When Can You Swim With A New Belly Button Piercing?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on November 18, 2020
    Last Updated: November 24, 2020

When you get a new belly button piercing, problems can arise if you go swimming too soon or don’t take proper precautions. We’ll provide helpful tips and recommendations to guide you through caring for your belly button piercing to prevent it from becoming damaged or infected from swimming.

Consider When You Got Your Piercing

If the piercing is new, it is advised that you wait for a minimum period of 24hours before swimming. However, the reality is that it is best to wait until the piercing has had the chance to heal properly and completely. 

Your piercing is vulnerable to infection if it stays moist for long periods; therefore, it’s best to keep your new piercing as dry as possible. 

A belly button piercing can take a minimum of three weeks to look healed, but up to six to twelve months to finish healing completely.

Even if you’ve had your belly button piercing for six months, and it appears healed, it’s still a good idea to keep your piercing as dry as possible. When you go swimming, a good solution is to cover your piercing with a waterproof bandage to reduce the chance of irritation and excess moisture. 

What’s the Condition of Your Piercing?

Though it’s essential to consider the healing time for your belly button piercing, the condition of the piercing is also vitally important.

While it’s natural to experience some tenderness and redness at the site of your piercing, keep in mind that everyone’s body heals differently. Your piercing may take much longer than others with the same type of piercing.

Because of this, some people with a belly button piercing may be swimming sooner than you. Do not be discouraged, as it’s more important to take care of your belly button piercing and to let it heal before you swim (especially if the area of the piercing is irritated).

There is a better chance that you can enjoy swimming more quickly when you keep your piercing dry and follow other aftercare instructions. It is imperative to follow all directions provided by your piercer. Keep in mind that if your piercing looks strange or experiences pain, contact your piercer for more clarity about how to care for your piercing.

Some signs that the piercing may be infected can include:

  • Pain that still is present after one or two days
  • Presence of swelling or pain that is unusual
  • Discharge that is yellow and smells foul
  • Bleeding that is extensive
  • Redness that is excessive

Eager to Swim Again? Remember These Tips

It is not only excessive moisture that can harm the pierced region of your belly button. Your piercing is a real wound, which needs to be regarded as such and dealt with in the right manner to encourage proper healing. Chlorine is found in many swimming pools and is known to be a possible irritant to piercings that have not yet completed the process of healing. 

Swimming pools are also notorious for containing bacteria. The chlorine and the bacteria could work powerfully together to cause the region of the belly button to experience irritation, which could eventually lead to a bad infection.

If you can’t resist the urge to swim before your piercing has completely healed, there are some things that you can do that will reduce the likelihood of getting an infection or causing irritation to the piercing. 

Apply a bandage that is waterproof that will fit securely around the piercing. Keep an eye on your bandage as you are swimming and put a new one on if needed. Be careful not to leave the bandage on for too long and remove it when you are done swimming. Dry the area carefully with a clean towel after you are done swimming.

Use some sea salt water for the soaking of the belly button piercing. The solution should be applied for a duration of fifteen minutes as soon as you are done swimming. Combine one cup of water at a warm temperature with a quarter of a teaspoon of sea salt that is not iodized. 

To ensure sterile conditions, use a disposable cup when doing the soaking process and dispose of it when you are done. Be sure to do a thorough cleansing of the belly button piercing by applying soap that is antimicrobial. Then use a paper towel that is clean to dry the area well.


When you have a new belly button piercing, you should be careful to avoid swimming too soon. You need to consider the time of your belly button piercing and the condition of your belly button piercing when you want to go swimming. If it is difficult to avoid swimming, you should apply the helpful recommendations that were mentioned to prevent getting an infection.