Rejected Belly Button Piercings

  • Written By Dan Hunter on July 15, 2018
    Last Updated: March 17, 2022

Most people encounter a lot of rejection in their lives – romantically, socially or even when trying to land a job. You never think you’ll have to add your rejected belly button piercing to that list, but it can happen.

Belly button piercing rejections aren’t always that easy to spot though. How do you know when your beautiful belly button piercing is about to go up in smoke? Furthermore, does that mean you’re destined to have a bling-less belly for the rest of your life?

What Is Belly Button Piercing Rejection?

belly button piercing rejection is when your body wants to evict a piece of jewelry and starts to make that happen. It can be annoying and disheartening, but it’s also really kind of fascinating when you think about it.

Here’s what happens during the piercing rejection process. Your body starts ejecting the piece of jewelry. As it slowly works the jewelry out of the body, the skin starts to heal behind it. It’s very similar to what your body would do with a splinter, glass, or any foreign substance.

Although the difference is that you’re glad when your body repels a splinter but you want it to accept your piercing.

It may be hard to have a lot of appreciation for what the body can do when it’s rejecting something you desperately want, but it is amazing stuff.

What Causes A Rejected Belly Button Piercing?

One of the biggest reasons your navel piercing could be rejected is because you’ve picked the wrong jewelry for it. You might have picked the wrong size of jewelry and the wrong type of metal.

If you’re worried about your body rejecting your piercing or if you’ve had a sensitivity to metals in some of your other piercings, you should stay away from that metal. Instead, you should pick one that is less likely to be rejected.

While stainless steel is an inexpensive and popular choice for belly button jewelry, it is more likely to be rejected than some other metals like titanium. If you have sensitive skin or past problems with piercing rejections, go with titanium.

When you’re thinking about the size and weight of your jewelry, you should go for the Goldilocks zone. You don’t want anything too small or too big, too light or too heavy. It should be just right.

An experienced piercer should be able to help you determine what size, weight, and type of jewelry would work best for you.

The location of your piercing can also play a big part. The closer your piercing is to the surface of your skin, the greater the chance your piercing will be rejected. You want to have some extra skin between the piercing and your skin’s surface.

Common Signs & Symptoms Of A Rejected Belly Button Piercing

If you’ve really paid attention to your piercer about what’s normal and what isn’t following a piercing, you may be able to spot a rejection in its early stages.

You should keep in mind that just because you’ve made it through the first few months, you shouldn’t feel overly confident. Belly button piercing rejections can happen at any point – even months or years after you’ve had the piercing done.

Due to the fact that they can happen so slowly, you might think you’re out of the woods, even if you’re not.

Here are some of the signs you might notice if a rejection begins:

Migration Happens

Migration is when your belly button jewelry is slowing pushed closer toward the surface of your skin. Some migration is normal and isn’t a reason to panic. Though, you should still have it checked out by your piercer to see if it’s concerning or normal.

If you notice the migration appears to be continuing, it’s not a good sign. That’s an indication your belly button piercing is going to be rejected.

Over-the-Top Soreness

Obviously, you aren’t going to make it out of a belly button piercing without some soreness. That’s to be expected, and just because you’re feeling tender or sore, it doesn’t mean rejection is happening.

However, if you start to have soreness that has gotten worse without any signs of infection, it could signal a rejection. If your skin also feels super sensitive and you’ve already been through the initial healing phase, it could signal a rejection too.

Rejected Belly Button Piercing

Another sign that something is going wrong, is when it’s been months after your piercing and the pain seemed to go away, but lately, it has been resurfacing.

If the pain only lasts for one day, you shouldn’t sweat it too much. It could just be that your belly button jewelry got snagged on your clothes and was pulled a bit, leading to the pain.

Still, if the soreness is a new thing for you and seems to be consistent, watch out for any other symptoms of a belly piercing rejection or an infection.

