Body piercing uses a cannula, or hollow needle, to make a clean slice through skin. Because the needle enters the skin and comes out the other side, a piercing should be treated like any other puncture wound. Swimming pools can contain irritants such as chlorine and bacteria that can lead to irritation and infection of an unhealed piercing. If you decide to swim after receiving a navel piercing, steps should be taken to reduce health risks.
Wait at least three weeks after receiving your piercing to go swimming. Your body needs time to begin forming scar tissue inside the piercing.
Cover your piercing with a waterproof bandage that seals all the way around. The Association of Professional Piercers recommends Tegaderm bandages.
Check your bandage while swimming to make sure the seal around the piercing stays tight.
Soak your piercing in a sea salt water solution for 15 minutes immediately after swimming. Mix 1/4-tsp. non-iodized sea salt with 1 cup warm water. Use a disposable cup every time you soak the piercing and throw the cup away afterward.
Wash your piercing well with antimicrobial soap such as Satin or Provon. Dry thoroughly with an unused paper towel.
Ann Jones has been writing since 1998. Her short stories have been published in several anthologies. Her journalistic work can be found in major magazines and newspapers. She has a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing.