Bleeding Belly Button Infection, Smelly Discharge, Treatment

Bleeding belly button infection is common on a pieced navel. However, bacterial and fungal infections remain the common cause of painful navel discharge that can also cause bleeding. The belly button may be swollen, painful, sore with an oozing discharge that may be colored and smelly. All this depend on what caused the navel infection. This condition can affect adult male, female and children

In some cases, just simple hygiene measures may cause you problems. The belly button or the navel tends to be curved inside the body and this creates a dark warm and moist environment. Such an environment is really favorable for bacteria to thrive in.  This explains why it is important to learn how to clean the belly button for both adults, newborns and children

Infected belly button discharge with smelly puss can also cause navel bleeding

Infected belly button discharge with smelly puss can also cause navel bleeding

Bleeding is normal in a newborn’s belly button especially after they fall off. However, bleeding may also occur when the cord is still healing while attached on the baby’s abdomen.

Proper care and hygiene measures should be observed to keep away infections. A red, swollen or puss filled bumps on the umbilical cord with a discharge-directly indicate signs of infections on the baby belly button.

Bleeding Belly Button Infection Related Symptoms

Navel discharge as well as bleeding from the belly button may indicate an underlying infection or may be from a physical trauma suffered on the abdomen. The belly button is a very delicate and important area on the abdomen and any abnormal symptoms listed below or other should never be ignored.

  1. A clear or yellow discharge form the belly button
  2. Pain in the lower part of the abdomen
  3. An inflamed pus filled feeling on the belly button
  4. A bad odor or a foul smell from the belly button
  5. A swollen or inflamed belly button that may be painful
  6. Tender sensitive navel that may be red and sore
  7. Feeling dizzy, nausea or vomiting together with a pain on the navel or around it
  8. A rash around the belly button
  9. A lump on or around the belly button

Causes of Navel Bleeding, Discharge with Pain

Patients may experience bleeding belly button during pregnancy or from infections. A discharge or a bleeding bellybutton from piercing is also a common experience for both men and women and are both cured if good measures and steps are taken. However, there are several cases that may cause this condition as listed below.


Infected belly button piercing may also be caused by an allergic reaction to that ring you used after the piercing. There are individuals that react to certain types of metals and you should know what your skin reacts to. Allergic reactions on the belly button may have the following signs:

  1. A swollen sore belly button that may bleed due to scratching
  2. A discharge from the belly button
  3. Rash in the belly button and around the belly button
  4. Bumps that are puss filled that may later open up to cause blisters
  5. A constant itchy belly button or navel that may be red and swollen

Portal hypertension

The human liver also consists of internal veins that are delicate and in some cases, this veins may become blocked. The blockage of this veins is a condition also referred to as portal hypertension and can be fatal if you do not seek medical help as soon as possible. This blockage may cause a rapture that can lead to bleeding.

According to “The veins coming from the stomach, spleen, pancreas and intestine join the portal vein and branch off through the liver. When the liver is damaged, this can cause a blockage, and the veins begin to swell. The swollen veins may be in the stomach, rectum, esophagus or belly button area”

Urachal remnant infection

During pregnancy, there is a channel that facilitates the drainage of urine in the fetus. This is channel is known as the urachus and it is also best described in general as a link between the bladder and the belly button or the umbilicus.

According to University of California-Department of Urology, “Urachal disorders are usually diagnosed when there are symptoms such as: drainage from the umbilicus, redness around umbilicus, abdominal pain, or urinary tract infection.  An ultrasound can often detect urachal anomalies but occasionally other tests are needed.  A sinogram or sinography is a test where contrast is injected into the umbilicus to see if there is a patent urachus or urachal sinus”

After surgery

Surgical procedures on the abdominal area will definitely cause a discharge if the area around and the navel itself was involved. This are always nursed in hospitals during post-surgery care and measures until they are completely healed.

