With the current fashion trends dictating women to dress up in midriff-baring crop tops and high-waisted pants, the belly button has suddenly zoomed into focus. Everyone wants washboard abs these days, and with that, a near perfect belly button. Women also get their navels pierced these days to enhance the beauty of the belly button. But what if your belly button gets infected? What?! Can your belly button get infected too? Yes, it can, as it is a hidey-hole for numerous bacteria. While it may not pose such a serious problem in healthy individuals, some people may have to bear the brunt of a belly button infection.
Not only women, but belly button infections can affect anyone, irrespective of gender and age. There are two types of infection, bacterial and yeast-induced. It is a favorable breeding ground for infections. To add to it, there is constant deposition of soap and sweat in the navel cavity, and if it is not cleaned on a regular basis, it may trigger off infections.
So, can you have a belly button infection too? What causes this infection? If these questions are playing on your mind; hold your horses, as we are going to discuss all that and more in this very article.
Belly button infections can affect one and all, some of the reasons are as follows:
Bacterial infection is one of the top causes for an infected belly button. Residues of cosmetic products, sweat, lint, can lead to bacterial growth and infection in the belly button. How will you know that you are suffering from a belly button infection? You will notice a brown or yellow discharge from your belly button.
Fungal infections are often caused by Candida. Candida can affect any part of the body including the belly button. If you have a red and an inflamed belly button, then it is a clear indication that you have a fungal infection.
If you have a sebaceous cyst in your belly button, you are much more likely to get an infection. Cysts get infected when you scratch them.
The duct within the umbilical cord that helps the drainage of urine from the fetus is known as the urachal cyst.
Sometimes you have a cottage cheese-like discharge from your belly button and this shows that you have a belly button infection because of diabetes.
That’s not all, there are some other factors that may lead to belly button infections.
Are you suffering from a belly button infection? Then you have to see whether you have the following symptoms:
Everybody hates having an infection, and the first thought that comes to your mind is ‘how can I get rid of it.’ Start with the following home remedies for belly button infection to get relief.
When it comes to skincare, coconut oil is the most potent remedy as it has medium-chain fatty acids and has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. This fights infections by combating inflammation and also reduces the swelling in the belly button region.
Coconut oil (select the cold-pressed organic variety)
Apply the oil directly to the infected area. Leave it for a few minutes and let your skin absorb the oil. You can try this remedy several times a day.
Infection can proliferate in moist and humid conditions, so you need a remedy that will dry out the belly button region. Salt has both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and can stop the infection from spreading. It also stops the itching and the inflammation.
Combine a teaspoon of salt to warm water and blend it well. Put this saline solution into the infected area and try this remedy several times to get relief.
A hot compress is the best solution for a number of conditions; a belly button infection is certainly one of them. It fights infection and inflammation all at one go. That is why it is perfect for treating a belly button infection too.
A clean cloth
Dip the washcloth in slightly-warmed water. Wring out the water and place it on the affected area. Keep the washcloth on the area for some time, say for a few minutes. Repeat it as many times as you can.
Tea tree oil is one of the most potent essential oils and can treat a belly button infection too. It has great antifungal and antibacterial properties and is a powerful weapon to kill microbes. Since the essential oil is anti-inflammatory in nature, it offers an effective solution to all the belly-button infection symptoms, such as itching, swelling, and pain.
Make this powerful solution with tea tree oil and coconut oil. Blend it well. Use this mixture to apply it in the infected belly button and rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Wipe this off. You can try this all-natural treatment at least 2-3 times a day.
Your essential oils arsenal is incomplete without peppermint oil as it has incredible soothing properties and helps soothe inflammation. It has microbe-slaying properties too, that help to get rid of belly button infection.
Make a potent combination by combining these two oils. Apply in the belly button area and let the solution seep inside the navel. Keep it for 10-15 minutes before you wipe it off. Try this at least 2 to 3 times every day.
Alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) has antiseptic properties and helps disinfect and sterilize the belly button area, thus inhibiting the spread of infection.
