scarred navel piercing
June 19th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who has an unhealed navel piercing that is showing signs of developing granuloma:
Hi! My navel piercing is about 2 and a half months old. I irritated it at first from playing with it (I know-big no no) but it cleared up when I stopped touching it and cleaned with H2Ocean. I quickly ran out of the solution and stopped cleaning it about a month ago. I ocassionally do sea salt soaks but only when it flares up. I've been taking my ring out a lot lately (another no no) and I recently (about 2 days ago) noticed this pink/red fleshy bubble/growth coming out of the bottom hole of my navel piercing. It is squishy, moves easily, doesn't hurt, but bleeds easily. It looks a lot worse than it feels. It secretes lymph and often sticks itself to the bottom ball on my ring. I ordered some H2Ocean and tea tree oil the other day to try and get rid of it. For now, I put 3% hydrogen peroxide on it 2x a day and do a sea salt soak. I just don't know whether it is a granuloma or hypergranulation? It freaks me out because it's kind of large. Probably half the size of a pea. What can I do to make it go away? How long will it take? Will I have to abandon my piercing? I love it and I don't want to take it out!!! I have attached quite a few pictures!
Thank you so much! -A
April 27th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who had questions about navel piercing and pregnancy:
Hi! I've just gotten my belly pierced 2 days ago. Now I'm worried that it'll leave a scar because this morning I was positive that I'm pregnant. Should I take it off now? Because I googled and it appears to me that the belly button looks ugly when pregnant and the scar looks bad. What should I do?
Yes, if you're pregnant the jewelry should be removed and the piercing abandoned ASAP.
This is a section about "retiring" a piercing from my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing:
Retiring a Piercing
Retiring a piercing is permanently removing your jewelry and abandoning the hole. Though body piercing has the potential to be a lifelong adornment, there is no doubt that a piercing—especially one that hasn’t been stretched too fast or large—is easier to be rid of than most other body modifications.
It is best to retire your piercing when it is in good health. A notable exception is when you have a rejecting piercing in which the jewelry has migrated too close to the surface. The main risk of removing jewelry is the potential to trap an infection inside. If there is any purulent drainage (pus), pain, inflammation, or suspected infection, do not abandon your piercing. See “Leave Jewelry In!” page 202, and subsequent sections for more information.
If your piercing is fine but you have decided the time has come to get rid of it, simply wash your hands and the area, open your jewelry, and remove it. A little bit of water-based lubricant such as K-Y Jelly can help to make the transition smooth. Wash the area daily when you bathe. Abandoning a piercing is that simple.
Here's another section that is relevant to your issue about healing a piercing during pregnancy:
March 6th, 2013
I received a message from a woman who wanted to try another navel piercing after two rejections:
Hello there, hope all is well. I am currently 27 years old and had my navel pierced when I was 17 and again when I was 19. Both times I kept the piercing in for over a year, cleaning and treating it, but it would not heal (and kept cycling between infected and not infected). I’m left with this horrid scar and I’m getting an itch to pierce it again. I’d only do it if I knew of a material that my body wouldn’t reject, but I don’t. Clearly “surgical steel” isn’t working. I’m assuming it’s the nickel in it.
I don't know if the piercers were members of the APP. However I can tell you that I first got pierced in May 2003, took it out (due to it not healing, keloids forming, and constantly having to treat it) in Jan 2004. When I went to get it re-pierced in June 2004, the piercer told me that the previous guy didn’t take enough skin when he pierced me, thus it was too far out and refused to heal. However, the same thing happened with this piercing, and thus I took it out about 8-10 months after that.
BOTH piercings were done with externally threaded surgical steel.
The area does not fold in when I sit, however I do remember the jewelry getting caught onto my jeans a lot when I sat/stood. Of course I tried to avoid that as much as possible, but sometimes I’d forget.