What are the risks of getting your belly button pierced?

Updated November 21, 2016

Although belly button rings are a popular piercing option for a number of women, these piercings are not without risk. There are several health risks that individuals can face if they decide to pierce their navels. These risks should be considered prior to making the decision to pierce one's belly button, and an individual who decides to get a navel piercing should always consult a professional for her piercing.


Infections can strike someone who gets her belly button pierced. If the individual piercing the belly button doesn't properly sterilise the equipment or doesn't use the proper piercing technique, an infection can form. Even if your piercing artist uses sterilised equipment, you can cause an infection in your piercing yourself if you do not properly clean and take care of the piercing. It is very important to discuss proper care techniques with the person piercing your navel so you know how to care for your new piercing. It is important to clean the piercing and your jewellery with hydrogen peroxide or another piercing care solution you can buy at most piercing parlours.


In some situations, where piercing artists do not clean the needle used to pierce your belly button, HIV or other blood transferred diseases can enter your bloodstream when during piercing. If the person before you was a carrier of HIV and the piercer doesn't clean the needle properly, that blood can enter your bloodstream the second you get your navel piercing. This is why it is important to consult a professional for your belly button piercing. Also, look for piercing salons that only use piercing kits designed for one-time use. These kits provide the greatest protection against HIV and other diseases.

Internal Damage

Internal damage to underlying body parts can also occur with any body piercing, including belly button piercings. The piercing artist can make the piercing too deep and hit a blood vessel, causing profuse bleeding in the abdominal area. Damage can also be caused internally that leads to scar tissue formation, which, in some cases, can cause other health issues down the road. A nerve can also be hit during a navel piercing, causing nerve damage. If you have prolonged numbness in the area of the piercing, you may have nerve damage and should visit a doctor.

Pain and Discomfort

Pain and discomfort are often common immediate side effects of a belly button piercing. Also, if the piercing develops an infection, prolonged pain and throbbing can affect the individual. Typically, navel piercings take longer to heal than an ear piercing because the area is under constant irritation. The stomach area is constant being moved when one is sitting, standing bending or moving, and this irritation can cause pain. Clothing can also easily catch on the belly button ring and cause pulling and damage to a piercing. Sweat also affects belly button piercings in ways it does not affect other piercings; it can cause a stinging sensation and prolong the healing process.

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