When a belly button piercing is performed, a foreign object is inserted into the skin. In some cases, the body may recognize the piercing jewelry and try to eject it. This is what is referred to as a belly button piercing rejection. Rejection could lead to migration of the piercing. Where it is not recognized early enough, the jewelry could be pushed out of the skin and scarring left as evidence of a belly button gone wrong. This post covers this and other risks associated with navel piercing.
Belly Button Piercing Rejection
One of the risks associated with belly button piercing is rejection. A rejection occurs when a foreign object is placed in the body and the body recognizes it as foreign and a threat to your safety. To protect itself from health risks, the body starts to fight it by pushing it out slowly with an aim of finally ejecting it and healing the affected area. In this case, belly button piercing rejection refers to the body recognizing the jewelry as a foreign object and fighting it so the skin below can heal. Once rejection has occurred, there is a likelihood of migration. This occurs when the rejection process causes the jewelry to move closer to the surface of the skin. In case the jewelry remains intact, the rejection process causes the jewelry to migrate. This increases the chances of healing with scarring.
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Piercing rejection is a natural reaction to foreign objects inserted in the body. Since belly button piercings are surface piercings, they tend to have a higher rejection rate than other non-surface piercings. This can be attributed to the fact that they are close to the surface of the skin making it easy to be pushed close to the surface. Their rejection rate therefore stands in contrast to piercings with holes on the opposite sides and those deep I the flesh like ears, nose and tongue.
Belly Button Piercing Rejection Signs
Belly button piercing rejection is normally confused with belly button infections. While there may be some shared signs, there are specific ones that distinguish the two. Since rejection and migration occur slowly over time, it is possible to miss the process until it is too late. In fact, so slow is the process that it can take up to four years to be noticed. To help you identify the condition, below are the signs to look out for.
- High skin sensitivity and constant soreness that make a slight touch such as that of the blouse irritating.
- Although itching is normal, excessive itchiness may be a sign of an impending rejection.
- Reduced thickness of the skin above the piercing as the jewelry is pushed up the skin.
- Loosely hanging rings when you compare it with the time you got the piercing.
- A visible increase in the size of the piercing hole. Elongated exit sides on either side are an indication of the body trying to push out the jewelry.
- The formation of a belly button piercing keloid.
Causes of Belly Button Piercing Rejection
Belly button piercing rejection does not occur in every one. Different individuals have a different rate of susceptibility depending on how they react to foreign objects in the body. One factor that contributes to rejection is when the piercing is done too close to the skin surface. When the piercing is done through navel punching, only a thin skin layer gets broken through. As a result, it becomes easier for the body to push the jewelry out. Other causes are as discussed below.
- How the piercing is done can result in a rejected belly button piercing. This is more so if it is done too close to the surface of the skin. An experienced piercer should know how deep the piercing should get so as there can be enough skin above the jewelry to avoid rejection. Ring sizes of more than 16 gauge are likely to lead to rejections since they are too small.
- Rejection could occur as a result of the initial jewelry. The right jewelry must be fitted in. It should be of the right material and the right size.
- Allergic reactions to certain metals could also be cause for a rejecting belly button piercing. Some people are allergic to nickel and other metals. Before settling on given metals, it is advisable to conduct an allergy test. This will ensure you are certain that the jewelry you don will not cause you problems.
- Heavy jewelry tends to exert force on the piercing and can be a cause for rejection. To prevent this, always pick standard jewelry. Your piercer should be in a position to help you with this.
When the rejection is noticed too late, it leaves you with little to do to control it. This makes it important to be in a position to recognize and act on the rejection and migration. This will help prevent excessive scarring and too large a hole that would be experienced were the migration to go on to completion. Removal of the jewelry is important as it will give way to a normal healing process of the tissues beneath.
The rejection of an initial piercing should not kill your dreams of donning a belly ring. Depending on the causes, it is possible to have a re-piercing done. Ensure that this gets done by a professional to avoid a recurrence. A professional piercer would also know if it is okay to do this. They could try a different location for the subsequent time. After this, learn how to take proper belly button piercing aftercare. This will help reduce the possibility of a rejection.
In most cases a belly button piercing can last for many years. However, it is possible for you to experience rejection even after a year of having the piercing. Long after the area has healed, you may start noticing the onset of a discharge, redness and crust formation. These are possible to dismiss as an infection while it may be a rejection. Different people have different experiences on rejections. While it may take around four weeks for a complete rejection in some, others may take up to a year. Instead of waiting for the body to expel the ring, watch out for signs and know when to take it out. Left within, the rejection could cause serious infections as well as leave you with intense belly button scarring.
While scarring is normal with piercings, rejection brings along excessive scarring. These become most visible when the piercing is without jewelry. When the piercing rejects, it is important to get the ring out to minimize scarring. The more the rejection causes migration the greater the scar will be. Large scars are hard to get rid of and take a long time to fade. In case the scar is bothersome, you could talk to your dermatologist on various ways of getting rid of it. These can help to get rid of them or diminish their appearance.
