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The Piercing, The Infection - The Result (happy ending)

I was 16 at the time of my first (well, only) belly-button piercing. Aside from my ears (once on each and one old closed up upper cartilage piercing), I'd never had anything else done. My mom, 38 at the time, had her belly button pierced when I was a little kid – about 12 – so when I asked her about it, I knew it wouldn't be a problem for me to get mine done.

I got my piercing in Muncie Indiana; I can't remember the name of the place, but the shop seemed clean enough and the people there were very friendly. I didn't know what to watch out for or what to ask about, because it was my first REAL piercing and I didn't know the etiquette.

We went up to the table and the guy working was named Casey. He was covered in tattoos and piercings, to which I thought "Ok, hey, that's a plus!" I told him what I wanted, so he showed me the jewelry; I chose a little blue ring of a low gauge. After my mom signed the papers and forked over ID, I was in business and ready to get pierced. It turned out that the navel piercing itself was going to cost only $10 (the jewelry was $20) – I didn't take this as a red flag, because I didn't know the cost of an average piercing; BE FOREWARNED NOW that that is an obscenely low price and you may not be getting your money's worth!

Casey proceeded to lead me into a back room and explain what was going to happen while my mom waited patiently at the desk, eyeing nipple rings.

I laid down on a steel table and lifted my shirt up as he marked on my skin where the piercing was going to go. His tools were laid out beside him on a tray and everything looked clean – he also wore rubber gloves, which was a plus. He explained where the needle was going to go, how the jewelry was going to look, and asked if I was ready. After a firm "Yes", my skin was clamped in that scary looking scissor tool.

"Breathe in... Aaaaaaand breathe out," he said. I let my breath out as the needle went through, and a millisecond later, the little ring was in. As for how much it hurt, give yourself a firm pinch (no nail) on that general skin area above your actual belly button. Ta-dah! Doesn't hurt all that much, which was a surprise.

Casey gave me a care sheet and told me NOT to touch it and NOT to take the jewelry out. We said thank you and left (I had to tear my mom away from the nipple rings and hear snippets of conversation – "Do you think I should get MINE pierced?" – from her as we headed out the door). We bought some Dial antibacterial liquid soap and some Neosporin with pain reliever added in and headed back to town.

It didn't hurt really on the day of the piercing, yet got red and achy over the first few days; after about a week, everything was fine after that. I cleaned it twice a day and put Neosporin goo on it daily. After about three months and some careful deliberation, I decided that it was fully healed and changed the jewelry.

For those of you playing the home version: BIG MISTAKE.

It almost immediately got infected – we're talking yellow pus goo, redness, swelling, SEVERE pain; the works. It got infected so bad, in fact, that the hole wasn't centered anymore and the jewelry began to heal in a cock-eyed way. Very gross.

Through THOROUGH cleaning and non-touching, it eventually (and I use the term loosely, as it took more than a year) healed back to its proper place (I had to move it back) with extremely minimal scarring involved. It's fine now, is behaving quite nicely, and takes to new jewelry without a hitch. However, I will say that after much observation, I notice that my piercing is higher on the navel than it should be – I don't care much, but I figured it should be mentioned.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Go to a professional studio with sterile equipment and professional employees with experience. Make sure they don't use piercing guns and they use the right jewelry, wash their hands, use rubber gloves, etc.

  2. Make sure that where you get pierced is actually WHERE you want to be pierced. If it seems to high or too low or just plain strange, speak up. You're paying them.

  3. Never (and I can't stress this enough) touch your new piercing or take out the jewelry EVEN if you think it's sufficiently healed. If the 6 month mark is NOT up yet, keep your grubby paws off of it – otherwise, prepare for infection.

That said, I love my navel piercing and plan to get my nose done soon! ^_^

Details

submitted by: Anonymous
on: 23 Jan. 2007
in Navel Piercing

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Artist: Casey
Studio: +
Location: Muncie%2C+IN

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