HomeHealthWhat Causes Belly Button Infection & How To Treat It Fast

What Causes Belly Button Infection & How To Treat It Fast

Some health conditions can cause belly button infection. Belly button area is warm and moist which makes it a perfect place for bacteria to grow.

So bacteria can cause infections in the belly button. And this also makes belly button infections are quite common.

PLOS ONE journal revealed that there are more than 2,360 species of bacteria cover the belly button.

Poor hygiene, piercing, and bacterial infections can cause belly button infections. Yeast infection and sebaceous cyst cause also infections in the belly button.

Usually, an odd odor can be a sign of a belly button infection. The infection causes swelling, pain, itching, and a smelly discharge.

Causes Of Belly Button Infection


Poor hygiene is the main cause of belly button infections. If you don’t take a bath or shower frequently, dirt and sweat buildup inside your belly button. And bacteria and fungi start to grow and cause infections.

Also, taking a bath with unclean water causes infections. So clean your body well and dry the navel well to remove water and soap deposits.

Wearing tight clothes can wound the area around your belly button. Also, some fabrics don’t absorb sweat and this increases the growth of bacteria. So consider wearing loose clothes around this area.

If you’re obese, clean your body well especially the belly button region. Also, dry the navel to maintain proper hygiene.

Bacterial Infection

As already mentioned, more than 2,360 species of bacteria cover the belly button. These bacteria cause infections if you left the belly button region unclean.

Sweat, water, and other residues give bacteria the opportunity to overgrow. Bacteria feed on these substances. The overgrowth of bacteria causes infections.

So when you forget to clean this area, bacteria grow and cause infections.

Bacterial infections usually cause yellow or green discharge. The infection causes also swelling and pain.


Touching the belly button frequently with your hands can cause infections. Millions of bacteria can live and grow on our hands.

So when you touch your belly button especially with dirty hands, you increase the risk of experiencing infections.

Yeast Infection

Candida or yeast infection affects dark and damp areas of the body. keeping the belly button full of residues and dirt cause infections.

So candida can cause infection over the navel. People who have candida suffer from a red itchy rash on their navel. Candida causes also thick discharge.

What Causes Belly Button Infection & How To Treat It Quickly


Belly button piercing is more popular among women than men. Piercing creates an open wound. Bacteria and germs can enter your body through this wound and cause infections.

Also, dirty equipment and reused needles cause diseases like hepatitis B and C.

So the chances of experiencing infections are high if it performed incorrectly.

So you should be careful and follow the hygienic procedures to avoid any infections. Read how to do this.

The infection causes swelling, white discharge, and pain.


Diabetic patients are more likely to develop yeast infection as yeast feeds on sugar. So high blood sugar levels in the body trigger infections in the belly button. This infection is more common among diabetic patients.

It causes smelly cottage-cheese-like discharge, pain, and swelling. It’s a serious health condition that needs medical attention.

Urachal Cyst

The urachus is a duct that connects the umbilical cord with the bladder of the fetus. Before giving birth, the urachus closes up. But in some rare cases, the urachus remains open. This causes an infection called urachal cyst.

The infection causes pain when you urinate, swelling and abdominal pain. It causes also bloody fluid to leak from the navel and white discharge.

Sebaceous Cyst

It’s a bump that forms on some parts of your body like the belly button region. The cyst forms when sebaceous glands release oil in the skin around the belly button.

Don’t scratch this cyst as it can get easily infected. If the cyst is infected, it causes some problems like redness and smelly discharge.

The cyst causes pain and swelling in or around the infected navel. It also causes thick yellow discharge and this discharge has a foul smell.


After having surgery, the chances of getting an infection are high. If you notice pus draining from your navel after having abdominal surgery, call your doctor.

You may also notice swelling, redness, and inflammation. Usually, these are symptoms of surgical site infections that need to be treated.


Pregnant women experience belly button pain due to stretching. They may also have tenderness and redness. So you should see a doctor if these symptoms occur.

How To Treat Belly Button Infection

Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is a popular natural home remedy for more than one infection. It has antibacterial and anti-fungal properties.

So it can heal infections in the belly button. Apply the oil to the affected area to reduce inflammation. It can also reduce other symptoms of belly button infections.

Mix a few drops of the oil with one teaspoon of coconut oil. Apply the mixture to the affected area 3-4 times daily.

Coconut oil has also anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties. So it can combat the infection and reduce pain and redness.

Salt Mixed With Warm Water

salt mixed with warm water can treat belly button infections

Salt has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties that can treat the infection.

It can reduce the symptoms of the infection like inflammation and itching. Also, it prevents further infections which makes it a great home remedy.

Add one teaspoon of salt to a cup of water and mix them well. Soak a cotton pad in the solution and apply it to your navel. Put a few drops of the solution several times per day.


Alcohol can kill bacteria and treat the infection. It can also eliminate the symptoms of the infection like itching, redness, and pain.

Alcohol has antiseptic properties that can combat the infection. Apply it to your belly button twice a day. Don’t apply alcohol more than two times a day as overusing it leaves your skin dry.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera gel can heal belly button infections fast

Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties. It also has antimicrobial and healing properties.

So Aloe Vera can kill bacteria and fungi and relieve the pain. Aloe Vera can also heal the infection and reduce inflammation and itchiness.

Apply Aloe Vera gel to the affected area and leave for about 20 minutes. Then wash the gel off with water. Repeat this 3-4 times a day.

White Vinegar Mixed With Warm Water

White vinegar kills many types of bacteria and fungi that cause infections. So the vinegar helps treat infections in the belly button.

Mix two tablespoon of water with one tablespoon of white vinegar. Soak a cotton pad in the mixture and then apply it to your belly button.

Leave it for about 20 minutes then wash it off with water. Repeat this 3-4 times a day.

Indian Lilac

Indian lilac has anti-inflammatory properties that cleanse the skin. It heals the infection fast and reduces inflammation. It also relieves itching.

Grind Indian lilac ( Neem ) leaves with water until it forms a smooth paste. Apply the paste to your belly button and leave it for about 20 minutes. Then wash it off with water. Repeat this 2-3 times per day.


Turmeric contains curcumin that has powerful anti-fungal properties. It can heal the infection. It also reduces inflammation and swelling.

Mix one teaspoon of turmeric with some water until it makes a thick paste. Apply it to your belly button once daily. Leave it to dry then wash it off with water.


It’s highly recommended to see a doctor if you have belly button discharge. This discharge could be a sign of an infection that should be treated.

A Doctor who is discussing treatment options with a patient

The symptoms could persist and you may experience:

  • Fever
  • Pain when you urinate.
  • Inflammation near belly button piercing.
  • Tenderness.

The doctor makes a proper diagnosis and helps you understand your medical condition. And you can discuss treatment options with him/her.


The following tips can prevent infections and keep the belly button healthy:

  • Clean your belly button daily with water and soap.
  • After taking a shower, make sure that there’re no residues left in the navel.
  • Keep the belly button area dry.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothes.
  • Wear loose clothes.
  • Wear natural fibers like cotton and silk to help your skin breath.
  • Belly button piercing can cause infections. So you should clean the area well to avoid infections.
  • Cosmetic products like creams and moisturizers clog the pores. And this makes the area a great place for bacteria and yeast to grow. So don’t put them inside the belly button.
  • Eat more vegetables and fruits.
  • Avoid processed food.


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