We all know our belly button as our navel and technically, it’s a scar. Known formerly as the umbilicus, the natural cavity on our bodies is a sign of when we were once attached to our mothers via the umbilical cord – the very thing that provided us with life, nutrition and everything else we needed to grow into a fit and healthy baby.
Once you’re done with your belly button, it’s just a scar but just like other crevices on the body, it does need to be taken care of every once in a while. If you don’t, you could suffer with problems such as belly button discharge.
Do you make sure you dry your belly button properly when you get out the shower?
If you don’t, you run the risk of causing all manner of problems especially once you bear in mind this crevice provides everything necessary for a host of bacteria to grow and flourish.
It’s damp, warm and filled with things like sweat and the residue left over from the soap when you had a shower that morning. In the same way that your feet will experience problems if you don’t dry properly between your toes, you can have similar issues like belly button discharge, dryness and more.
What causes belly button discharge?
There are a number of factors that could lead to belly button discharge and normally it’s nothing to worry about, easily cleaned up with perhaps some over the counter topical treatment or medical from your doctor.
A yeast infection in the belly button can often cause discharge and this can happen at any age but seems to be more prolific in youngsters.
When you suffer with yeast infection in your belly button, the yeast bacteria present will ‘eat’ away at your skin causing a number of problems including dryness, irritation, itching, redness and more. You may also find that there is an increased blood flow to the area and this is what causes that annoying itch.
If you scratch the itching naval, you run the risk of spreading the yeast infection further around the body and even making it worse. You may find that problems dissipate when you clean the area with warm water and antibacterial soap although you must remember to throughly clean the area to prevent further irritation.
Symptoms of a yeast infection (or other fungal infections) will include belly button discharge and itching / irritation as mentioned before but can also come with a foul odor.
In the same way that yeast infections, other bacteria can invade your belly button and cause discharge with a number of other problems. The symptoms will be similar for a yeast and bacterial infection although the treatment is likely to differ.
Cleaning and taking care o your naval is the best way to combat this problem, and making sure the area is kept both clean and dry is very important. You may find that you get a bacterial infection alongside a fungal infection although it’s not uncommon for either to happen without the other.
Other symptoms of a bacterial infection that causes belly button discharge include scabbing-over of the wound with a yellowing pus-like liquid coming out.
The urachus is a connection between the bladder and the belly button that usually separates and disappears before you are born. Occasionally however, this doesn’t happen, leaving part of the urachus behind and a duct that can collect bacteria, grime and other particles to eventually form a pus-filled cyst.
As this cyst grows, it can become infection and this infection can travel through to your belly button causing belly button discharge alongside urine and mucus too. When this happens, the infection can be passed to your vital organs and this can leave you very sick indeed.
If you notice that you are getting a strange smell from your belly button alongside discharge, redness, irritation and body fluids such as mucus, blood, urine and pus, it is highly advisable to make an appointment with your doctor to get it checked out. This condition, if left undiagnosed and untreated, can prove fatal in very serious circumstances because of that risk of infection to your organs.
Sebaceous cysts are very common all over the body and could be another reason why you’re getting that belly button discharge. If you have a cyst that doesn’t really hurt but seems to be filled with fluid (or hard), it could be something simple like one of these benign lumps.
For the most part, a sebaceous cyst can be left alone unless it gets infected at which point you will need medical intervention to drain the infected pus from within the lump and prevent it from happening again. The cyst will normally be fine and NOT get infected unless you regularly play with it or scratch it.
How to stop belly button discharge
If your belly button has discharge with no bad smell and no other symptoms, you may find that a good clean with warm water and antibacterial soap will do the trick. You may also want to consider touching on a little antiseptic / antibacterial cream but you must remember to dry the area thoroughly to avoid fungal infections. You also need to remember that the cream may have the opposite effect – irritating rather than soothing. If you are in any doubt, have a chat with a pharmacist or doctor before applying any topical treatments.
One teaspoon of sea salt in with warm water will also give you a good cleansing agent to kill off any bacteria and other nasty bugs.