A few drops of rubbing alcohol is all you need to treat the affected area. Leave the solution on the belly button for a few minutes to let it absorbed. Try this once or twice a day to get results.
Hydrogen peroxide is really useful when you are trying to get rid of a pus-filled cyst in your belly button. The antiseptic properties help accelerate the healing process and help dry up the cyst too.
Combine hydrogen peroxide with water and dip the cotton pad in the solution. Apply the same on the belly button and let it dry naturally. Do this at least once daily.
Vinegar has antiseptic properties thanks to its acetic acid content. This helps to help fight the microbes that cause infection. The disinfectant properties are another way to eliminate the infection.
1 tablespoon of white vinegar
2 tablespoons of water
Combine the required amounts of both white vinegar and water. Dip a cotton pad in the freshly-concocted solution and apply on the affected area. Let the solution stay in the area for some time, say 15 to 20 minutes and then rinse it off with water. Try this at least 2-3 times every day to see significant improvement in the infection area.
Turmeric is one of the most powerful healing herbs on planet Earth. It contains a powerful compound (curcumin) that gives its anti-inflammatory properties. It reduces the inflammation and also helps get rid of the other symptoms such as swelling and itching in your belly button region.
Combine turmeric and water together to concoct a thick paste. Apply the same in the infected area. Wait for it to dry and then rinse it off with water. You can try this at least twice or thrice daily.
Alternatively, you can also make your very own concoction of haldi doodh by combining 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder and a little honey in a glass of hot milk. This drink has potent therapeutic values, and this will also stave off other infections.
Aloe vera gel is widely known for its healing properties. It is very important to add this plant to your medicinal cabinet as it has 200 ingredients which can treat most of your common, and in some cases, chronic ailments. It is one of the most potent belly button infection treatments.
Aloe vera gel
Cut off a fresh aloe leaf, extract the gel and apply to the affected area. If you don’t have an aloe plant at home, get an organic gel from a health store; but as they say, fresh is always the best. Leave the gel on the affected area for 20 minutes or so and wash it off with water. Try and do this twice or thrice a day for maximum benefits.
Neem has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. You can use neem to speed up the healing process and also get rid of some of the symptoms such as itching and inflammation in the belly button region.
Take a fistful of neem leaves and grind them with water to get a smooth paste. Add fresh turmeric root and grind it again. Now, apply this to the belly button for 15 to 20 minutes till it dries off. Rinse the navel with water. Do this once or twice daily.
How to treat an infected belly button? Well, you can start with these home remedies. Do take care of other health issues to eliminate the root cause of infections, such as diabetes. Also, if you have recently undergone a belly button piercing, you need to take extra care of this region. Follow these preventive tips to stop the infection from developing.
If you have been trying all the home remedies listed above for some time and you still don’t see any signs of the infection disappearing, consult a doctor. You need to do so, especially when you have the following symptoms along with signs of an infected belly.
While some of these symptoms may be indicative of a harmless belly button infection that may go away as soon as it comes, try these belly button infection treatments at home. In some rare cases, the infection may develop because of an underlying medical condition such as cancer or psoriasis. Have you ever experienced a belly button infection? Tell me how did you treat it? Did you try home remedies? Which remedy worked for you? Do tell me how you treated the same, would love to know all your inputs. Till the next time, take care of your health and stay fit and healthy!
Devi Gajendran is a Post Graduate in Nutrition (University of Madras, Tamil Nadu) and has tons of experience in Fitness and Nutrition. She is the chief advisor and full time contributor at the Fit Indian and has the final say on all the segments under the Fit Indian paradigm, such as beauty, fitness, home remedies, diseases, diet tips, weight loss, weight gain and so on. A foodie herself, she believes in the Hippocrates quote,” Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” A fitness enthusiast, she believes that the combination of diet and exercise can work wonders. When she is not sharing her valuable knowledge about food and fitness, she likes to spend quality time with her family members, do some healthy baking and listen to soft soulful music.
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