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How to Treat a Belly Button Infection

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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.

how to treat a belly button 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.

  1. Add 1 teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of warm water and mix it until the salt dissolves.
  2. Dip a cotton ball in this solution and use it to clean the infected area, then carefully pat dry.
  3. To further combat the infection, apply an over-the-counter, water-based antibacterial cream.
  4. 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.

  1. Dip a washcloth in warm water and wring out the excess water.
  2. Place the warm cloth on your belly button for a few minutes.
  3. 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.

  1. Mix 4 or 5 drops of tea tree oil in 1 teaspoon of olive oil or coconut oil.
  2. Use a cotton ball to apply it on the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then wipe it off with a tissue.
  4. 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.

  1. Put a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball.
  2. Rub it onto the affected area and leave it on.
  3. 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.

  1. Mix 1 part of white vinegar with 2 parts of warm water.
  2. Soak a cotton swab in this solution and apply it on the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse it off with warm water and pat dry the area thoroughly.
  5. Repeat 2 or 3 times daily until the infection is gone.

How to Treat a Belly Button Infection was last modified: August 2nd, 2018 by Top10HomeRemedies
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18 thoughts on “How to Treat a Belly Button Infection”

  1. your daily health tips that you impart with us, is highly appreciated! Keep it up and May GOD bless you more…..

  2. Very informative article. It is well written as well. & I love the fact that you can use some of the home remedies on children.

    Thank you, Kindly

    Miss Young

  3. I think my belly button is infected i have a small red volume inside my belly button it is a little deap but i can see it withought stretching it too much and it does not hurt me and i do not have discusting fungus on my belly button also that volume has 2 or 3 small hairs on it is my belly button infected or is it sth else

  4. I cleaned the inner bellybutton with soap and water in the shower daily. Then dried it inside thoroughly.
    Then I used tea tree oil and neopsporin several times a day( intermittenly )that was applied with a qtip since my infection was deep into the belly button. It took about a week to 10 days to completely heal

  5. i got some bad smell in my belly button and inserted my finger and found liquid with dust came out but my finger went little deep inside easily. earlier it will go only to some extent but this time due to smell and infected it went little more. my belly also grown compared to earlier. any issue? kidnly guide.

  6. what if my belly button just itches really bad does that mean i have an infection even though the itch doesn’t happen all the time?

  7. I treated my belly button infection by using pyodine (medical iodine) just in a day i was relieved. Use it w cotton bird.

  8. I used the olive oil and tea tree oil for my Red irrataed navel. It worked fantastic! My navel was dark red and painful. No discharge that I saw. Think it happened due to wearing spanx and sweating. I used this mixture twice a day for 4 days and it completely cleared up. There was substantial improvement after one day. I highly reccomend this treatment

  9. i did the rubbing alcahol thing and the warj water and sqlt thing seems to be working out and the warm cloth thing really minimizes the pain

  10. I love how well this was said but my navel piercing is very much infected I’ve only had it a week. It just today put out a yellow pus but it did not smell. What do I do? I only use antibacterial hand soap

  11. I injured my belly button over a year now but the injury still persists and it gets more painful,I’m scared what should I do

  12. Having my bellybutton discharged yellowish like with unpleasant odor,it so itchy that i cant help myself scratch it.. hopefully these remedies would cure then..thanks for the information

  13. After years and years of soreness and irritation I gave mine one topical treatment of CBD oil and the problem vanished over night. Two days later, it started to regress, so I gave it one more treatment and it hasn’t regressed again. Two treatments with CBD oil cured a problem chronic infection that I had had for 10 years. I don’t know whether this would work for anybody else, but I think it is definitely worth a try.

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