Are Outie Navel Piercings Safe?

Belly button piercing

Yes, you can get an outie navel piercing, but should you? Find out why this type of piercing is different from a traditional navel piercing, and why it is riskier to pierce your belly plug.

Piercing an Outie

An "innie" navel piercing is the most common way to pierce the belly button area. This piercing involves passing a surgical needle through the tissue located just above the navel plug. The jewelry is then threaded through the piercing and hangs in front of the inverted plug.To achieve a good navel piercing, you need to have the desired anatomical shape to support this piercing. Without this lobe shape, more stress is put on your piercing and this could eventually cause it to tear or migrate.

When a person's anatomical shape simply won't support a traditional navel piercing, some people look for an alternative, such as an outie navel piercing. Unlike the traditional navel piercing, an outie piercing is done directly through the navel plug itself. The jewelry is threaded through the plug and now hangs directly below the navel.


Although an outie piercing might seem like a perfectly reasonable alternative when you're not a good candidate for a traditional belly button piercing, many piercers refuse to perform the procedure. They have good reason to be hesitant.

  • First, the plug itself is a mass of scar tissue, and scars are harder to pass a needle through. This means that despite your piercer's best efforts, your piercing may turn out a little crooked and your jewelry will never hang correctly.
  • Second, the navel plug is obviously the remnant of the umbilical cord that was once the lifeline between you and your mother. This tissue is filled with blood vessels, unlike the flesh just above the plug which has relatively few vessels to contend with. This means that there can be more bleeding during the procedure.
  • These blood vessels also present another problem. They provide a direct pathway to your internal organs. When a traditional belly button piercing becomes infected, the infection tends to remain localized as long as the infection is being cared for. In comparison, an infection of an outie piercing can quickly travel through your system and become life threatening.


Since an infection in an outie piercing can be so much more serious than an infection in a piercing done in the flap of skin above the navel, it's crucial to follow after care instructions to the letter. The area must be kept scrupulously clean. This means repeated rinsing with saline solution, and the use of an antiseptic rinse as directed by your piercer.Additionally, since an outie piercing protrudes farther than the average navel piercing, it's more important than ever to keep your jewelry from snagging on your clothing. It's a good time to wear low riders, bikini bottoms, and crop tops.

Should You or Shouldn't You?

We've established the fact that you can get an outie piercing if you can find a piercer who is willing to perform the procedure, but should you really go through with it? Although you may feel initial disappointment about having to forgo a traditional belly button piercing, there is another way to enhance your navel. Navel tattoos can beautify your belly, and although tattooing carries it's own risks, once your tat is healed you never have to worry about snagging any jewelry.

The fact is that the increased risk involved with piercing your plug simply isn't worth gambling with your health. Yes, you could have the procedure without encountering a single problem, but if you do get a serious infection, what then? It's definitely something to consider.

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Are Outie Navel Piercings Safe?