What Causes Belly Button Infections, Know Its Symptoms, Treatments, Home Remedies

About Belly Button Infection

Being umbilicus in shape, our belly button or navel is greatly susceptible to infections. In addition to its susceptibility, the belly button remains in most cases dark, warm and moist condition, which is perfect for the growth of microorganisms. This belly button infection often occurs due to several causes.

What Causes Belly Button Infections

What Causes Belly Button Infections:

The Belly button is a favorable environment for the growth of several microbes. The overgrowth of these micro-organisms can cause belly button infections having symptoms like swelling, redness, itching and pain. Belly button infections usually occur in individuals with pierced navels such as in newborns. There are some other factors such as poor hygiene habits, diabetes, surgery, obesity etc. Let us talk about some of the causes of belly button infections.


Belly button piercing is now one of the ways through which people, especially women express themselves. Well! Though this is a form of style and fashion statement, this when performed in an incorrect way, can easily cause belly button infections.

Poor Hygiene:

One more cause for belly button infections is poor hygiene. In fact, it is one of the major causes for belly button infection. Not taking regular baths provide microorganisms a room to grow within the belly button easily and thus leading to infection. Again, bathing with dirty water also increases the risk of belly button infection. Most importantly; failing to clean the navel while bathing and not drying the area leaves water and soap deposits, in the belly button which again increases the growth of microorganisms leading to belly button infection.

Regular Touching:

Touching the belly button regularly, especially with dirty hands also can be one of the causes of belly button infection. It is not always that our hands remain clean and regularly touching the belly button with hands increases the risk of depositing bacteria and fungi in the area. With its moist and warm nature, microbes are bound to grow faster and thus lead to infection.

Symptoms of Belly Button Infections

The symptoms of Belly button infections are varied and occur in stages. At the initial or abscess stage, one is likely to notice swelling that is accompanied by mild pain. As the infection develops, there may be more severe symptoms. This is usually in the later or cellulitis stage. At this stage, the swelling is likely to get punctured and lead to discharge. There is further infection, which covers the entire belly area. The discharge then changes color from pure liquid to yellowish or grayish or greenish and also may be smelly. There may also be bleeding in some cases. An individual at this stage may also likely to suffer from nausea kind of feeling.

Below we can list down the general symptoms in a more precise manner.

  • Inflammation- Which may be mild to severe.
  • Pain and Swelling- Pain, swelling and discomfort may occur as the belly button infection progresses.
  • Redness and tenderness- The area where there is infection, may turn red and become tender.
  • Discharge- As mentioned above, there may be discharge, especially in the later stage of the belly button infection.
  • Warmth- There may also be warmth. This is because the infection draws a lot of blood in to the area.
  • Systemic Symptoms- In more serious belly button infections, there may be systemic infections such as fever, nausea, swelling of lymph nodes, vomiting etc.

Treatments for Belly Button Infections:

Below are the most common treatments for belly button infections:

  1. Antibiotic Treatments For Belly Button Infections:

    Antibiotics can either be applied topically or be taken orally. The oral administration of antibiotics is recommended in case of more severe bacterial belly button infection that may cause systemic symptoms.

    The prescribed antibiotics should be taken for the recommended time, else the infection may return again and the bacteria will become more resistant to the antibiotic treatment.

  2. Treatments with Fungal Creams:

    In case of fungal infection of belly button, fungal creams are recommended. They are required to be applied topically on the belly button. It is also instructed to the patient for following clear hygienic measures during and after the treatment period.

  3. Treatments Using Corticosteroid Creams:

    In case the belly button infection is associated with inflammation and causes itchiness, especially during the healing period then corticosteroid creams are recommended. It is essential to note that the hydrocortisone should not be more than 1% in the cream.

  4. Alcohol for Treating Belly Button Infections:

    Alcohol is recommended for disinfecting the belly button area. It helps in preventing the spread of the belly button infection.

  5. Surgery For Treating Belly Button Infections:

    In severe cases of belly button infections, often which are caused by poorly made piercing, surgical interventions might be required.

    The surgeon would remove the infected tissue, making very sure that there is as less scarring as possible.

    The patient is instructed to follow clear hygienic measures after the treatment.

  6. Home Remedies To Treat Belly Button Infections:

    Below are some of the home remedies for treating belly button infections.

Vinegar Mixed With Warm Water:

This is an excellent home remedy for belly button infections. This can reduce the growth of microorganisms like bacteria and fungi, causing the infection.

Warm and Cold Compresses:

You can apply a warm compress in the initial stage of the belly button infection where there is no redness or inflammation. This would help in reducing the pain. However, in case the belly button infection is more serious then it is better to apply a cold compress.

Salt Mixed with Warm Water:

Salt is well known for its excellent disinfecting properties. Thus, you can use this as a home remedy for belly button infection.

Aloe Vera:

Aloe Vera is well known for its tremendous healing properties. You can use this on your belly button and this would aid in eliminating the symptoms of the belly button infection.

Tea Tree Oil:

Apply this tea tree oil with the help of a cotton swab on the infected area. This will aid with the inflammation and other symptoms of the belly button infections, such as pain and tenderness.


It must be noted that belly button infection is more serious during pregnancy. It is always essential for any individual suffering from the infection to take best and most effective treatments for belly button infection at an initial stage of the infection. It is however essential to keep safe and take very much attention towards preventing the belly button infection by not touching the belly button regularly, by maintaining proper hygiene and by consulting a medical professional in case of any symptoms of the initial stage of the infection.

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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 31, 2023

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