How to Heal an Infected Navel Piercing

By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Heal an Infected Navel Piercing

There is nothing more unpleasant than having an infection in your navel piercing. Navel piercings are one of the most common and usually don't cause any problem. However, unsanitary conditions or poor aftercare after making it can lead to complications and infections. You must be careful with pus or infection as this can spread to the rest of your body, so take it seriously. You may feel pain and heat around the infection, and bleeding may occur. Follow these steps to heal an infected navel piercing so you can show off your tummy in the summer without suffering.

You'll need:
  • Clean cloth
  • Salt
  • Water
  • Antibiotic cream
Steps to follow:

To cure the infection in the navel you can apply a hot compress. Use a clean cloth and deeply soak it with water. Place the cloth in the microwave for about 25 seconds or until hot. Then place it on the infected navel and keep it on the infected area until the fabric cools. You can repeat this several times. The heat compress helps increase blood flow to the infected area and allows for the draining of pus.

In this OneHowTo article we explain you how to care for new piercings to prevent infections.

How to Heal an Infected Navel Piercing - Step 1

It's important to clean your piercing so you can prevent and treat the infection. You can clean it with salted water twice a day. Put a teaspoon of table salt into a glass of water, soak a cotton ball or a clean cloth in the water and apply to the infected area. Dispose all the materials immediately after use to prevent the spreading of the infection.

Never use alcohol or hydrogen peroxide to clean the infection, as these can dry out the skin and cause even more irritation.

How to Heal an Infected Navel Piercing - Step 2

Visit your doctor so he or she will tell you which antibiotic creams you can use to stop the infection. The specialist will tell you for how long you need to use the cream and how many times you need to apply it throughout the day.

How to Heal an Infected Navel Piercing - Step 3

Don't remove your belly button jewelry unless your doctor tells you to do so. If you keep the piercing this leaves the hole open and allows the pus to drain. If you close the hole the infection can stay inside your body, and abscesses can be formed.


Visit your doctor immediately when your navel piercing gets infected. He or she will give you more information on how to clean it to stop the infection and maybe prescribe you some drugs that can fight off the infection.

How to Heal an Infected Navel Piercing - Step 5

Bear in mind that navel piercings might take up to two years to completely heal. During that time, you're at risk of infection. Be very careful with your piercing getting caught on pants or belts, and maintain a good hygiene around the area.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Heal an Infected Navel Piercing, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.

  • Any infection that will not go away in 1 or 2 days can be serious and you should seek immediate medical attention.
  • If you have a pierced navel and the navel is infected, do not remove the ring immediately upon seeing the infection. If there is pus, leave the ring so it can come out. Pus that does not drain may cause an abscess, which must be treated with antibiotics or in some cases surgery.
  • Some infections can be fatal. A systematic infection is when bacteria and toxins have spread throughout the body through your bloodstream. Take any infection seriously and know that it can not disappear by itself.
  • In cases of navel piercing, infection can disappear in a few days but you may have to remove the ring and let the hole close and have it reopened later. Then you can have the piercing redone once the original hole is fully cured.
  • Do not use alcohol as this disinfects but does not cure.

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