Outie belly button piercing: Everything to know

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Most of us have “innie” belly buttons, where it looks like there’s an indentation or small tunnel. But about 10% of people have an “outie,” where the button part appears convex. And you might not know it, but you can get an outie belly button piercing if you want!

What’s an Outie Belly Button Piercing?

About 10% of people have an “outie,” where the button part appears convex. And you might not know it, but you can get an outie belly button piercing if you want! You can choose the vertical/standard piercing, the inverse piercing, or the true navel piercing.

Can you get a belly button piercing with an outie?

If you have an outie belly button and wish you could still get it pierced, you can! Some outie belly button piercings, like the true navel piercing, go through the belly button itself, but not all of them do.

If you find that you have enough skin above the belly button to comfortably pierce, you can choose the vertical/standard belly button piercing; if you have enough skin below the belly button, you can choose the inverse belly button piercing.

If you find that you don’t have enough skin above or below the belly button to comfortably pierce, then the true navel piercing is a good option. But as we’ll see in a moment, there are a few precautions to take with a true navel piercing.

Both your anatomy and your personal tastes will help you decide which one is best for you.

What Piercings Can You Get With an Outie Belly Button?

Any experienced piercer will tell you that the anatomy of your belly button will determine what type of outie belly button piercings you can get. And depending on the type of outie you have, there are three main piercing types that may be right for you.

1. Vertical/Stand

This is the most common belly button piercing for those with “innie” belly buttons. But in some cases, it’s also a suitable choice for an outie.

Look to see if there’s a small lip of skin right above the protruding part of the belly button. If you can pinch this flap of skin, it may be big enough.

There needs to be enough space for a piercing jewel to sit comfortably without putting too much pressure on the belly button.

2. Inverse/Lower Navel

Some people with outies don’t have that lip of skin above the belly button itself, but they do have one below. If you do, you might be able to get an inverse belly button piercing. This is where the piercing is below the “button” part, rather than above.

3. True Navel

In a true navel piercing, the protruding part of the belly button, i.e., the navel, is pierced. In other navel piercings, the skin around the navel is pierced.

With a true navel piercing, you can choose from a range of different jewelry types. You can go with a “banana bell,” the slightly curved barbell used for most navel piercings. Alternatively, you can choose hoops, straight barbells, or horseshoe barbells, too.

If you find that you don’t have enough skin above or below the belly button to comfortably pierce, this is a good option. But as we’ll see in a moment, there are a few precautions to take with a true navel piercing.

Things to Consider Before Getting an Outie Belly Button Piercing

1. The true navel piercing takes longer to heal

Outie navels are made of scar tissue from the umbilical cord. This type of tissue will usually heal more slowly, and the longer healing takes, the more risk there is of an infection or other complications.

Navel piercings in general can take several months to a year to heal, and true navel piercings tend to take closer to a year.

2. Potential irritation and infection as the piercing rubs against clothing and towels

Another thing to consider is the risk of irritation and infection. Clothing will irritate most new navel piercings. But with an outie, the piercing will more frequently rub against clothing and towels. That can increase your risk of infection.

Especially before choosing a true navel piercer, be sure to talk to your piercer about risks and aftercare procedures so you’ll know what to expect.

How to get a belly button piercing with an outie?

You can pierce your outie belly button on your own. But it is not recommended, especially for complex piercings such as the true navel piercing.

Always seek the service of an experienced professional who has done this type of piercing. It is not worth taking the risk to do it on your own because it can lead to major health issues, not to mention an unpleasant result.

How bad does an outie belly button piercing hurt?

Everybody’s pain threshold is different. But if you ask most people, belly button piercings are some of the least painful piercing types. You’ll usually feel a little pinch and maybe some pain.

Piercing shops will often tell you the pain level is about that of an earlobe piercing, so it shouldn’t be bad at all!

How Long Does an Outie Belly Button Piercing Take to Heal?

If you opt for a belly button piercing, you should know that you’re in for a long haul when it comes to aftercare! It will usually take nine months to a year to heal. But you choose the true naval piercing, it takes about 1 year to heal.

A word of warning, though: the piercing will appear to be fully healed after four to six weeks. However, it is not. It still needs daily aftercare. If you stop regularly cleaning your piercing after this, you’ll be likely to develop an infection.

How Much Is an Outie Belly Button Piercing?

On average, an outie belly button piercing will cost you about $40-$90 for just the piercing. This might sound steep. However, it’s not a good idea to cheap out on such a piercing! A skilled piercer will be able to ensure your piercing looks good and will have minimal risk of infection.

The cost of the jewelry varies dramatically. For an inexpensive Bioflex piece, you might pay $10 or less. But for a solid gold piercing, you might pay $200 or more.

What gauge is an outie belly button piercing?

14 gauge (1.6 mm or 1/16-inch in thickness) is most suitable for outie belly button piercings. For this type of piercing, piercers will often use a slightly larger needle to make healing easier.

To be detailed, the larger hole allows for some swelling and prevents the healing from getting too tight as it heals.

What’s an Innie Belly Button Piercing?

While about 10% of people have an “outie” (on the right below), most of us have “innie” belly buttons (on the left), where it looks like there’s an indentation or small tunnel.

If you have an innie belly button, you have a wider range of options for piercing types than you do with an outie. For detailed information and illustration of each type please refer to this article.

Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Vertical/Standard – The piercing goes through the lip of the skin above the belly button.
  • Floating – This is like a vertical piercing, but you only see the top of the barbell, so it looks like there’s a jewel floating above the belly button.
  • Inverse/Lower – With this one, the piercing goes through the lip of the skin below the belly button.
  • Horizontal – This one is a surface piercing right above the belly button. It makes it look like there are two jewels floating above it.
  • Stretched – This can be done with any type of belly button piercing; the initial piercing can be stretched larger over time.
  • Double – This one is a combination of both a vertical and an inverse piercing.
  • Double Horizontal – This one starts with two horizontal piercings. They are then joined with one barbell, so you can see the bar itself running across the belly button.
  • Multi – This is when you have two (or more!) belly button piercings.
  • Deep Navel – This one looks like a vertical piercing, but the piercing is both longer and deeper than a standard vertical piercing.

Jewelry for Outie Belly Button Piercings

As with any piercing, one of the most exciting things about an outie belly button piercing is that you get to choose what jewelry to wear with it! Here are some things to take into account before choosing.

1. Straight barbells

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Straight barbells aren’t really seen a lot in belly button piercings, but they are often used for true navel piercings. A straight barbell is just a long metal bar with two ball ends.


  • They heal faster than curved barbells
  • The barbell ends hold the jewelry in place securely
  • The piercing itself is fairly easy to clean


  • They are more prone to infection
  • Barbell piercings tend to be more painful than other piercing types

2. Banana Bells

Belly button piercing: Types. pain, healing, cost, aftercare, jewelry

This is probably the most common jewelry type used for navel piercings. However, most shops use specially-designed curved barbells called “banana bells.” These have one end bead that is larger than the other. That makes them great for showing off larger stones.


  • They’re popular enough that you’ll have plenty of jewelry options.
  • You can use them for a number of different types of belly button piercings.
  • If you want a high-end look, you can often find them in precious metals and/or with embedded precious stones.


  • The larger bead at one end is easy to snag on things.
  • It’s not advisable to wear them with tight clothing.

3. Dangles

Outie belly button piercing: Everything to know

Dangles aren’t really a separate piercing type. Rather, they are attachments that you can connect to a ring or barbell used in the piercing. You can find dangles with charms, jewels, or even just shiny chains! They’re a great way to dress up your piercing.


  • They offer you an exciting way to personalize any belly button piercing.
  • They are interchangeable, so you can have a different look each day.
  • Many are surprisingly inexpensive.


  • They can pull on a piercing, so they might hurt newer piercings.
  • It’s especially easy to snag them on clothes, towels, and sheets.

4. Circular Barbells

If you can’t decide between a captive bead ring and a curved barbell, a circular or horseshoe barbell is a great compromise. With this jewelry, the bar bends into a horseshoe shape, and there is a ball at each end.


  • They’re much easier to put in and take out than captive bead rings.
  • You can decorate them with a number of interesting stones.
  • They offer a tougher look than some other types of belly button piercings.


  • They can easily become crooked.
  • They heal more slowly than curved barbells.

6. Captive Bead Rings

With a captive bead ring, a stone, bead, or other decoration is held “captive” on the ring. Thanks to its placement, the bead makes it look like the ring has no seams or openings.


  • Since it’s less common than curved barbells, it’s a good way to stand out.
  • The captive bead can be a precious or semi-precious stone.
  • Its seamless look makes it especially interesting.


  • Captive beads can be very hard to put on and take off.
  • This jewelry type often ends up leaning to one side or otherwise looking asymmetrical.

7. Seamless hoops

When shopping for belly button piercing jewelry, you may come across classic rings. When they are inserted properly, they create a complete, closed shape. They may be a complete circle, or they may take other fun shapes like a heart, moon, or oval.

They are typically just metal hoops, which is ideal if you’re looking for something simple.


  • They are classic and timeless
  • They offer a clean look.
  • They’re also less likely to get caught on clothing because of their closed design.
  • They usually remain securely in place
  • They are comfortable.


  • Thin hoops can be bent very easily
  • They can be hard to insert at first
  • You may need to be careful to avoid distorting the shape as you open and close the jewelry.

How to take care of outie belly button piercings?

  • Take care to avoid contaminating the piercing.
  • Avoid touching it or applying makeup very close to it.
  • Avoid getting in water that might be dirty.
  • Clean your piercing twice per day using a saline/salt solution or a piercing aftercare spray.
  • And of course, make sure to avoid snagging on clothes or towels.
  • Don’t move the piercing before it heals. Pulling on a piercing early in healing is painful, but it also can get in the way of healing or damage the piercing itself.
  • Leave any crust alone. It’s normal for a white or yellow-colored fluid (not pus) to ooze from your new piercing. This may form a crust that can itch or feel tight. Try not to pick at it, since that will cause the area to bleed. This crust will come off on its own as your piercing heals.

How to clean outie belly button piercings?

  1. Make a salt solution by mixing 1/2 teaspoon of salt with one cup of water. Stir the solution until it dissolves. As an alternative, you can buy ready-to-use piercing aftercare sprays.
  2. If you see signs of infection, you can also use antiseptic solutions, such as betadine, isopropyl alcohol, or diluted hydrogen peroxide.
  3. Soak a cotton ball in the solution and dab it around the piercing site. Don’t remove the jewelry!
  4. Take clean gauze or tissue and pat the area dry.

Your piercer should give you detailed instructions on keeping your piercing clean once the piercing has been placed.

Read More

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