Belly button is a result of leftover of scar tissues that joins a baby to the placenta of the mother. After cutting the umbilical cord, a stump is left behind that falls off leaving behind the belly button. It produces a conducive atmosphere for the growth of fungi and bacteria. When yeast or these bacteria overgrows, they can lead to infections which can cause some symptoms such as swelling, redness, itching as well as pain.
What Are the Possible Causes of Belly Button Infection?
The infection of belly button can affect people of all ages ranging from infants to adults, it can either be yeast or bacterial. Belly button is usually deep, dark and damp and this causes a conducive breeding ground for bacteria or yeast. When substances such as soap, sweat and others get deposited into the navel cavity, they cause the growth of bacteria leading to an infection. Even though the major causes of belly button are fungi and bacteria, there are some factors that encourage the condition. These include:
Most women have in the recent past been using piercing in the belly as a way of expressing themselves. However, what they may not be aware is that these kinds of piercing can increase the infection risks especially if the piercing is done in the wrong way.
2. Regular Touching
Regularly touch your belly button can also increase the risk of infection. This is particularly the case when it is touched with unclean hands as this increase the risk of depositing fungi and bacteria inside the navel.
3. Poor Hygiene
Belly button infection can also be caused by poor hygiene. If you do not bath on a daily basis, this may lead to the growth of microorganisms in the button. This risk can also be increased if the bath water is unclean. If you do not clean the navel when bathing or leave it wet after bathing, this will leave soap and water deposits inside the navel and this encourages the growth of microorganism.
Symptoms of Belly Button Infection
The symptoms vary and occur in several stages. During the initial stage (abscess), swelling and pain may occur. With the development of the infection, there may be appearance of some serious symptoms particularly in the later stage known as cellulitis. During this stage, there may be puncturing of the infection leading to a discharge. The infection may develop further to cover the whole belly causing it to become warm. The discharge will also have a color change turning from pure liquid to a yellowish, greenish or grayish color. It will also become smelly. At times, there may be occurrence of bleeding and the patient may experience nausea.
Treatment for Belly Button Infection
Topical applications as well as safe antibiotics can be prescribed at the early stage of infection. When treatment is started during the later stages of the infection, powerful antibiotics should be used. When the condition is extremely serious, surgery may be recommended especially if the infection already covers a big part of the belly and already affected the internal organs. There are also some home remedies that can be used to treat the condition during the initial stages.
Home Remedies for Belly Button Infection
- Warm salt water: Warm water with salt is effective in the treatment of belly button. The heat can help to increase the flow of blood to the infected area. Dip a cotton swab into the solution and use it to clean the area.
- Warm compress: Warm compress produces heat that can ease pain and aid in healing. Dip the washcloth in warm water and place it on the belly for a few minutes. Repeat the process several times in a day.
- Tea tree oil: Tea tree oil contains antibacterial, antifungal as well as antiseptic properties and this makes it a perfect choice for treating belly button infection. Mix around 5 drops tea tree oil with a teaspoon of coconut/olive oil. Apply the mixture twice or thrice in a day using cotton oil and use a tissue to wipe off.
- Rubbing alcohol: Alcohol contains antiseptic properties that can help to sterilize the affected area. It can also offer relief from the pain and irritation. Dip a cotton swab into the alcohol and rub the affected area.
- Aloe vera: Aloe vera contains anti-inflammatory as well as soothing properties that can help to ease pain and promote faster healing. Extract the gel from the aloe vera leaf and apply it on belly button. After it has dried, use a wet tissue to clean the area, Pat dry using a soft towel.
Tips to Take Care of Infected Belly Button
- Avoid scratching or picking the area affected by belly button as this only tends to worsen the condition.
- Stay away from the swimming pools as the chlorine in the water can worsen the condition.
- Clean the affected area using cotton swabs or balls rather than cloth as the latter can spread the infection.
- Ensure that garlic is part of your diet as it can help to prevent the infection.
- Increase your intake of meals rich in zinc, vitamin C and antioxidants as this help to promote healing.
- Avoid putting pressure on affected area as you sleep.
- Ensure that you control your levels of blood sugar.