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navel ring infection

I had been interested in getting a tattoo but after reading and researching about it a lot, I decided I wanted to have an experience getting pierced first. I had just lost 30 pounds so I decided to reward myself with a navel piercing. My parents are also Mormon and would be very upset if I had a piercing even though I was 18.

I planned it for a long time but actually going to get it done was slightly impulsive. My friends wanted to ditch the last day of high school and I suggested we just go to a shop and get my belly pierced. There was no piercer there so we had to wait a few minutes for him to get back. I don't remember his name, just know that he wasn't rick, the owner. I picked out a black piece of jewelry. My friend had her belly pierced but hers was sideways, and she said I should make sure mine was straight, but when I mentioned it my piercer was just sarcastic, "oh shit cuz I was gonna do it off center." In fact the whole time I was there I was treated like some stupid high school bimbo who had no respect for the industry. Considering my entourage I can see why, but it was still really rude.

He had me sit down, cleaned around it and put on gloves etc. I said I was nervous, I hadn't had a needle in my skin since I was really young getting shots. He asked if he should count down, or just do it. I said just do it but I don't think he was listening for an answer and compromised by counting down 3..2..*pierce* 1 *jewelry in*  "you're done."

They gave me a sheet of paper with aftercare instructions written with a misspelling and bad grammar. They were pretty common mistakes and I decided I shouldn't judge them too harshly, you don't need to write well to pierce well. They said to use antibacterial soap or bactine or alcohol to clean it then lubricate it lightly with bacitracin.

I used antibacterial soap, cleaned it diligently and was very careful, but a few weeks later it became inflamed and started oozing pus. I tried to keep calm but soon the pus looked more and more green and the jewelry was too tight, making a crater in my skin and making it impossible to clean. I went back to the shop and showed it to them and the guy behind the counter asked my piercer if I needed a longer piece for the swelling. I told him it hurt really really bad. He looked at it, said no, and asked if I cleaned it with alcohol. I said no I had chosen to use antibacterial soap. He acted like I hadn't read his aftercare instructions at all and that anyone with a brain would have cleaned it with alcohol. The guy he was tattooing chimed in, "yeah alcohol works...awesome." so I left feeling a little better...

But the pain was terrible, it kept me up at night. The swelling was several inches around the piercing and it just looked sick. (note: if anything like green pus or excessive swelling like this happens to you definitely go see a doctor asap) So I cleaned it with alcohol and tried to relieve the swelling by letting the pus out every once in a while. It got worse and worse until about 48 hours later. I was in so much pain and could barely think. I thought I should get some water with but ended up passing out in the kitchen (and I slammed my head on the counter on the way down, ouch). i had to go to the emergency room and be injected with something and I had to take antibiotics and use a cream 3 times a day for 3 weeks. I was really irritated that that happened right after the guy looked at it. (And yes, my parents found out, yes they were terribly upset and disappointed, yes my mom cried.)

It finally healed but looking back now, any piercer should have seen that I needed medical attention, and any piercer worth shit would at least have seen that I needed a longer bar since it was sooo swollen. He was just being lazy and being an ass. I have a puckered scar around the top part of my piercing, which isn't that visible as long as I keep the piercing in. I haven't taken it out, but I'm assuming it will probably never close completely which really pisses me off. I also get some psychosomatic ghost pain that seems like its coming from my piercing but when I put my finger where it hurts the most its always an inch away.( Just a reminder I guess? I have never heard of this happening)  I don't really think of it as a bad experience, though. I had fun with it after it healed, and no regrets but I wish I could take it out now and have a somewhat normal looking bellybutton. I'll never go back to that shop, not because it got infected but because they're disrespectful and

don't give a shit about their customers.

Overall, I'm very glad I had a bad experience in an inconsequential place like that. I got it out of the way and my other piercings have gone smoothly (and yes, I will always use alcohol and bactine now and never just antibacterial soap :)) and I will be a lot more careful and assertive next time.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 21 Dec. 2009
in Navel Piercing

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Artist: %3F
Studio: Rix+Tattoo+Shop
Location: St.+George%2C+UT

Comments (1)

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Saturday, May 28, 2011 @4:50 p.m.
As a professional piercer Id just like to state that once your piercing fully heals, it shouldnt close completely once you take the jewelry out. It is expected to have two small dots where the piercing channel is, even if the piercing healed with no complications. The channel remains in tact. Although the large dimple where the ball was sitting when it was swollen shouldnt be there :\ Also, the aftercare instructions they gave you are completely whack. You should never use alcohol on a piercing because it kills healthy tissue and dries out your piercing. Bactine also states on the label that it shouldnt be used on puncture wounds, and bacitracin is greasy and it just clogs up your piercing. All you need to heal a piercing is some sea salt and water, or H2Ocean. :p

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