You Can See It With Your Own Eyes

If you start to notice the bar on your belly button piercing jewelry is visible through your skin, that’s a big clue migration is happening. As migration is underway, that bar inside your body will keep moving closer to the surface until it actually is so close to the surface of your skin that you can it.

It’s Hanging Loosely

When rejection is underway, the jewelry won’t seem as tight as when you first got it. It will seem like it’s hanging there loosely.

Increase In Piercing Hole Size

If you notice the holes at the piercing sites getting bigger, you should watch for other signs of rejection. This is a common one and it might be one you’ll only notice if you pay close attention to your navel.

More Discharge

In the first few days or even couple of weeks after your piercing, you can expect discharge. Nevertheless, if the discharge seems to slow down and then start back up, it could mean your piercing is being rejected.

Formation of a Keloid Or Scar

If you see a formation of ​scar tissue around your belly button piercing, you should have it checked out. A hypertrophic scar or keloid is an overproduction of scar tissue that builds up around the area of trauma.  They don’t typically contain pus or fluid and aren’t painful, although a keloid may be tender to touch.

Keloids can be big or small. Although the size of them might matter to you, it still signifies the same thing no matter how large they are – your body has formed scar tissue as a result of the piercing, which could point to a rejection.

Can You Fix A Rejected Belly Button Piercing?

If you do have a belly button piercing rejection, are you doomed to never have the belly button jewelry you want to wear? Or is it a temporary setback?

It depends on whether you can save your current piercing.

If you want to have any chance of saving it, you need to watch for any signs of rejection. If you see anything concerning, have it checked out quickly.

If you wait until your piercing has migrated so far that you can see the jewelry through the skin, the best course of action is to have that area re-pierced at a later date.

Obviously, cleaning your belly button piercing regularly and ​thoroughly will help to prevent any further complications from arising.

How Can You Avoid Belly Button Piercing Rejections?

One of the best ways to prevent your belly button piercing from being rejected is to use an easy-to-tolerate metal, to begin with, and throughout the healing stages.

You should definitely stay away from nickel, which is a metal that people routinely have problems with. Titanium and niobium are both good materials to begin with for your jewelry if you’re worried about a rejection problem.

Another thing you can do to increase your odds that rejection won’t occur is to make sure the jewelry your piercer uses is a good size and weight for you. That’s where using an experienced piercer will pay off.

Can You Re-Pierce After Suffering From A Navel Piercing Rejection?

While it can be a crushing setback to have to let your first piercing close up and heal, the good news is that you can have your belly button piercing re-pierced.

There’s no guarantee for success, but persistence does pay off sometimes. Many people who have had rejected belly button piercings have gone on to successfully find a metal their body doesn’t try to push out.

You’ll definitely want to use a different metal for the jewelry to see if that helps improve your odds for success.

Ask your piercer what kind of metal they’d recommend for decreasing your chance of another rejection.

Your piercer will know what kinds of metals people seem to react least to and you can benefit from that knowledge. You’re paying them because of their expertise, so pick their brain and see if that solves your problem.


It can feel like a big defeat when you pay for your piercing and go through all the pain and discomfort associated with it only to have your body reject it.

However, if you really want something badly enough, you might decide to keep trying, and if you do, you just might end up with want you wanted all along – a cool belly button ring to show.

If you want to ensure your piercing heals the best it possibly can, it’s imperative that you follow your piercer’s aftercare advice closely, and be sure to invest in a high-quality aftercare solution to aid recovery.

The best piercing aftercare product I’ve ever had the pleasure of using up to this point is the After Inked Piercing Aftercare Spray. Not only is it vegan-friendly, but it’s also completely alcohol and additive-free. The solution works well on all skin types including sensitive skin, and it comes in a generously-sized mist-spraying bottle for easy application.

When using it from the very start of the healing process, the spray helps to decrease healing times and aims to eliminate any lingering pain or soreness.​ Click here to buy from Amazon.

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