Do belly button piercings scar? This is a common question among individuals who want to get a navel piercing. A belly button piercing scar is quite normal. What may differ is its visibility depending on size and color. We explore different types of scars including hypertrophic, atrophic and keloids on belly button piercings. Also discussed are scar tissue and how to get rid of belly button piercing scars.
Do Belly Button Piercings Scar
A common question among potential belly button piercees usually is “do belly button piercings scar?” Navel piercings are a common form of body modification. They help to add on to body aesthetics. At times though, the novelty of the piercing wears off and the excitement about it may die down. With time, one may want to do away with the jewelry. When this happens, most people realize that they have a visible scar to contend with. Belly button piercings scar but not all scars are usually visible.
A lot of things can lead to a belly button piercing scar. After you have had your piercing, you risk a scar if you do not adopt the right belly button piercing aftercare. In case the piercing experiences some trauma during the healing process it is also likely that you will get scarring. A Belly button piercing is also likely to scar during pregnancy. This is caused by the increased growth of the tummy when pregnant and could be accompanied by stretch marks centered on the piercing. In general, piercing scarring is as a result of inefficient aftercare or trauma. The scarring is as a result of the repair process on the piercing wound.
Now that we know it is possible for the piercing to scar, does the scar ever go away? Scars tend to have different colors and textures depending on what type of scar develops as seen later on in this article. While these characteristics are most visible immediately the scar forms, the visibility diminishes with time. For some people, the scar tissue could get to a point where it matches the skin tone of the surrounding. This though is not always the case. Some people will have to bear with the scarring all through especially if they formed atrophic of keloid scars.
Belly Button Piercing Scar or Belly Button Ring Scar
There are many causes of scar formation on the body, one of which is body piercing. The belly button piercing process results in a wound. The wound then takes to healing which results in scarring. This is because the body is incapable of healing the damaged tissue with the same consistency and composition as the initial tissue. As a result, it is replaced with a fibrous tissue which has totally different characteristics with the rest of the skin.
Scars result from an overgrowth of granulation tissue cells. These refer to the delicate new tissue which forms soon after the piercing. It forms a patch filled with blood vessels which form a network to distribute nutrients and oxygen straight to the healing area. Overproduction of these cells occurs due to an imbalance in the breakdown of energy and the uptake of the produced energy. This causes an interruption in the process resulting in production of more granulation tissue. The result is excess tissue which is not broken down or reabsorbed causing it to grow in all directions as opposed to it growing only where it is wanted.
In most cases, the overproduction results from uncontrolled signals emanating from the wound cells. A belly button piercing scar is therefore bound to occur when there is increased inflammation on the healing wound. The inflammation could be as a result of trauma on the piercing or infection. Sustained or increased inflammation stimulates production of collagen and placement of granulation tissue thus the scarring.
A scar is characterized by the presence of purple or red fibrous tissue that is firm. Depending on the type of scar formed, the visibility may diminish with time as it becomes flatter and lighter in color. In other situations though, you may be required to intervene for the scar to reduce. A belly button piercing scar will mostly be diagnosed through visual inspection. A look at the piercing hole may show it being black inside. There are different types of scars that result from a piercing.
This type of scarring involves formation of a depression or pitting. It could be as a result of the migration of a piercing. This type of belly button ring scar tends to be permanent and is quite common in navel piercings. As such, the best way of dealing with it by leaving in the jewelry as it will help to mask the scar. Where you feel a need to get rid of the piercing scar, you can talk to your dermatologist to take you through laser resurfacing to fill in the void.
This is yet another common type of scarring experienced with body piercings. It occurs as a result of trauma on a healing piercing. In belly button piercings, it could result from wearing heavy jewelry before the area is completely healed, body contact during sports and wearing tight clothes around the belly as well as clothes getting caught up in the jewelry. The resulting trauma leads to formation of a raised scar confined to the region of the injury.
Hypertrophic scars are the most common type of piercing scars. They can be red or purple but can also be skin colored. The scar bump can be itchy at times and is also prone to peeling. They are also prone to bleeding when upset. With time, this type of scar can heal on itself without any intervention being made. Their coloration could also fade with time making them less visible. The scar will remain solid to touch and will mostly follow the jewelry’s curve.
A hypertrophic belly button piercing scar can occur from around the fourth to the eighth week after trauma is exerted on an old piercing or the same duration after the piercing has been done. It will then grow for up to around six months after which it starts going away on itself. Although these scars may not be permanent, they can take years to regress on their own. At times, they will never go away completely. In case you want to get rid of it you may have to consider surgical removal which gets rid of the hypertrophic scar and leaves you with a revision scar that is less visible.
As seen in most pics around the internet, hypertrophic scars are easy to deal with and can be easily concealed with jewelry. This photo (Hypertrophic Belly Button Piercing Scar) shows a hypertrophic scar. As can be noted, the scar tissue is limited to the area of the piercing and can easily be concealed with jewelry.
