Belly button piercing or navel piercing is a common fashion statement and body art, especially among youngsters. Most people who flaunt their navel piercing usually have a well-toned flat tummy. The navel is a dark and damp place, where infections can easily occur, especially if you have a deep navel. Navel piercing is the second most risky piercing after the eye. Infections that occur in the navel piercing hole can reach your abdominal cavities and lead to complications.1
Signs and symptoms of navel infection vary from one person to another, depending on the cause of the infection. Here are the signs and symptoms that you must be aware of.
If you have pierced your body, pain is an assured consequence. New piercings are bound to hurt for a few days. But if the pain persists even months after the piercing or occurs after the piercing has healed, it may be a sign of a developing infection. Infections can cause complications and must not be ignored.
Some people may notice small bumps called keloid that look like pimples on the navel piercing. When these occur, it indicates the onset of an infection. Though fungal infections are common, they occur rarely if the piercing metal used is made of titanium.2 Keloids may also occur during the healing process and the condition may worsen if the infection that won’t go away or keeps recurring. Keloids are likely to form closer to the navel piercing ring.
A cyst, or an abscess, is a swollen pocket that contains pus. This indicates an infection in the pierced area. A cyst is an initial symptom of infection. Cyst formation has been reported to occur due to the penetration of epidermal cells into the dermis during the piercing process.3 The cyst may be accompanied by pain and swelling. If the cyst ruptures during the initial stages of an infection, it may discharge a clear liquid. As the infection worsens, the color of the discharge changes from grayish to yellowish, and finally to greenish.
A discharge or secretion of fluid from the navel is a symptom of navel piercing infection. The discharge from an infected piercing may be thick, foul-smelling and yellow or green in color.4 Causes of infection relating to the piercing may include thrush, yeast infections and bacterial infections. The discharge from an infected piercing is usually thick, foul-smelling and yellow or green in color. If you see a discharge of any color oozing from your navel, see a doctor immediately for treatment.
A blood blister, which usually forms around the piercing, is a small bubble filled with blood. Sometimes, red spots may appear around the piercing, which is not always because of infections. The type of metal used as a jewelry and Mishandling the jewelry can result in a blister around the piercing. Studies have shown a clear link between ear piercing and nickel allergy when a jewelry made of nickel is used.5
An itchy navel piercing is quite normal during the healing process. Itchiness often indicates that the wound caused due to the piercing is healing. Itchiness may also occur due to navel piercing rejection, which happens when the body reacts to foreign objects. The body reacts by expelling such objects, which eventually exit the body. Navel piercing pain followed by itchiness is quite normal for a week or two after the piercing.6
Bleeding is quite normal and understandable just after piercing. But, soon the blood clots, the bleeding stops, and the wound begins to heal. If the bleeding continues even weeks after the piercing was done, it may be because of an infection, in which case, you should have a doctor examine the infection.7
|↑1||Navel Belly Button Piercing Infection Symptoms How to Treat and Clean. Heal Cure.|
|↑2||Patel, Trisha, Leslie Scroggins-Markle, and Brent Kelly. “A dermal piercing complicated by Mycobacterium fortuitum.” Case reports in dermatological medicine 2013 (2013).|
|↑3||Koenig, Laura M., and Molly Carnes. “Body piercing.” Journal of general internal medicine 14, no. 6 (1999): 379-385.|
|↑4||What should I do if I have discharge from my piercing. NHS Choices. 2015.|
|↑5||Larsson‐Stymne, Birgitta, and Lena Widström. “Ear piercing–a cause of nickel allergy in schoolgirls?.” Contact dermatitis 13, no. 5 (1985): 289-293.|
|↑6||Navel Piercing Pain, Aftercare, Cleaning, Healing, Itchy, Keloid. Heal Treat Cure.|
|↑7||Infected Navel Piercing Symptoms, Swollen, Treatment and How to Heal an Infected Bellybutton. Heal Treat Cure.|