Marks and Punctures have a large selection of tattoo designs and piercings available, we are happy to work with your requirements and designs, giving the best possible advice along the way. Our shop in Aylesbury has a comfortable waiting area and sterilised rooms for piercing and tattooing. Find out more in the about us section.

Navel Piercing Aftercare

The navel is a depressed scar which tends to collect dirt, and if not dried properly after bathing can become subject to fungal infections i.e candida albicans (thrush), even if it’s not pierced. Once it’s pierced, extra care must be taken with cleaning to prevent infections. We can’t stress strongly enough that it must be looked after carefully.

Navels can take longer to heal than other piercings because of their position on the body. Your waist is like the hinge of your body, so it is subject to a lot of movement and irritation from clothing. You MUST NOT allow clothing to rub directly onto your piercing until it is fully healed. If you must wear certain clothes for work which cross your piercing, it is possible to get a hard, convex shaped eye patch from your chemist, and when placed over your piercing it will alleviate pressure and let air circulate.

If clothes do rub your unhealed piercing, small lumps (granuloma) will appear at the top and / or bottom of your piercing, or in some cases cause to jewellery to migrate (i.e. your body may reject the piercing).

Navel piercings usually take between 6 and 16 weeks to heal, but occasionally can take up to a year. The healing time depends on a variety of factors: health, weight, diet, clothes, profession, and most importantly how well you look after it.
Don’t be alarmed if the only difference between a healed and unhealed navel is a very small amount of redness just around the entry and exit points of the jewellery.

The first 4 – 5 days after receiving the piercing, your navel will look fine; after this you will start to get a small amount of redness where the jewellery pierces the body. The piercing will discharge small amounts of milky fluid called “lymph” which will turn into a crust. This is just dead white blood cells from the healing process, not to be confused with pus, a thick yellow and painful discharge that indicates infection. If you think you may have an infection, please see your piercer or your local G.P. or perform a hot compress on it – see our general aftercare sheet for more information.

After 4 – 8 weeks the “crusting” will lessen, and there should only be (if any) a small amount of redness around the piercing. The piercing is not fully healed until all redness has gone. If you stop cleaning it before it is fully healed you may develop an infection. Jewellery must not be changed until the piercing is fully healed.

Pregnancy / Medical Examinations

If you become pregnant and wish to keep your navel piercing, you have a few options available to you. Usually you can keep the original jewellery in until about the 6th month (depending how big you get!). At this stage, the expansion of the skin means you will have to remove the jewellery, or you can replace it with a larger piece of jewellery or a special “pregnancy bar” which is made from P.T.F.E. (Teflon). This is a special plastic bar which can be used in any piercing, but won’t interfere with hospital equipment, x-rays and scans.

Jewellery won't go in?

If you take your jewellery out of your piercing, the hole will immediately start to close / shrink. If jewellery is lubricated it will be much easier to insert. You can try K.Y. Jelly or baby oil to ease the insertion or, alternatively, see your piercer A.S.A.P. - they can re-insert the jewellery using a tapered insertion pin. This is not always possible but, if it is, it will save you money and the pain of re-piercing!

Do's and Don'ts

DO remove the bandage after 3 – 4 hours. There may be some coagulated blood but don’t be alarmed, this is normal and will wash off easily. Have a shower after you remove the bandage, cup your hand under the piercing and soak with water for 3 – 4 minutes, or have a good soak in the bath. You may need to use a cotton bud.

DON’T use any cleaning fluid / antibacterial soap for the first 24 hours (it will sting!).

DO use a mild antibacterial soap in the shower (once a day only). Cup your hand under the piercing and soak it for 1 – 2 minutes, then place a small amount of antibacterial soap in your hand, lather it up and apply the lather gently to your navel. Leave for 1 minute, then soak the piercing once again and wash thoroughly to remove all soap. Leaving soap on the skin can cause irritation.

DO a 1/4 teaspoon of salt (preferably sea salt – available at most supermarkets) in half a cup of warm boiled water – but not so hot that you burn yourself! Place the whole glass over your navel and leave for 5 – 10 minutes. Holding the glass against your skin should make an airtight seal, so don’t let go! It’s easier to apply the glass while standing up, then lay down after, holding the glass tight against the skin. Watch T.V. for a while and the salt water will do its job. Rinse with fresh water and dry with a clean tissue afterwards. This process is the best way to promote fast healing and the more you do it, the quicker you will heal.

DO make sure, when washing, to remove any crusting from the jewellery. If it’s not cleaned off properly it can solidify around the ring / bar and tear the inside of the wound when the jewellery moves. This is painful and can lead to infection.

DO continue to use antibacterial soap after your free bottle runs out. You can use a mild liquid antibacterial soap found in chemists or you can purchase a special navel wash from us for £2.95. It must be used until the piercing has fully healed, or infection may occur.

DO make sure you dry your navel thoroughly after cleaning. This should be done with a paper tissue as towels harbour a lot of bacteria.

You can use lavender oil on the piercing as it promotes healing and lubricates the wound, thus reducing tenderness. Apply a small amount with a cotton bud after cleaning (don’t get it in your eye!) then move the jewellery gently so it gets into the wound. Remove any excess with a tissue, as leaving it on can irritate the skin. Lavender oil can be purchased at supermarkets (in the medicine section) or at a chemist, and must be marked BP or medicinal grade.

DO make sure to use antibacterial soap after swimming in public pools and the ocean. Salt-water bathing is a must after being in bacteria-filled waters and also after exercising or sweating a lot. Sweat acts like acid on a new piercing, and can make it very sore and aggravated, so keep it dry and clean.

Sunshine on your belly will produce vitamin D in the body, which will in turn promote healing. Just don’t burn!

DON’T use methylated spirits, surgical spirits or alcohol on your piercing as they are very astringent and can damage your piercing.

DON’T use creams or ointments as they keep the wound moist and hamper the healing process.

DON’T wear tight or restrictive clothing (including tights and pantyhose) which can rub the piercing while it’s healing. It can cause the piercing to grow out, or it could form a lump (a granuloma) on the top and / or bottom of the piercing, which can go very gooey and unpleasant. We’ve seen it many times, and although it will go away with proper care, you don’t want it in the first place!

DON’T remove the jewellery during the healing phase or the piercing will close.

DON’T hang charms or chains off your piercing until it is fully healed.

If you have any questions, problems, or queries, don’t hesitate to call us. We do not charge for advice, or fixing problem piercings, even if we did not perform the original piercing. If you have friends who were pierced elsewhere, and a problem occurs, they can come to us for free impartial advice. We fix many other people’s “dodgy” piercings, so don’t be afraid to call.

We also stock a large range of body jewellery, which we correctly size, sterilise, and fit for free.

Call us on: 01296 399969