continue to get thinner.
So a lot of the time it can actually look fine (which is the deceiving part). I mean an ugly flared infection with pus oozing out of it is pretty hard to ignore, but rejection doesn't have signs that are as blatantly obvious and makes it really easy for denial. From what I've read sometimes it'll be red around the exit holes, it might be a little bit tender, the holes around it might grow larger and loser and again the skin gets thinner. Just to clarify when I say it is getting 'thinner' I mean that the width of skin between the exits//balls seems to be growing shorter.
So now I'm just hoping that it doesn't scar much. I'm kind of happy that the second hole is on the inside of my belly button because you don't really see it as much, but the top ones is pretty visible. I'm just going to wait for it to heal a little before applying some Bio-Oil like my friend recommended me to do along with some Vitamin E :( It's too bad it rejected I loved it! When I see the little curved bar I just wanted to shove it back in haha.
Anyways so if you have any questions about getting it, the process or what not just leave it in the comments! And if you've experienced this too (belly piercing complications are extremely common) comment as well, I'm sure we can bond over that haha. In addition, everything from above is tips and knowledge I picked up from reading a lot of online posts and my own experience I am by no means and expert.