Everything You Need To Know About a Belly Ring

January 27th, 2010

The idea of navel rings is said to have begun in the 1940s when Hollywood movie producers were banned from showing navels on the big screen.  To get around this limitation, actresses wore gems or jewels in their belly buttons so they didn‘t actually show.  Others believe that the tradition began long ago in Roman, Greek and Egyptian cultures.  It was customary to decorate the body with piercings and tattoos in these cultures.

Wherever the tradition began, navel rings are very popular today, especially among young women.  The ability to easily hide or conceal the belly button ring, especially during the healing process, has really led to the piercing’s popularity.

The name “navel piercing” is not exactly accurate, however.  Actually, the rim above the navel is where the piercing is located.  Of course, a person can pierce the skin on the bottom and sides of the navel as well.

A belly button or navel is usually pierced with a barbell because they allow for the easiest healing process.  Navel piercings have their own special kind of barbells, though.  Because of their slightly curved design, they are often called “bananabells” or “bananabars.”

Body jewelry is measured by “gauges.” Navel piercings are usually done with a 14 Gauge barbell which is the same as 1/16’.  The Association of Professional Piercers (APP) states that no greater than 14 GA body jewelry may be used in piercings below the neck.  This is to prevent the risk of a negative reaction or skin tearing.

A standard belly button ring is 3/8” long, but people sometimes use a longer barbell at the time of piercing to allow room for the area to swell slightly. The balls on a standard navel ring are usually two different sizes; the top ball is 5 mm in diameter while the bottom ball is 8 mm in diameter.

There are, of course, risks involved in having one’s belly button pierced.  The most common risks include pain at the piercing site, swelling, scarring and infection.  To minimize your risk, make certain that the piercer uses sterilized tools in a sterilized environment.

Healing can take anywhere from four months to one year.  There are many things that affect the healing process of a navel ring:  sweat, shirt fabric, overall health, care and quality of jewelry.  Only 316L and 316LVM surgical steel are approved as “implant grade” materials by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM).

Belly button rings are becoming more and more popular and it’s important to people take great care of these piercings.  They are considered beautiful and a great way to add to one’s personal style. If you’re interested in getting this type of piercing, make sure you know all the risks and benefits before doing so.

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