Illustrated Guide to Navel Piercings

A navel, or belly button piercing, passes through the rim of the navel. Although typically done just above the navel on the top ridge, belly button piercings can go anywhere around the outside of the navel wherever there is a fold or "lip". Navel piercings are fairly common, particularly among women, and almost every body type can be pierced in this location. The only exception is if the line your torso creates when you bend over runs directly through the belly button rather than up around the ribs. If this is the case, healing
will be extremely difficult due to constant pressure and irritation and should probably be avoided. Traditionally, navel piercing are not the easiest to heal. I personally have had my belly button pierced twice; the first time, while in college, I ended up having to remove the ring due to an infection that occurred when I got really sick and my immune system decided to stop functioning properly. I later got it re-pierced. Out of all my piercings, however, I will say that the belly button is the one that gives me the most grief., frequently getting snagged on blankets and becoming irritated every time I am hit with a cold.

Navel piercings are usually done with a curved barbell and can take anywhere from 4 to 12 months to heal completely. Once healed, standard navel piercings can be changed out and replaced with captive bead rings or J-bars (which is a curved barbell in the shape of a J.) Navel piercings seem to be the body modification of choice among teenage girls, but it is important to keep in mind that wearing tight clothing can irritate the wound and prevent healing from occurring.

Navel jewelry comes in all shapes and sizes and can be purchased practically anywhere--up the mall, at Hot Topic, even down the shore. Many belly button rings include attachments such as butterflies, hearts or stars that adorn the jewelry by dangling down off the ring.

f you have an outie belly button, don't fret: it can still be pierced. When an outie is pierced it is called a true navel piercing. Rather than passing through the skin just above the opening, a true navel piercing goes through the belly button itself.

An inverse, or lower, navel piercing is a vertically placed piercing located on the bottom ridge of the navel.

A double navel is a combination piercing that involves a standard belly button ring paired with an inverse.

A deep navel is a similar to a standard navel piercing except that it passes through a much larger area of skin. Regular barbells will not usually fit in deep navel piercings.

A horizontal navel piercing is a surface piercing that passes horizontally above the ridge of the navel, rather than going through it. Because it is a surface piercing, it is especially prone to rejection. Rejection happens when the body does not take to the foreign matter that has been inserted. Instead of healing around it, the body attempts to push the jewelry out. Poor health
can also contribute to rejection.

Another form of a horizontal is the double horizontal, two separate piercings on either side of the navel that are then joined with one long barbell.

Any stomach that contains one or more navel piercings may sometimes be called a multi-navel, or navel project. This can consist of any pattern of navel piercing and an array of body jewelry

Belly buttons, just like ears, tongues and noses, can be stretched (also called gauging.) This is done by gradually stretching the piercing over time, coaxing it to hold thicker and thicker jewelry until you have achieved the desired size.