The belly button is a popular choice when choosing a piercing spot. Still, it is a piercing that requires a lot of time and regular care to heal. Keep in mind that the impatience to replace the navel piercing with a more beautiful and more attractive ring can lead to complications if you do it too soon.
So, how to take out a belly ring will depend on how your body has recovered from the piercing, the type of ring you choose, and regular aftercare. As soon as the piercing fully heals, this procedure will take only a few minutes, and it will be entirely painless.
1. Wait for the Navel Piercing to Heal
The first thing you need to know about belly piercing is that it heals very slowly. The healing process can take anywhere between three months and up to a year. It will depend on your immunity and the appropriate piercing care.
Swelling, slight bleeding, and whitish discharge will become rare as time goes on. You should regularly clean the area around the belly ring and refrain from twisting and pulling it. Only that way, the skin around the piercing will finally become smooth and scarless.
Good habits such as enough sleep, proper nutrition, and good health will speed up healing, so your piercing can seem perfect after only a month or two. Contrary, the lack of hygiene, tight clothing, and infection can prolong the healing period.
As I have already mentioned, any attempt to remove the belly ring before it heals entirely can lead to skin tearing, bleeding, and complications. However, never hesitate to ask a professional piercer to remove the ring if surgery or other medical procedure requires it.
Otherwise, you should wait for the required period before changing jewelry for the first time. As the wound heals, you will notice that the itching and the discharge stop gradually. The skin around the navel will become smooth, and the edges of the hole will pull inwards.
Once you estimate that it is time to change the initial jewelry, removing the belly ring should be quick and easy. On the other hand, you need to wait if you feel that it sticks to your skin, and it is impossible taking it out effortlessly.
2. Clean the Wound
It is not uncommon for a navel piercing to become infected. Therefore, you need to get in the habit of daily cleaning the area to prevent complications.
Wash the belly ring at least once or twice a day with lukewarm water. You can place your palm under your navel to collect water around the piercing for a minute or two while taking a shower. Avoid scented shower gels and soaps as they can dry out and irritate the skin.
It will help if you rinse your belly piercing daily with a sea salt solution. If you prefer home-made products, you should dissolve half a teaspoon of sea salt in a cup of boiling water.
Once the mix cools off, rinse the piercing. Another way is to soak sterile gauze and place it over the area for a few minutes. Don’t forget to rinse the piercing afterward with clean water to remove any salt residue! Keep in mind that iodized or kosher salt is too strong, so you should avoid them to prevent an adverse reaction.
You can also use a saline solution from the pharmacy. Regularly rinse your wound with this product to keep it clean.
Lavender and tea tree oil
Although piercers generally don’t recommend oils, ointments, and lotions applying, lavender and tea tree oil will have a good effect on the sensitive area. Their healing properties relieve swelling, tighten skin, and accelerate healing.
White discharge is one of the typical occurrences in the first months after having piercing and occurs due to healing. However, the deposits that form around the ring can have an unpleasant odor and cause infection.
If you fail regular aftercare, crust and secret deposits can damage the wound. It is better to prevent this by gently rubbing the ring daily with a cotton pad soaked in lukewarm water.
4. Choose the Appropriate Belly Ring
Once you decide to change your belly ring, you can choose from countless designs, materials, and colors. Plus, you can find a vibrating or customized ring if you prefer these models. However, it is much more relevant to choose the right size of the jewelry.
Initially, the piercer will use a 14- or 16-gauge shaft for your belly piercing. The meter defines the thickness of the bar that pierces your skin. A larger number means a thinner piercing. If you pick out a too thin ring, your body may reject it as a foreign object.
On the other hand, the too thick ring can tear up your skin and cause bruises. Some people prefer large piercings, but stretching takes time. For instance, if you remove the 16-gauge ring to put the 12-gauge one too fast, a replacement process can be painful and cause trauma.
Never order the cheapest jewelry you can find online. Many affordable piercings are made of the alloy that contains nickel, cobalt, and chromium, which often cause allergies. Instead, buy jewelry made of pure gold, silver, or titanium to ensure you are safe.
5. The First Jewelry Replacement
If it has been a few months since you put on your belly ring and there are no signs of infection, you can try to replace your jewelry. Typically, the ring you get from your piercer is non-decorative and straightforward.
The reason is that piercer uses jewelry made of bio-compatible materials, and safety is considered more important than aesthetics. However, you can change it with the ring that goes with your style more as soon as your belly heals completely.
Make sure to wash your hands well with antibacterial soap before starting. Keep in mind that a freshly pierced hole can close in just a few minutes after you take out the belly ring. So, sterilize and prepare your new jewelry on time.
Clean the skin around the piercing with saline solution and rinse it with water. Then, gently pull the ring and unscrew the ball. If it is too slippery, try taking it off with latex gloves on your hands.
Once the ring is out, sweep the skin with an antibacterial tissue and immediately unscrew the ball from the new jewelry. Slide it in the hole from the bottom upwards and screw the ball back to close the ring.
If you feel pain or discomfort while replacing the ring, don’t remove it. Wait another week or two before trying again.
Any jewelry removal or placement by force can open the wound, tear the skin, and cause bleeding. Remember that you can always bring your new ring to the studio and let the piercer switch the old one.
6. After Ring Replacement Care
Even though your navel is healed and you can change your belly ring whenever you want, the risk of infection hasn’t passed. Therefore, you need to continue with routine care.
- Prevention – Never pull your ring, twist it, or stretch just for fun. Plus, avoid wearing tight jeans or any other clothing that can get caught on the belly ring and hurt the skin.
- Cleaning – Buy warm or cold compresses or use a clean cotton cloth soaked in warm water to regularly wash the area. If necessary, use antibacterial wipes and remove any remnants of secretions before rinsing. Then, hold the compress on the piercing for a few minutes at least three to five times a day.
- Excessive cleaning – As with insufficient washing, you can cause the creating of micro-abrasions on the skin when cleaning the area too often. They will make it easier for bacteria to cause infection. The same goes for rinsing the belly piercing with rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
- A timely visit to the doctor in case of infection – It is crucial to react to the first infection symptoms such as high fever, increased redness, discharge, and odor. A warm compress may ease the pain, but going to the doctor is necessary if you need antibiotic therapy.
7. Pregnancy Navel Rings
Nowadays, there is no need to remove your belly ring when getting pregnant. It will be enough to replace your regular ring with one of the flexible models that have appeared on the market in recent years.
These PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene) piercings expand as your stomach grows, so there is no fear of tearing your skin or stretching marks due to the piercing. Find jewelry collections specifically designed for pregnant women and enjoy your ring without any worry.
Once your navel recovers from the piercing, changing the belly ring won’t require much effort. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap, clean the belly area, and sterilize new jewelry. That’s all! Make sure to choose the right gauge ring from a bio-compatible material to avoid allergy reactions.