Types of Navel Piercing

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Types of Navel Piercing
Vertical navel piercing. (diamond and silver belly button image by Peter Baxter from Fotolia.com)

Navel piercings, which are also called bellybutton piercings, are body modifications made by piercing a metal or other object through the navel or around its rim. While all navels can be pierced, the piercing has a better chance for healing if the lip of the navel is deep. When choosing a navel piercing, it is important to consider your anatomy and how well your piercing will heal.

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Vertical Navel Piercing

A vertical navel piercing uses a ring or a barbell to pierce the skin at the top of the navel through to the interior of the navel. An inverse navel piercing is the same thing, but it goes through the lower rim of the navel. Though this is one of the most common types of navel piercing, it is also prone to rejection if the stomach folds in a way that constantly irritates the piercing.

Horizontal Navel Piercing

A horizontal navel piercing is a piercing that involves using a barbell to pierce the skin along the rim of the navel rather than passing through the rim into the navel. This is a surface piercing, which means that the barbell does not go through a natural lip of flesh. Instead, the piercing goes through a flat portion of flesh. While a flexible barbell can help this piercing heal more quickly than a solid barbell, a horizontal navel piercing is very prone to rejection.

Multiple Navel Piercings

A multiple navel piercing involves piercing the rim several times. This may result in two, three or even four rings or barbells going through the navel. One type of multiple navel piercing is the navel industrial, in which a solid or flexible barbell passes through two piercings. In this type of piercing, both the top and bottom rim of the navel are pierced and then a single long barbell is run through both piercings.

True Navel Piercings

Only people who have outie belly buttons can have what is called a true navel piercing. The small nub of umbilical scar tissue that protrudes from the navel can be pierced with a ring or a barbell. This piercing is considered risky for a number of reasons. The pierced area is much richer in blood vessels than the rest of the navel, and the presence of these blood vessels can cause infections to become much more serious. The true navel piercing will also protrude further from the body than other types of navel piercings, which can make it more prone to irritation.

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