When Can I Change My Belly Button Ring?

  • Written By Dan Hunter on December 16, 2019
    Last Updated: November 27, 2020

Do you feel like it’s time for a new change, and you want to change out your belly ring? The most important thing to note is if your piercing has completely healed. If it hasn’t, this may cause complications with your piercing.


You can change your belly ring when:

  • The piercing has completely healed
  • There are no signs of infection or irritation
  • Your piercer confirms it’s safe to do so

How Long Does a Belly Piercing Take to Heal?

Your piercing could take from three months and up to one year to heal. Don’t be fooled by the healing process. You might think it’s safe to change your belly ring, for it to then become swollen or have some redness around the belly button.

It’s imperative you wait the amount of time necessary to change the belly ring. If you think after one or two months your belly looks good and you’re ready for a change, chances are you’re going through an excellent healing phase. Keep using your aftercare to facilitate healing as quickly and as safely as possible.

If you’re still in the healing process or have irritation from the belly ring, the skin will become red or pink. It’s also possible for some fluid to be excreted from your belly button piercing, which can become crusty on your belly ring. If this happens, keep in mind that you’re still in the recovery phase, and this is normal.

Signs Your Piercing Is Healed

Use a tissue to dab around the piercing. If there’s any discharge, the piercing isn’t healed.

Check to see if your navel is swollen or not. Swelling is very common when you get a piercing. If you only see a small portion of belly jewelry on either end, it could mean your navel is still swollen and not fully healed.

When your piercing has completely healed, the skin will appear the same color as the area around your stomach. If the piercing slides up and down easily, this is a very good indication the area has healed.

Pro-Tip

If you feel like you’re ready to make the change, schedule an appointment with your piercer and ask them if the piercing has healed satisfactorily. They may use equipment to take out the belly ring for the first time. After that, you should be able to do it yourself very easily.

A Few Guidelines to Changing Your Belly Ring

Step 1: Wash Your Hands

Always start by washing your hands with a good antibacterial soap. Changing your piercing the first time, your biggest challenge will be to guard against infection. Bacteria from your hands can infect the piercing, so please make sure you complete this step.

Step 2: Clean With Saline

Clean the area of the piercing with saline solution or alcohol. This will ensure that you won’t infect your piercing. The fewer bacteria your belly piercing is exposed to, the higher your chances of having a successful outcome

Step 3: Sanitize Your Jewelry

Soak your jewelry in alcohol to sanitize it. Wipe the alcohol off and let the jewelry fully dry before trying to insert it into your piercing. If your belly jewelry is acrylic or has gemstones, be cautious, as alcohol might destroy the jewelry. If you feel like you can’t use alcohol on your jewelry, make sure you wash it with antibacterial soap to cleanse it.

Step 4: Remove and Replace

Unscrew your jewelry. After removing the stay — the ball — the jewelry piece should slide out easily. If you can’t get it to slide out, this is likely a sign that the piercing hasn’t healed or that it’s healed incorrectly. Replace the jewelry immediately after removing the jewelry, as the piercing may close

After Changing The Jewelry

Sometimes, even if you’ve taken all the necessary precautions of sterilizing and sanitizing your piercing and the jewelry, you might find you have discomfort or irritation, or even get an infection once you’ve changed your jewelry. This can be caused by several factors, but most of the time is easily taken care of.

To prevent issues from occurring, it’s a good idea to use a salt water solution to cleanse the area each time jewelry is added or removed. This solution can be mixed together at home, or a store-bought mixture can be purchased.

The best aftercare product I’ve personally used is the After Inked Piercing Aftercare Spray. Not only is it vegan, 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.

Summary

As long as you’ve waited the recommended three to twelve months, and used your aftercare correctly, you should be able to change your belly ring without issues. If you don’t see any signs of infection, and you clean and sterilize your hands and jewelry, the procedure will be easy and painless, and you won’t have anything to worry about.