Belly button infections are a very common problem that can affect people of any age, including infants. This type of infection can be one of two types – bacterial or yeast.
Since the belly button is deep, damp and dark, it is a favorable breeding ground for yeast and bacteria. Sweat, soap and other substances deposited in the navel cavity can aid bacterial growth and cause an infection.
Its symptoms are redness, mild pain, and green or gray discharge. A yeast infection in the belly button occurs as a result of overgrowth of yeasts that leads to symptoms like redness, swelling and discharge.
Other causes and contributing factors that may be responsible for belly button infections include poor hygiene habits, surgery involving the belly button, belly button piercing, diabetes, sebaceous cysts, exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) sunrays, and obesity.
Irrespective of the cause, home remedies can help treat the problem. Also, you can follow some preventive measure to avoid the infection.
Here are the top 10 ways to treat a belly button infection.
1. Warm Salt Water
A belly button infection can be treated with warm salt water. The heat from the warm water will help increase blood flow to the infected area, while the salt will help absorb the moisture inside the belly button to aid healing. Plus, it will act as a disinfectant.
- Add 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of warm water and mix it until the salt dissolves.
- Dip a cotton ball in this solution and use it to clean the infected area, then carefully pat dry.
- To further combat the infection, apply an over-the-counter, water-based antibacterial cream.
- Repeat once or twice a day until the infection is gone.
You can also purchase a ready-made saline solution from most drug stores.
2. Keep the Affected Area Clean
To promote healing and prevent further growth of bacteria in the belly button, it is essential to keep the affected area clean and dry.
To clean the area, you can use an antibacterial soap while taking a shower or bath. After your bath, dry the affected area thoroughly and dab some water-based antibacterial cream or lotion, 2 or 3 times daily until the infection clears up.
It is recommended to use a water-based ointment because the moisture from other types of ointments can block the skin pores and obstruct in skin breathing.
3. Warm Compress
If the infection hurts, you can try using a warm compress to relieve the discomfort. The heat from the warm compress is effective in easing the pain and it will also aid healing.
- Dip a washcloth in warm water and wring out the excess water.
- Place the warm cloth on your belly button for a few minutes.
- Repeat several times a day to reduce pain.
You can also try a warm shower to alleviate the discomforts of a belly button infection.
4. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is another effective natural cure for a belly button infection, whether it is caused by yeast or bacteria. This essential oil has antifungal, antibacterial and antiseptic properties.
- Mix 4 or 5 drops of tea tree oil in 1 teaspoon of olive oil or coconut oil.
- Use a cotton ball to apply it on the affected area.
- Leave it on for 10 minutes, then wipe it off with a tissue.
- Follow this treatment 2 or 3 times daily until the belly button looks healthy.
5. Rubbing Alcohol
To clean the affected area, you can also use rubbing alcohol. Its antiseptic property will sterilize the infected area and prevent the spread of infection. It will also provide relief from the irritation and pain.
- Put a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball.
- Rub it onto the affected area and leave it on.
- Reapply several times a day for several days.
6. White Vinegar
To stop discharge from an infected belly button, white vinegar is very effective. The acidic nature of white vinegar will fight infection and even prevent it from spreading.
- Mix 1 part of white vinegar with 2 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 it off with warm water and pat dry the area thoroughly.
- Repeat 2 or 3 times daily until the infection is gone.