Belly button discharge
The belly button can easily become infected by Candida, or other fungi - it is just the sort of warm, moist crevice that fungi like. If you have a fungal infection the belly button will look red, and the redness may extend to the surrounding skin for a few millimetres. It may be itchy.
What to do about belly button discharge
- Resist the urge to pick or scratch.
- Don't try to turn your belly button inside-out to clean it properly - just wash it gently using water to which you have added enough salt to give it a salty taste (about a tablespoonful in a bowl, or two handfuls in the bath). If you have a shower, use the shower head to rinse it well. Carefully dab it dry.
- Don't dab on any antiseptics, or add antiseptic to your bath water. This could irritate the skin and make it worse.
- Stop applying any creams from the chemist - they could be making it worse.
- If it doesn't start improving within a few days, or there is a yellowish discharge, see your doctor. You may need an antibiotic cream.
- A very rare type of bladder cancer can extend into the belly button. This is called ‘urachal cancer’ and is extremely unusual, Another rare situation is a lump in the belly button from an internal cancer such as the gut or pancreas. So these are more reasons why you should see your doctor if the problem does not clear up.
Written by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Edited by: Dr Margaret Stearn
Last updated: Thursday, June 2nd 2011
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