Once rejection has set on, there is little that can be done to control the rejection. The best way of dealing with this condition is to take precautions and avoid it. In some cases, the rejection is as a result of neglect or the process of piercing. To help in prevention of this, it is possible to employ some mechanisms to minimize the risk. Below we list what to do to avoid rejection.
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- Have your piercing done by a professional piercer who is a registered practitioner. This will help you avoid rejection as the process will be done right and with the right equipment.
- Go for the right gauge size. A professional piercer knows what size is best for a navel piercing. Ask them the size they use before settling on them. The smaller the gauge the greater the likelihood of rejection and thus should be avoided.
- Pick the correct jewelry. Some of the materials that are less likely to get rejected include sterling silver, titanium, glass and gold.
- Ensure that you follow the aftercare instructions given and have items necessary for caring for the piercing prior to the day of your appointment with the piercer.
- Ensure that you get pierced at a time when you are in a position to leave the jewelry in throughout the healing duration.
Rejected Belly Button Piercing Pictures
The process of rejection is best explained using visual images. The pictures below show the initial stages of a belly button rejection. This is something that could pass unnoticed and therefore requires you to be keen.
Belly Button Piercing Rejection 1: A quick glance at this picture may not reveal much. It is possible to dismiss it as an already healed and healthy piercing. However, a closer look at the piercing reveals otherwise.
Belly Button Piercing Rejection 2: This image shows the onset of the rejection. The skin on the top exit of the piercing starts to redden.
Belly Button Piercing Rejection 3: In this picture, the same piercing starts to ooze some discharge with time as the process of rejection advances. As can also be seen, the piercing hole is also elongated on the lower end.
Belly Button Piercing Gone Wrong
While belly button piercing is a great fashion statement, when not done by the right person, at the right place and with the right equipment, a lot of things could go wrong. We searched online for stories narrated by people who have had it done and had belly button piercing gone wrong. Below some of our picks on some things that could go wrong.
While pain is a normal aspect of piercing since the skin gets punctured, at times the pain could be too much and you could end up passing out during the process. In some instances the pain is not only during the piercing process. Once done with the piercing and in case it was not done well, the pain can be unbearable.
“I got home and surprised my husband with it… The next morning I went to work. My navel hurt so badly, I couldn’t even sit down. Something was not right. I did some online research and came to the conclusion that my navel was pierced extremely deep and high. By the second day I couldn’t stand it anymore. I found another shop that did body piercing and went there and asked them what the deal was. The guy said the bar was far too tight. They changed the bar out for a CBR. It felt better, but still hurt.” [Source: community.tribalectic.com]
Depending on the place where you get pierced, it is possible to get infections in case the equipment used is not sterilized and the place is not hygienic enough. Another online user had this experience:
“I got my belly button pierced the weekend after I turned 18… While in Poland, we were cautioned to use bottled water to brush our teeth with, but I didn’t think anything of showering with a still-healing belly piercing and ended up with the worst infection ever. The skin around the piercing swelled up to roughly the size of a thimble, had turn red, hot to the touch, and was incredibly painful. I had to have the doctor who came along as a chaperone drain it as well (yuck). It eventually cleared up after lots of warm salt water compresses and antibiotics, but man, was it awful.” — [Source: thefrisky.com]
Other instances where belly button piercings go wrong is when during the process the piercee or piercer becomes too shaky. This could lead to the point being missed and another piercing getting initiated. The jewelry could also get caught in clothes or worse still under the table which can be quite painful. To avoid your piercing from going wrong, ensure that you have a registered piercer conduct the process. Also learn how to take proper care of it. This will save you from a lot of pain
Belly Button Piercing Gone Wrong Pictures
A lot of things could go wrong with the piercing. Some of these may result from negligence while others could be accidental. To further illustrate how wrong things could go with navel piercings if you are not cautious enough, here are some images.
Belly Button Piercing Gone Wrong 1-Ripped Off: This image shows a piercing that went horribly wrong. We can never know what happened for it to get ripped off. Watch out for your jewelry not to get caught up in things to avoid this.
Belly Button Piercing Gone Wrong-Infection: On this image, we see an infected piercing. As can be seen, it has a discharge which should be left to drain with the ring still in. follow the aftercare instructions given by the piercer to avoid infections.
Belly Button Piercing Risks
Piercing your belly button comes with some risks. While most of these occur as a result of incompetence by the piercer or insufficient aftercare, it still is possible to do all things right and face these risks. One great risk is the piercing getting infected. This mostly occurs when the cleaning is insufficient. Some cleaning agents, swimming in dirty water, the use of unsterilized jewelry and wiping it with dirty items may also cause infections and delay healing. Where an infection occurs, the ring should be left to stay in until it clears. Getting it out could trap infections something that is a health hazard and could cause blood poisoning.
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Migration and rejection are other risks that you could face. These two are quite common during pregnancy. Rejection occurs when the body recognizes the jewelry as a foreign object. This could cause the area to have scars. It is therefore important that as soon as a rejection is noticed, you get rid of the ring. When pregnant, make use of maternity jewelry to avoid migration and rejection.