Belly Button Smell : Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

There are various reasons that cause certain odour in your belly button and dirt, lint, bacteria and sweat are considered to be those reasons. During the first weeks of birth, the newborn’s umbilical cord often gives out minimal odour, too. However, it is not something to lose your mind over because the condition is very common and is highly treatable by following simple steps.

Overview of Belly Button Smell

It is not every time that you notice a slight odour coming out of the specified place but when it does, the smell can be pretty unpleasant. You might wonder why such odour is coming out because there is no way, germs can start growing there. To prove your assumption, it is found that more 67 kinds of bacteria-surface around your belly button which might be one of the causes of odour.

  • One of the prime causes can be your poor hygiene due to which bacteria, germs and dirt are accumulated in this particular body part where the umbilical cord has been attached once. The shape of the body part which has a little dent is likely to collect particles and dirt if it is not cleaned regularly.
  • Fungal infection in navel area has the possibility to multiply the growth of bacteria too quickly. The condition may look harmless; however, it can refer to several physical conditions that jeopardize your health on a large scale later.

Symptoms of Belly Button Smell

Every living person has a belly button and the shape and size of it vary from person to person. The smell coming out of the body part can raise a certain problem if you keep avoiding dealing with the issue.

There are various reasons why your belly button has foul smell and eruption of pus-filled cyst can be one of them.

Poor hygiene must not be blamed for the condition because various health conditions can give rise to this particular problem. If a person suffers from cyst or infection, he/she is likely to give rise to this certain problem. However, apart from this, there are other symptoms of the condition that are often seen,

  • Green, white or yellow discharge
  • Itchiness
  • Blistering around piercing or navel
  • Redness or swelling
  • Scab found in the surrounding part of belly button
  • Persistent pain, especially, near a piercing
  • Lump in abdomen
  • Fever

Many people are seen to have a stone-like mass inside the navel which is known as umboliths or omphaliths. With the rapid growth of these kinds of masses, the navel portion can get infected, inflamed and ulcerated.

Causes of Belly Button Odour

There are several factors that contribute to the stinking smell coming out of your belly button.


If there is an infected cyst in your belly button, you are likely to develop a stinking smell. The cyst is usually a lump under the skin that often causes severe pain till it is affected due to infection.

The cysts may contain pus which can be one of the reasons behind the unpleasant smell in your belly button.

Sebaceous Cysts

These kinds of cysts are not seen on a regular basis. The cysts come out of the sebaceous glands that generally create an oily and a waxy lipid combination, which is known as sebum. Sebum can help in the lubricating skin and offer protective elements to the skin.

The cysts originated from here may get infected which could have the chances of giving rise to the problem with smell.

Pilar and Epidermoid Cysts

You can notice the pilar cysts around hair follicle and epidermoid cysts are generally the bumpy cysts that are visible on the top layer of skin.

  • Two of these cysts have cells that contain membrane secreting thick keratin-like protein component. If one of the cysts get erupted, yellow-coloured discharge may come out that can exude a certain degree of smell.
  • The cysts have the ability to get infected and you can take help of the medical professionals to treat the condition at the earliest phase possible.

Poor Hygiene

You will be surprised to know that the little part of your body belly button, has its own ecosystem. If anything goes missing or functions abnormally, it can start smelling.

  • As the germs and fungi are trapped in this particular part of the body, it is required to be cleaned every day. Additionally, dead skin, sweat, dirt and debris can get stuck here leading to the multiplication of fungi and germs.
  • It is seen that if you have a deeper belly button, you are likely to grow more problems. By following steps of how to have a good hygiene, you can nip the problem of smelly navel in the bud.


There is a cyst which lives in your skin and is called Candida. Candida does not have the potential to main problems; however, as soon as the skin starts getting moist, it generates the capability of multiplying. With the growing number of the yeast in your skin, the fungal infection increases rapidly.

  • In general, it is seen that the yeast has the ability to affect throat and mouth area and this condition is called thrash. Additionally, candidal intertrigo is seen to leave an impact on the folds of the skin including groin, belly button or armpits. The area of the skin becomes blistering and scaly with the course of time.
  • With the help of transitions on lifestyle and antifungal medication, the infection is widely treated. If you avoid wearing tight clothes and keep the skin clean, dry and cool from time to time,. You are less likely to develop the skin condition.

People who are overweight or suffer from obesity are susceptible to undergo the skin condition.

Types of Smell

Parts of the body which includes feet or armpits generally become moist with smell and sweat. This is a result of bacteria breaking down seat and later creating a waste element that contains strong unpleasant odour.

