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When Can I Change My Belly Ring? The Complete Guide

So, when can I change my belly ring?

Belly button rings or navel piercings are trendy among young people these days.

Once popularized by the ’00s artists, the style tanked a few years later. But Gen Zs are bringing it back, along with a few other nostalgia-driven fads like low-rise jeans.

Belly button piercing
Image by Deniz Demirci via Unsplash

Etsy revealed in 2020 that searches for belly button jewelry went up 20% over the previous year.

In 2022 alone, the “belly ring” hashtag raked in billions of views on TikTok and other social media platforms.

While the piercing looks sexy and attractive on many people, one question that everyone has in mind is: When can I change my belly ring?

When Can I Change My Belly Ring: Belly button piercing

The piercer’s ring is quite basic and ugly, so it makes sense that you’d want to change it as soon as possible.

How long should you wait to change your belly ring? We’ve discussed this, along with the healing process, risks and necessary aftercare of a belly button piercing.

The Healing Belly Button Piercing Process

When you get a new piercing, it’s essential to know the different stages of healing and what to expect.

This is especially the case for a new belly button piercing because it’s in a sensitive area.

Belly button piercing
Image by Olga Solodilova via Unsplash

There are several phases of healing: the inflammatory, proliferative and remodeling phase.

Depending on your age, health and ability to heal, you could undergo these phases for as little as six weeks to as much as six months.

Inflammatory Phase

The inflammatory phase is when your body’s immune system works to heal the piercing.

It can last for three days to a week and is characterized by redness, swelling and discomfort.

At this phase, the immune cells start working to repair the tissue.

When Can I Change My Belly Ring: Belly button piercing

Proliferative Phase

The proliferative phase is when the body produces new tissue to close up the piercing.

It can start from the 4th day and last up to four weeks.

You will see dry skin and crust that fill up and cover the wound.

Remodeling Phase

The remodeling or maturation phase is when the new tissue starts to mature and become strong.

The collagen fibers in the wounded area restructure at this stage, enhancing the tissue’s tensile strength.

It’s the final phase of healing your piercing when the healthy and normal tissue finally surrounds the pierced hole.

The maturation phase can start from three weeks in and continue for two years. The duration varies from one piercing type to another.

Belly button piercing

How to Know If the Piercing has Healed

Remember that everyone’s ability to heal is different, so don’t be discouraged if your piercing takes longer than expected to heal completely.

If you have any concerns about the slow healing process, consult with your piercer or a doctor.

Also, it’s normal for belly piercings to heal slower than ear or nose piercings.

When can you change your belly ring? You can do it during the maturation stage.

Some people like to wait until the wound has completely healed.

When Can I Change My Belly Ring: Belly button piercing

So, how do you know if it has recovered or not? Well, look for the following signs:

  • The skin around the piercing seems normal, with no redness or swelling
  • No more crust buildup or liquid discharge
  • You feel no pain when pressing around the wound

Be careful though, because it may seem healed entirely from the outside, but the wound could still be raw from the inside.

If there is any doubt, go to the piercing salon and ask them to perform a checkup.

 Belly button piercing

What are the Risks of a Belly Button Piercing?

While a navel piercing looks cool, it may cause certain health complications.

Allergic Problems

It may be an allergic reaction if you experience redness, swelling or itching around your piercing.

Jewelry metals usually cause these symptoms.

Nickel is the most common culprit, but gold and silver can also cause reactions if they contain nickel and copper alloys.

You should avoid sterling silver jewelry if it has nickel in the alloy. However, most of them are made with copper alloy, and copper allergy is quite rare.

Don’t use low-quality gold jewelry because it may have metals that cause allergic reactions.

When Can I Change My Belly Ring: belly button piercing
Image by Courtney Cook via Unsplash

Excessive Bleeding

A little bleeding is expected after the piercing, but it should stop after a few days.

If bleeding continues any longer than this or it starts suddenly after a couple of days, it could be because of piercing migration.

This happens when the body rejects the jewelry.

If the jewelry does not suit you, change it and use another one after taking advice from your piercer.

Belly button rejection


Bacterial infection is another piercing-related complication. Bacterial infections are actually severe complications: bacteria can get into the piercing site through dirty hands or contaminated jewelry.

Signs of an infection include redness, swelling, pain and pus. In the case of an infection, see a doctor as soon as possible.


This condition is a pus collection around the piercing site. Untreated infections are the primary cause of this problem.

Abscesses can be painful and may require drainage or antibiotics to clear up.

How to Minimize the Risks

If you’re considering getting a navel piercing, keep these things in mind to avoid health risks:

  • Choose a reputable and experienced piercer or salon.
  • Keep an eye on whether the piercer is using instruments from sealed pouches.
  • Wear non-reactive jewelry made of titanium or medical-grade stainless steel. If you prefer gold, it has to be 14K or higher.
  • Don’t neglect your piercer’s aftercare instructions.
When Can I Change My Belly Ring: Belly button piercing
Image by Cheyenne Doig via Unsplash

When Can I Change My Belly Ring?

There is no simple answer because everyone’s bodies heal at different rates.

The safest option is to wait until the wound has healed completely, which can take nine months to one year.

It takes longer than other body piercings because of the constant movement of the jewelry.

Your core is always moving, so the belly button jewelry also moves and irritates the new piercing.

Model with rainbow paint color and belly button piercing
Image by Alexander Grey via Unsplash

Keeping the area clean of bacteria and wiping it with a saline solution will speed up the healing process.

