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A navel piercing can take between several months to a year to fully heal, so it is important to establish a consistent routine for navel piercing aftercare. Some of the best tips for navel piercing aftercare are related to cleaning the site of the piercing, including how often to clean the area and what to clean it with. Avoiding infection by following an appropriate cleansing routine and avoiding potential instigators of infections such as hot tubs and dirty fingers is also important to successful navel piercing aftercare.
Rinsing a navel piercing with saline solution approximately twice a day is highly recommended to keep infections at bay and promote healing. Most reputable piercing studios will provide newly pierced clients with a pure saline solution of their own creation or a small packet of non-iodized sea salt for the customer to mix with water. A very small amount of salt, approximately ¼ teaspoon (1.23 ml) per 1 cup or 8oz (236.59 ml) of warm water will create a saline solution. Individuals can invert the cup of salt water over their navel, pressing it against the skin to seal in the liquid, for several minutes or until the water cools.
Before a navel piercing can be cleaned it is absolutely essential that the hands coming into contact with it are clean. Hands should be washed thoroughly with hot water and antibacterial soap and dried on a disposable towel, because cloth hand towels often harbor bacteria. A very gentle, non-scented, antibacterial soap can be used to cleanse the site of the piercing; harsh soaps, rubbing alcohol, and disinfectant sprays should be avoided to minimize risk of irritation. Even if the soap is extremely mild, cleaning with it should not be a part of navel piercing aftercare more than twice daily to prevent the skin from becoming inflamed or the wound infected.
Aside from cleansing and rinsing, there are some other practical elements of navel piercing aftercare that should not be overlooked. Naval piercings can snag on clothing, washcloths, and towels, so precautions should be taken to avoid such instances. It is not necessary to rotate the jewelry, and the jewelry should not be removed for any reason apart from an emergency to prevent infection or closing of the hole. Infection-causing germs are everywhere, especially in pools, lakes or ponds, hot tubs, and on cloth towels, so it is wise to avoid these things; if swimming is inevitable, the piercing should be covered with a water-resistant bandage and cleaned immediately after. If an infection does occur, it is a medical issue and a physician should be consulted for care.
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