6 Mar 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.  

Scarred Navel - standing view

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.

Scarred Navel - sitting view

I treated the piercings, as you suggested, by washing my hands first, using a shot glass with sea salt (though I used thick grain, not fine grain) dissolved in warm water, and I washed the piercing with antibacterial soap. I did this every day for the first month or so, and then started spacing the soaks apart a bit (from every other day to once a week).

I’m hoping that the piercing rejected due to the nickel (as my ears get itchy when I put nickel-based jewelry in them), and am wondering if you’d suggest I try re-piercing with plastic or gold.

I’ve attached pictures of my bely button now (keep in mind the scar looks large because it’s from 2 piercings... the second was pierced just above the first).

Scarred Navel - stretched view

I read something online about using a plastic retainer and/or gold. What would you suggest (assuming that piercing over the scar tissue is even possible)?

Thanks for your time and have a great day!





My Reply:


I'd suggest you consider trying a different placement and jewelry--More tucked in on the underside with a j-curve. See this page: http://www.bodycircle.com/merchant.ihtml?pid=17&lastcatid=6&step=4

You'd neet to make sure the jewelry is not catching or causing trauma. Also, beware that coarse grain salt can cause problems, and that navel piercings take 6-9 months or longer to heal under normal circumstances. Since you have scar tissue, you can expect it to take even longer.

And, VERY IMPORTANTLY, if you decide to have it redone, you need to find a more capable professional. 

All of my piercer referrals are posted on this page of my website: http://piercingbible.com/piercer-referrals 

If I haven't personally worked with or trained any piercers in your area, you can check the website for a member of the Association of Professional Piercers who is local to you:


The APP is a non-profit international organization dedicated to disseminating vital health and safety information about piercing to piercers, piercees, medical professionals, legislators, and the general public. The piercers are not "certified" by the association, however. While some of the piercers on the list may have taken my seminars at the annual APP conferences, I still wouldn't consider them to have been "trained by me," as those courses only last a few hours and aren't sufficient for providing a thorough education. Please meet the piercer and see if you develop a good rapport and if they inspire your confidence.

The best thing I can suggest to help you make good decisions about piercing is to become a more well-educated consumer. If you found my website informative, I think you'll be amazed by all of the valuable facts and practical advice in my book, The Piercing Bible--The Definitive Guide to Safe Body Piercing.  It contains loads of information about evaluating piercers and studios, piercing placements, appropriate body jewelry sizes, styles, and materials, aftercare, troubleshooting, and much, much more. My website contains just barely a taste of the information in my book!

These particular chapters will help you learn how to evaluate piercers (and body jewelry, which is also crucial to the success of a piercing):

Part 2 Groundwork and Preliminary Considerations  

3 Risks, Myths, and Warnings  .................................  20 

4 Is Piercing Right for You? ....................................  28 

5 You and Your Piercer  ........................................ 34


Part 3 Piercing Preparation 

6 Picking and Preparing  ......................................  44 

7 At the Studio ..............................................  49 

8 Piercing Procedures ........................................  56 

9 Jewelry 101: Sizes, Shapes, and Materials  .......................  65 


Part 4 The Holes

Depending on area(s) of interest.

After reading The Piercing Bible you will be extremely well educated about the subject, and in fact, you'll have a lot more information than some "professional" piercers who are practicing in the field!

To order: go to my web page: http://piercingbible.com, locate the book cover in the right-hand column then select your shipping method from the drop-down menu. Click the "Buy Now" button, or email: [email protected], or call toll free: 888 888-1APP. Orders are being filled by the Association of Professional Piercers. I serve on the Board of Directors as President of the organization. A portion of the proceeds from the book goes to the organization, and you will receive a signed copy of my book. 

Alternatively, you can get it from major booksellers, or Amazon.com:


Also, if you'd like to see me performing piercings, and demonstrating exactly where they should be placed and how quickly and easily an expert can perform them, I've got videos available here:

http://www.clips4sale.com/store/10557  (You'll see that I can perform a piercing in an instant!)

Let me know if you have other questions.



Aftercare Spray

Buy Now

Get The Book

Buy Now

Snap Plugs

Buy Now

Piercing Videos

Buy Now