If you change the belly button ring after the wound has healed, you can do so without any problems.

However, cleaning the piercing and the new ring thoroughly is still a good idea before making the switch.

It will help avoid any irritation or infection.

When can you change your belly ring? If you’re ever unsure whether it’s safe to make a change, consult with a professional piercer.

 Belly button piercing
Image by Alexander Grey via Unsplash

Can belly button piercings heal in 1 week?

If you’re wondering whether your belly button piercing can heal in one week, the answer is, unfortunately, “No.”

However, that doesn’t mean that your piercing isn’t healing. In the first week after getting a piercing, your body works hard to form a protective barrier around the piercing.

This barrier consists of a crust of blood, plasma and lymph fluid.

A crust will form within the first few days after piercing and continue to develop for the next week.

Leave the crust alone, and don’t pick at it, as this can delay healing.

When can I change my belly ring? Can I change my belly button ring after a month?

The answer is still “No.”

After the crust has formed, your piercing will start to heal from the inside out.

Belly button piercing

This process can take a few weeks, and you may see some discharge or crusting during this time.

There’s no chance that a belly button piercing will heal in a month.

Can I change my belly button ring after 6 months?

There’s a chance that your navel piercing can heal in 6 months, but it usually takes 6 to 12 months.

Your piercing may still be healing after six months. The tissue around your piercing could be delicate and needs time to recover fully.

Changing your ring too soon could irritate the piercing and cause it to become infected.

when can I change my belly ring? Can I change my belly button ring after a year?

When can you change your belly ring? The answer is, yes, you can change it after a year.

Most people recover within this time.

However, if you are changing the jewelry for the first time, it’s better to consult your piercer.

S/he can say whether it’s the right time to change the jewelry.

Belly button piercing

How to Take Care of Your Belly Button Piercing During Healing

Proper cleaning and treatment are necessary for healing your belly button piercing.

Follow these aftercare tips for your piercing while it heals:

Apply a clean, dry bandage

Apply a clean, dry bandage if the piercing is bleeding or oozing. Change the dressing as needed.

Keep the area clean

Gently clean the piercing and the surrounding skin twice daily with a saline solution or mild soap and warm water.

Avoid using harsh cleaners or scrubbing the piercing site.

cleaning belly button piercing with saline solution
Image by Yurakrasil via Shutterstock

Avoid touching the piercing

It might be hard to resist the urge to fiddle with your new piercing, but touching it too much can irritate the area and cause infection.

If you must touch it, disinfect your hands first.

Don’t use lotions or creams

Avoid using lotions, perfumes or other products near the piercing. These can irritate and delay healing.

Lotions can trap bacteria against your skin, which can lead to infection. If you must use a cream, apply it only to the skin surrounding your piercing, not the piercing itself.

Don’t submerge in water

Water can irritate the piercing and slow down healing. Avoid swimming or soaking in a tub until the piercing heals.

Cleaning belly button piercing
Image by Yurakrasil via Shutterstock

Watch for signs of infection

Even with proper care, it’s possible for a piercing to become infected. Watch for symptoms of red skin, swelling, pain or discharge.

If you notice anything, contact your piercer or doctor.

belly button piercing close up
Image by Katheryn Collins via Flickr

How to Remove Your Belly Ring for the First Time

When can you change your belly ring? You should be able to do it after a year or when the wound has recovered.

However, changing the jewelry for the first time can be daunting. Don’t worry; we’re here to help.

  • Clean your hands and the belly button area with soap and water.
  • Use sterile jewelry when changing.
  • Unscrew the ornament. It should slide out after removing the stay.
  • Be gentle when changing your jewelry. Don’t force it or yank on it. It can damage the piercing and cause pain.
  • Your piercing may not have healed properly if the jewelry does not come out easily. In that case, you should leave it and consult your piercer.
  • Insert the new jewelry quickly after taking out the old one.
Navel piercing close up

The Best Starter Belly Button Rings

When looking for the best starter belly button ring, you should consider a few things.

Selecting a suitable metal is essential, as you want something comfortable and safe for your body.

Be careful about the shape, too, as it should not be too big or too small.

The jewelry should also be easy to remove and put back in so you can change it when ready.

Gold jewelry is classic and is always in style. It’s non-reactive, which works great in keeping the piercing infection free.

Medical-grade stainless steel, plastic and glass are also in style as starter jewelry.

Choosing something safe but inexpensive is better because you will replace it anyway.

There are two basic styles: the captive bead ring and the barbell. The banana barbell is probably the most common style and comes in plenty of designs.

You can also use cute hoops that sit flush against the belly skin.

when can I change my belly ring? Final Words

When can you change your belly ring? You must have a clear idea by now.

However, this article is not medical advice. Please consult a professional piercer or a medical professional for any doubts or queries about your piercing.

The best practice is to wait at least six months to a year before changing your belly ring.

It gives your piercing time to heal properly and reduces the risk of infection.

However, every piercing is different, and some people may be able to change their belly ring sooner than others.

If you have concerns or doubts, wait a little longer.

FAQs about When Can I Change My Belly Ring?

Can I change my belly ring after 3 weeks?

Unfortunately, no. After 3 weeks, the wound is still healing and too raw to replace the jewelry.

How do you know if your belly piercing has healed?

A healed belly piercing won’t have swelling and red or pink skin surrounding the piercing site.

It will also not cause any pain or discharge.

What will happen if I change the ring of my belly piercing too early?

Changing the jewelry before time may inflict pain, reactivate bleeding and cause infections.

The piercing may also close up.