Keloid on Belly Button Piercing
Keloids are a collection of scar tissue that are raised above the regular skin surface. Unlike hypertrophic scars whose scar tissue is limited to the area of injury, keloid scars develop beyond the initial site of injury. A very common concern about belly button piercing normally is; can you get a keloid on your belly button piercing? Piercings are one of the skin injuries known to cause keloids. Although most commonly found on nose and ear piercings, it is also possible to get a keloid on belly button piercing. The risk of developing one is highest in young females and persons of African heritage. Individuals who come from families from which keloids have been observed have a genetic susceptibility to them.
Keloids can be found on the edges as well as inside belly button piercing. A feel of the piercing can tell if there is a keloid inside. While normal scar tissue will feel uniform when touched, a keloid will feel firm and will grow beyond the area of the piercing. To avoid getting them, it is best to take proper care of the area after piercing. Re-piercing the area is not recommended once you have developed keloids.
Generally, the best way to keep off scarring complications from belly button piercing is to follow the aftercare instructions given. Always clean it up twice each day. Ensure that you wear appropriate clothes that will facilitate healing. Avoid tight clothes and those with waist bands. Keep the jewelry simple and stay away from dangling and heavy rings. Also avoid subjecting the piercing to any form of trauma. These simple practices will help you avoid the extra task of getting rid of the scars.
Keloid Belly Button Piercing Pictures
To give a visual explanation of keloids on belly button piercings, below are some images. As can be seen in both photos, the scarring extends beyond the area of the piercing.
Belly Button Piercing Keloid 1: This image shows a belly button piercing with the ring still in it.
Belly Button Piercing Keloid 2: In this image, the piercee had an initial piercing done and a keloid developed. The hole was let to close and another piercing done beside it.
How to Get Rid of a Keloid on Your Belly Piercing
Where you get a belly button piercing and there is formation of a keloid, there are various treatment methods to consider. Some of the medical procedures through which you can get rid of them include pressure therapy, freezing, corticosteroid injections and laser treatments. Although surgical removal of keloids on belly button piercing may work for a while, the method is not recommended as it carries with it the risk of developing a larger keloid with time. In case you wish to try something at home, tea tree oil is known to contain effective restorative properties. Before using it, ensure that you do a skin test to ascertain that you are not allergic to it. The oil should only be used on completely healed piercings as it can have negative effects on open wounds.
Belly Button Piercing Scar Tissue
The belly button piercing scar tissue is visually unappealing. It is therefore best concealed. This means that if your hole is still open, you should have jewelry in it to hide the scar tissue. While this is a great way out in such cases, what happens to persons whose holes may have closed up as a result of rejection, migration, or during pregnancy? The good news if this is your situation is that re-piercing is possible.
Another common question concerning previously pierced belly button scars is “can you pierce through scar tissue?” How suitable your belly button scar tissue is ready for this is best evaluated by a professional piercer. With a professional piercer, they will examine the pre-pierced area and check it out especially for keloids. Piercing through keloid scars is not recommended as it could have major healing setbacks. Depending on their findings, the piercer will determine how fit you are for a re-piercing and how best they should do it. This could be piercing through, below or over the scar tissue.
From various online forums, the experience of piercing through old scars varies from one person to another. Since scar tissue is tougher than normal tissue, the process could yield more pain than the initial one. In case the hole closed as a result of rejection, the scar tissue has an even higher chance of rejecting it too. The best way to ensure that it all goes well is by having the re-piercing done by a professional.
How to Get Rid Of Belly Button Piercing Scar, Removal and Healing
There are different approaches of getting rid of a belly button piercing scar. The form of treatment used depends on the severity of the scarring, age, the size of the scar and whether you want to get rid of the scar only or the hole too. Before settling on any, it is important to give the belly button piercing enough time to heal. In case you are wondering how to heal a belly button piercing, it is as simple as giving it time for the tissue to become tough enough. During this period, you can give the area saline solution treatments.
Once you are certain that the scar is well healed, you can try to use some home remedies for scars. These include rosehip, tea tree oil, honey, aloe vera and lemon juice. These work best on fresh scars. In case the scars are a bit old, try belly button piercing scar removal using topical products. These are readily available over the counter. Products containing onion extract, and silicone are known to work on scars. Massage therapy is also known to break down the collagen making up the scar tissue. This helps to reduce the discoloration and thus diminish the visibility of the scar.
Where the above options fail, you can discuss various medical procedures with your dermatologist. These are most appropriate for scarring that extended after pregnancy. A qualified plastic surgeon can get rid of the scarring as well as the belly button piercing hole. This is done by extracting the scar tissue using a scalpel and suturing the skin closed. Other medical procedures for removal of belly button piercing scar include laser revision, cryosurgery and corticosteroid injections.