If there is sweat or dead skin inside the navel area, it can start smelling sweaty. Additionally, if there is growing fungal infection, it can have an odour coming out. Especially, the smells get worse if there is the growth of pus.

When do You Need to Visit a Doctor?

The condition might be normal but is always better to take advice from the medical experts. The medical professionals can advise you prescribe you medication that is effective to deal with the infection growing in the belly button.

  • Swelling, redness and itchiness are the prime signs of infection and you can notice pus or fluid in the belly button. In addition to the context, pus can often be seen to get harden to create a crust around the navel area.
  • You can pay a visit to a healthcare professional if you notice that there is a cyst that has become infected. It is highly recommended not to pop or burst the cyst because it can complicate matters further.
  • If a person undergoes pain while urinating which can lead to infection in the navel area, he/she may rush to see a doctor to get help at the earliest stage.

How to Get Rid of Belly Button Odour

Primarily, sebaceous cyst and infection are the two prime factors that generate the problem on a large scale.

Treating Sebaceous Cyst

If the cyst does not bother you, there is no need of poking it or taking measures against it. However, you can pay a visit to a medical expert who can identify whether the cyst possesses any risk factors for your health.

If the cyst is the prime reason behind the smelly condition of yours, you can take help from a dermatologist who might advise you take medications. Additionally, he can undertake further measures for removing or draining the entire existence of cyst from the navel area.

Treating Infection

People who have noticed infection around the navel area, they are recommended to keep this body part clean and dry. Additionally, it is better to avoid wearing clothes that are too body-hugging. You can check sugar level in your diet even if you do not suffer from diabetes.

It is seen that due to excessive blood glucose level, you can increase the risks of infections exponentially.

Using antibiotic cream or topical antifungal cream can be effective for the people who notice an awful odour coming out of the navel part.

If you notice that the infection has increased due to piercing or a certain piece of jewellery, you should avoid wearing jewellery in that particular part of the body. By soaking a cotton ball in the combination of antimicrobial soap and lukewarm water, you can gently wash the area to get relief.

You should focus on keeping the area clean every time. If you wear tight-fitting clothes, you can only make the infection worse.

If there are further complications are witnessed, you should consult a doctor without taking the matter casually.

How to Take Care of Belly Button Piercing

If you got your navel pierced, it might start showing signs of infections leading to unpleasant odour coming out of that particular body part. After getting it pierced, you must adequate attention on the matter as lack of care could lead to severe infections.

In order to get relief, you can wash the place with a wet cloth along with the saltwater solution. You can frequently apply to the affected area several times in a day. Due to the application of warm compress, the crust or discharge can get removed from the body part.

You need to pat it to dry out the part easily.

Prevention of Awful Odour of Navel Area

The first thing that you need to do is to clean the area and keep washing the place until it is cleaned completely.

You can take a shower with mild soap and lukewarm water that has the potential to clean dirt, lint, germs and bacterial growth. However, there is no need of scrubbing and you need to take shower on a regular basis.If you do not have a deep navel area, you might consider yourself lucky because you do not have to go through the hassles of keeping the place clean.

One of the effective home remedies that can help you get rid of the smell only requires washcloth, towel, salt, bowel, hairdryer, rubbing alcohol and cotton balls. People with deeper belly button can dip fingers or soft cloth of washing in a solution made with a teaspoon of table salt in a cup full of lukewarm water. After taking the saltwater solution in hand, you can gently massage the internal wall of a button.

The solution is capable to drive the germs away along with the unpleasant smell. Additionally, after doing this, you can wash the place with regular water and then let it dry.

You might avoid using moisturizer or lotion which is primarily used for the purpose of makeup around your navel area. The bacterial or fungal growth can increase due to extra moisture acquired from the lotion or moisturising cream.

Other Home Remedies to Follow

As the inner side of the belly button is seen to leave a foul smell, sweat in your navel area can be blamed. You can dip cotton balls in a little amount of alcohol and then gently twirl around to get rid of the inner germ and dead skins.

You can add mild soap in it and add more warm water to rinse the wear. After doing so, you can pat the area to dry. In addition to the context, you can take a hairdryer changing its setting to cool and take help of a cotton swab to finally get rid of the smell.

If the stubborn smell is still lingering on your body, it is highly recommended to see a doctor who can prescribe you effective medications in order to deal with the skin condition. The infections can go away leaving you stress-free. Moreover, the medical professional can offer an insight on what mind of healthy diet you should follow in future in order to stay away from such skin conditions without following too many preventive measures.

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