Medical Q&As

Navel ring - not healing?

A few months ago I had my navel pierced. Recently I noticed a small reddish purple bump to one side of it. I went to my doctor and he said that it has granulated. I donít really understand what this means. He says he cannot see any danger but that it probably won't clear up and I will probably have to take the ring out. Is this true?

I agree with your doctor that the condition you describe is not serious in the sense of it not being a significant threat to your health. I also agree that the bump you describe sounds like granulation tissue. When the skin is pierced it tries to repair itself and re-seal the gap. Your body is regarding the ring in your navel as a foreign body and the healing process is being halted at an intermediate stage that we refer to as granulation. Sometimes infection can cause excessive granulation. It is possible that the pierced area was infected at some stage. Since it is several months since you had the ring inserted I donít think that the pierced area is going to heal properly at all. I donít think that meticulous attention to hygiene will make much difference to the granulation tissue. At this stage cells in the immediate surrounding area are actively rejecting the foreign body and this process is unlikely to stop unless the ring is removed. Sorry to disappoint you but I donít think you have any option other than having the ring removed.