The belly button is a warm and moist area of the body. Hence, it is vulnerable to the growth of bacteria, fungi, and other microbes which thrive in such conditions. One of the most common signs of an infected belly button is an itchy belly button. Microbial infections of the belly button can also lead to inflammation of the belly button. A doctor needs to be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of an itchy belly button.
Causes of itchy belly button
There are many possible causes of an itchy belly button. Some of them are discussed below:
- One of the most interesting causes of an itchy belly button is the decreased moisture content in the environment. This is particularly true during the winter months when one uses warm clothes, heating, etc. to keep ourselves warm.
- The deposition of debris, dirt, etc. in the belly button can lead to irritation, infection, and an itchy belly button.
- Any kind of injury, wound, or cut on the belly button or the adjacent skin can result in itchiness. Hence, individuals who are experiencing an itchy belly button must examine the area for bruises or any other form of injury.
- Candidiasis is a kind of yeast infection which tends to occur in the belly button. Patients can identify the presence of yeast infection when they notice a cottage cheese-like discharge from the affected area. A yeast infection of the belly button will also result in an itchy belly button.
- Another prominent cause of an itchy belly button is belly button piercing. Individuals with a pierced belly button may experience pain and itchiness if the metal does not suit the skin. Also, people who have tried to or have removed the piercing before the wound has completely healed are more likely to suffer from infection and an itchy belly button. There may be some bleeding too.
- Presence of skin hives, eczema and other such skin diseases can also result in redness along with an itchy belly button
- Inefficient and irregular cleaning of the belly button can lead to infection, redness, itchiness, and even inflammation. Fungal or bacterial infection of the belly button can lead to fluid discharge from the area. Additionally, the patient may experience an inflamed belly button and even mild pain.
- Use of a harsh body lotion, or a soap, can result in the development of a skin disorder called contact dermatitis. An itchy belly button is one of the symptoms of this skin disease.
- The presence of urinary tract infection can result in sharp pain in the belly button and even cause itchiness. Affected individuals are most likely to experience such pain while passing urine.
- In rare cases, appendicitis can also result in navel pain and an itchy belly button. The pain will generally commence from the right side of the abdomen and gradually migrate to the belly button, if not treated on time.
- An itchy belly button may also be caused during pregnancy when the abdominal skin experiences extensive stretching and distention.
Treatment of itchy belly button
All instances of itchy belly button have to be checked by a doctor. An itchy belly button that is accompanied by soreness and inflammation has to be immediately checked by a doctor.
- An itchy belly button caused due to bacterial infections can be treated with a dose of antibiotics prescribed by a physician
- After consulting a doctor, patients may use alcohol or solutions with hydrogen peroxide content to clean the affected belly button area. You may also apply antiseptic creams on the itchy belly button.
- Mild cases of itchy belly button can be treated by maintaining good standards of personal hygiene and intake of a healthy and balanced diet. This will boost the immune system and enable it to fight off mild cases of belly button infections.
Mild instances of itchy belly button can also be treated with the below listed home remedies:
- Avoid scratching or rubbing the belly button area to relieve the itching, as it will only aggravate the problem. Also, discontinue and avoid the use of harsh soaps, body lotions, or other body cleansers that contain chemicals.
- Mix a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water. Use this solution to clean the itchy belly button. It will help in the gentle removal of debris and other microorganism present in the belly button.
- Mild infections can be treated with non-prescription antibiotics. Patients may also go for over the counter antifungal creams to treat yeast and other fungal infections of the belly button.
It is important for all patients to regularly follow the above mentioned treatment options for at least four to five days. It will definitely result in improvement and relief from itchiness. However, if an itchy belly button continues to persist even after a week, then patients should visit a doctor for consultation, diagnosis, and further treatment.