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How to cure a belly button infection

Updated February 21, 2019

The belly button, or umbilicus, is a deep or elevated permanent abdominal scar caused when the umbilical cord is detached from a newborn baby. It is a common place for yeast and bacterial infections to occur since it is damp and dark, a favourite breeding ground for fungus and bacteria. Yeast infections in the belly button can affect anyone, including infants, obese adults and body piercers. Bacterial infections in the belly button are caused by direct injury from excessive scratching or picking at the yeast infection. Most belly button infections can be cured at home.

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  1. Wash the belly button with antibacterial soap while showering. Gently rub the belly button with soap-lathered fingers and rinse well. Avoid digging the belly button with fingernails to prevent injury.

  2. Gently dab the belly button with a clean cloth after showering to dry it. Make sure the belly button is completely dry before applying any medication.

  3. Apply a small amount of over-the-counter antifungal cream using your finger or a clean cotton swab. Gently rub the cream onto an "outie" belly button with your finger. Gently insert and swirl a cotton swab covered with cream into an "innie" belly button.

  4. Apply the cream daily until the infection clears up. Any bacteria present should clear up during treatment. Consult your doctor for an antibiotic if there is continued redness, swelling and yellow or green discharge in the belly button area.

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Things You'll Need

  • Antibacterial soap
  • Antifungal cream
  • Clean towel

About the Author

Frank Dioso

Frank Dioso is a trained medical technologist working for prominent research institutions such as Quest Diagnostics and California Clinical Trials. He has, for many years, ghostwritten clinical trial reports for confidential pharmaceutical drugs and is currently contributing his clinical laboratory science knowledge to online how-to articles.

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