Belly Button infections are quite common among people across age groups, including infants. The infection can be bacterial, fungal or yeast infection. The belly button is usually an easy breeding ground for bacteria, as sweat, soap and other substances can get deposited in the navel region, to infection.
Let us delve a little further to ascertain the causes, symptoms, and treating the infection effectively at home.
Causes of infection
There are several factors that could lead to a belly button infection. Some of them are:
- Poor hygiene
- Sebaceous cysts
- Belly button piercing
- Exposure to harmful UV sunrays
- Surgery involving belly button
Symptoms of a belly button infection
Here are some symptoms that could signify a possible belly button infection:
- Redness in the navel region
- Mild pain
- Discharge (yellow or green)
- Bad odour
- Itching or tingling sensation
- Rarely bleeding, nausea or dizziness
Treating the infection at home
Just like any other infection, even belly button infection can be treated at home. Irrespective of the cause of the infection, most mild cases of belly button infections can be successfully treated at home using any of the following methods:
- Warm Compress
Dip a clean washcloth in warm water, wringing out the excess water. Place the cloth on your belly button for a few minutes. Repeat this several times a day to reduce the pain and ease discomfort. Apart from soothing out the pain, it will promote healing.
- Saltwater fermentation
Mix a teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water. Use a cotton ball dipped in this solution to clean the infected area. Then, pat dry with a clean cloth. Repeat the process twice a day until the infection is gone. If necessary, an over-the-counter antibacterial cream can be used after this process.
- Coconut oil
Coconut oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties and hence is excellent in treating inflammation and swelling in the belly button. Take a little pure organic coconut oil on your fingers and apply it directly to your belly button, or use a clean cotton wool for applying. Leave it on, and allow the skin to absorb the oil. This should be done several times a day for effective result.
- Tea Tree Oil
Tea Tree oil has antibacterial, antiseptic and antifungal properties, and hence, is a wonderful cure for belly button infection, irrespective of whether it is a bacterial infection or yeast infection. Blend together 4 to 5 drops of tea tree oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil or olive oil. Apply it on the belly button using a cotton ball. Leave it on for about 10 minutes for the skin to absorb and then wipe off with a tissue. Continue this treatment twice or thrice a day.
- Peppermint oil
Peppermint essential oil helps relieve inflammation, and is also antimicrobial in nature, thereby helping to combat infection. Mix 2 to 3 drops of peppermint oil with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Apply this to your belly button and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes. Wipe off with a tissue. Do this twice or thrice a day.
- Garlic oil
Garlic oil has anti-microbial properties that are essential for treating all types of infection, including belly button infection. Garlic oil is also anti-inflammatory. You just have to apply garlic oil onto the affected area and leave it on for 20 minutes, before wiping it off.
- White Vinegar
White vinegar is effective in stopping a discharge from the infection in the belly button. This is because white vinegar, due to its acidic nature, can fight infection and prevent it from spreading further. To apply, mix a part of white vinegar with two parts of warm water. Soak a cotton swab in this solution and apply it on the affected area. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, rinse off with warm water and pat dry the area thoroughly. Repeat twice or thrice until the infection is gone.
- Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera has excellent anti-inflammatory properties, and it soothes pain and promotes quick healing. Therefore, aloe Vera can be used in treating a belly button infection. For this, cut an aloe Vera leaf and extract the gel. Apply this gel on the affected area and allow it to dry. Later, clean the area with a tissue and pat dry. This can be applied several times until the infection is cured.
Turmeric is a natural antibiotic and antiseptic agent, which can heal and prevent an infection. Prepare a paste of turmeric powder with water. Apply this on the affected area and leave it on until dry. Wipe it with a tissue later. Do this at least thrice a day.
Neem is excellent in fighting an infection, be it bacterial or yeast infection. It reduces pain and itching and prevents spread of infection. Make a paste of neem leaves and apply to the affected area. To make this more effective, you can also add turmeric powder to this mixture when making a paste. Leave on for 20 minutes and rinse with warm water and pat dry thoroughly. Do this twice a day.
In case the infection does not show any sign of improvement after a week of treatment at home, or if symptoms worsen, consult your doctor immediately.