Getting my belly button pierced was supposed to be a fun experience to remember. I had finished school, moved in with my boyfriend, and started a new job. At the time it seemed as if I was on top of the world, and I wanted to try something new. I will admit that I was nervous about getting my belly button pierced for the first time. The fact is, I’m not to fond of needles. Being that I didn’t want to make a total fool of myself in front of people who knew me, I decided to go alone to have my piercing done.
I arrived at the tattoo parlor around five o’clock, and after waiting in the car for ten minutes, (building up my courage) I walked in. Then telling the artist what I wanted, he had me pick out my temporary belly button ring. He explained to me that after I had the piercing for a few months, I could change the ring, or put in a bar. However, the smaller rings are easier to care for, and allow you time to get used to having the piercing. It made perfectly good sense to me, after all you wouldn’t want to wear a ring or a bar that is easy to get snagged on your clothes, until your all heeled up. After looking at the selection, I picked out a beautiful small ring that had a rainbow colored effect.
After I picked out my ring, the time came to get the piercing. It was much easier then you could ever imagine. I leaned back in a reclining chair, and with a poke of a sterile needle it was all over. Of course, I passed out as soon as I looked down, but I expected that to happen. Amazingly there wasn’t much pain, and I was very pleased when I left the parlor. On my way out I was given a list of instructions that included:
Apply antibiotic ointment twice a day
Rotate or move the ring several times a day
Keep the area dry at all times (dry after bating)
Remove the ring, or come back to the shop if redness, swelling, or pain occurs
Do not tug, or pull on the ring
Of course the sight was going to be red for a little while, so when I woke up the next morning and my belly button was a little red, and sore, I didn’t think anything of it. How dangerous can a belly button piercing be anyway? By the third day I noticed the area around the ring was turning purple, and was warm to the touch, so I called the tattoo parlor where I had the piercing done. The person I spoke with asked me to come immediately to the parlor, so I did. I remember the look on the mans face when I raised my shirt, as he knelt eye level with my belly button. Let’s just say it is never a good sign when a tattoo artist looks grossed out. He said, and I quote “go straight to your doctor’s office, and tell them you must be seen at once.” And so I did.
Come to find out my body tried to reject the belly button ring as I developed an allergic reaction. My flesh was actually eating itself away from the ring allowing an infection to set in. The doctor explained to me the rare but serious dangers of having a belly button piercing, or any other piercing for that matter. The ring was immediately removed, and the hole flushed with sterile water. Then the infected, and dead tissue had to be removed, and I was placed on oral antibiotics for a total of 7 days, plus I had to apply a prescription antibiotic to the fleshy sight four times a day for two weeks. I ended up with an obvious scar on my belly button, but was told I was lucky.
There are many common dangers with having a belly button piercing, and believe it or not staph infections, and allergic reactions are among these hidden dangers. If left untreated, I could have died. There was no one at fault, it’s just something that happens. Before you get a belly button piercing you should know the dangers, and risk. If you have trouble or are sensitive to jewelry, chances are your body will reject the piercing, and not heal around it. If you decided to get a belly button piercing after knowing the dangers, be sure to not over look any signs that might be serious. If your piercing continues to hurt, or stays red, go to your doctor and have it looked at.