Belly button infections are common and can affect people of any age. Even infants are prone to this infection. This infection can be of two types. They are,
- Bacterial Infection
- Yeast Infection
Belly button is deep, dark and damp and so it is a favorable breeding ground for the yeast and bacteria. Sweat, dirt and other substance trapped in the belly button causes bacterial growth and leads to infection.
Symptoms of Belly Button Infection
- Mild Pain
- Green or grey discharge
- Factors Causing Belly Button Infection
- Overgrowth of yeasts
- Poor hygiene habits
- Surgery involving the belly button
- Belly button piercing
- Sebaceous cysts
- Exposure to harmful UV rays
Home Remedies for Belly Button Infection
No matter what the causes and factors are for the infection of the belly button, certain preventive measures and home remedies always come handy in treating the condition.
1. Warm Salt Water
Warm salt water is used to treat the belly button infection. The salt in this water absorbs the moisture inside the belly button and warmth helps in increasing the blood flow to that area. It also acts as a disinfectant.
- Add one teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water and dissolve it well
- Soak a cotton ball in this solution and clean the infection with this
- Also you may apply any over-the-counter water-based antibacterial cream
- Repeat this once or twice a day until the infection is cured
2. Warm Compress
Warm compress is also effective in relieving the pain and discomfort caused due to the infection. The heat is very effective in easing the pain and it will also aid healing.
- Dip a washcloth in warm water and wring the excess water
- Place it on the belly button for few minutes
- Repeat several times a day to reduce swelling and pain
- You can also take a warm shower instead of warm compress
3. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an excellent anti-bacterial and anti-fungal ingredient that cures all sorts of fungal and bacterial infections. The strong antiseptic nature of this essential oil kills the harmful organisms from the site of infection and promotes faster healing. It is useful in curing belly button infection.
- Mix 4-5 drops of tea tree oil in one teaspoon of olive oil or coconut oil
- Using a cotton ball apply this mixture in and around the belly button
- Leave it for 10 minutes and then wipe off
- Repeat this treatment 2-3 times a day until the infection is gone
4. Rubbing Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol is an effective cleaning agent with antiseptic properties. It sterilizes the infected area and prevents the infection from spreading further. It provides instant relief from irritation and pain in case of belly button infection.
- Dab a small amount of rubbing alcohol on a cotton ball
- Rub it on the affected area and leave it on
- Reapply several times a day for better results
5. White Vinegar
White vinegar is very effective to stop the discharge from the belly button infection. The acidic nature of the white vinegar prevents the infection from spreading.
- Mix one part of white vinegar to two parts of water
- Soak a cotton swab in the solution and apply on the affected area
- Leave it for 10-15 minutes
- Rinse it off with warm water
- Repeat this 3-4 times a day to get relief from the symptoms
6. Aloe vera
Aloe vera had soothing effects on the skin and helps in curing many skin infections. It is rich in vitamin E which is essential to maintain a healthy looking skin. It has anti-bacterial and anti-septic properties which make it ideal for treating bacterial infection like belly button infection.
- Slice a fresh aloe vera leaf and extract the gel
- Apply this gel in the belly button and leave it until dry
- Wipe off with a wet towel or tissue and pat dry with a soft cotton towel
- Repeat this several times a day until the infection is completely gone
Turmeric is a common spice used in India. It has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties. It has a substance named curcumin which fights against bacteria and fungus.
- Make a paste with one spoon of turmeric and water
- Apply this paste in the affected area and leave it until dry
- Wash it off with warm water or wipe with warm towel
- Keep the area dry and repeat this 2-4 times a day for faster healing
- To promote internal healing, you can also drink a glass of warm milk mixed with a spoon of turmeric powder and honey
Neem or Indian lilac is the best remedy to cure any bacterial or fungal infection. It has strong antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that kill the infection causing organisms and prevents from spreading further.
- Make a paste of handful of neem leaves by finely grinding it
- Add a little turmeric powder to the paste
- Apply it on the affected area and leave it for 15-20 minutes
- Rinse it with warm water and pat dry
- You can also use neem oil for the same
- Repeat this several times a day until the belly button is clear
Other Important Tips
- Avoid picking or scratching the belly button as it may worsen the infection
- Avoid swimming as the chlorine in the pool irritates the infection
- Use sterilized cotton balls or swabs to apply the remedies or ointments in the belly button
- Include garlic in your daily diet
- Eat food rich in vitamin C, zinc and antioxidants to promote faster healing
- Take measures to control high blood sugar levels
- Take proper after-piercing care if you have got a belly button piercing
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