You should never use petroleum jelly on a navel piercing while it is healing. This and other ointments, such as bacitracin, are sticky and attract bacteria to the piercing site and hold it there. Sticky substances such as petroleum jelly are also bad for piercings because they clog pores, limiting airflow around the wound, which is crucial to proper healing. Instead, follow the aftercare instructions provided by your piercer or consult a doctor if you have questions or suspect your piercing is infected.

Proper Piercing Care

Twice a day, wash your hands and then your belly button piercing with antibacterial soap, sliding the jewelry back and forth gently to work the soap throughout the piercing. Gently remove any crusty formations from the jewelry and the piercing site during this washing, and then thoroughly rinse the area until it is free of soap and debris, again sliding the jewelry gently. If the crusty patches prove difficult to remove, mix 1/4 teaspoon of salt with 1 cup of warm water, wet a washcloth with the salt water and lay it over the area, soaking the crusties for a few minutes to soften them for easy removal. Avoid tight clothing, exchanges of bodily fluids, public swimming pools, hot tubs, direct sunlight, tanning beds and peroxide while your piercing is healing, and change the sheets on your bed at least once a week.