Umbilical endometriosis

This is a condition that only affects women since it is related to the uterus. There are sensitive tissues that make up the lining of the uterus and this tissues may erroneously appear on other parts of a woman’s body. When they appear on the belly button or the navel, it is then referred to as primary umbilical endometriosis and may cause bleeding of the navel.

It is normally diagnosed by an MRI or ultrasound scan on symptoms like a bleeding painful navel that may be discolored and swollen. This will also cause a lump on the belly button or close to the navel.

Picking scabs and antiseptics

In case you have scabs from healing wounds on the belly button, picking and scratching them may cause bleeding or discharge. This may cause a recurring bleeding conditions. Washing the wounds with antiseptic soaps will also irritate the wounds further.

Injury or physical trauma on the navel

Bleeding belly button-A direct trauma or injury on the navel that leaves it with a wound may cause bleeding or discharge for the belly button. An accident that may involve a hit on the abdomen, surgery or women that have just given birth may all surfer from this. It is advisable to seek medical advice in this case.

It is also a common fact that children and toddlers like playing with different body parts including their belly button. They rub it constantly and it is easy for them to infect it with their dirty hands or make the navel sore and swollen or inflamed.


Diabetes is one of the common cause of that smelly or odor from the navel. Most diabetic patients may experience a cheesy discharge with un-pleasant smell. This may also best explain why you may be having a crusty belly button which may be very uncomfortable. Seek medical help to manage this causative factor.

Umbilical Hernia

A hernia is a condition were the internal body part pushes against a weak tissue wall or muscle in the body. Umbilical hernia Is best referred to as a bulge on the muscles that are found around or on the belly button. This bulge may be caused by internal tissues, fluids or organs. Symptoms that point to this condition are;

  1. It may be visible and painful when you are panting, coughing
  2. A bulge on the belly button area that may be felt when the navel is gently pushed inwards
  3. The skin that covers the bulging area may be colored i.e red and symptoms may worsen when you sneeze or strain

This condition will best describe swollen belly button pains with blood on your stools. Fevers with constipation and nausea or vomiting are some of the conditions that should point to umbilical hernia.

According to specialists at Florida Hospital “Infants suffering with an umbilical hernia are expected to develop a bulge near the belly button and may cry due to this hernia causing swelling, pain, pressure and discomfort. This bulge tends to fluctuate in size, especially when abdominal contents push toward and shift around the belly button”

Belly hair on Hairy individuals

People who have lots of hair around their belly buttons may also experiences bacterial or fungal infections easily due to the moisture held around this area by this hair. Ingrown hair around the belly button may also cause pain, swelling and pain around the belly button that may be puss filled or even bleed.


Omphalitis is the inflammation of a newborn’s umbilical cord at the early stages. Omphalitis in most cases is caused by bacterial infections on the vulnerable weak and sensitive newborn’s body and weak immune system.

When a baby is born, the umbilical cord is normally cut and a small bit of it known as the stump is left hanging. The stump is usually left aerated and is expected to fall off on its own after a few days.(a common cause of bleeding belly button in newborns)

At the base of the stump, there are high chances of accumulating puss but this should be kept in check by simply leaving it to be aerated with proper hygiene as advised from the nurse. However, during this stage the stump is vulnerable to bacterial infections that will make it turn red, bleed and swollen.


This is a skin condition characterized by an itchy dry skin that cracks to form painful sores on the skin and can attack also most any other part of the body including the belly button and the areas around it. It is normally classified under atopic dermatitis and proper skin care with a few atopic prescriptions should clear it.

Bleeding Belly Button, Discharge, Navel Infection, Treatment

Bleeding Belly Button, Discharge, Navel Infection, Treatment

Belly button Piercing

Bleeding belly button-piercing;A pierced belly button in most cases should just heal fine especially when you follow the hygiene procedures. However, this piercing may be infected in some cases if left under poor care.

Most individuals with pierced navels will always notice a bumpy tissue that is bloody on the fresh piercing. This in most cases should not be alarming if treated with prober care since its part of the healing process.

Umbilical cyst

This may cause a discharge from the belly button or navel that may be painful and will also explain pain in the abdomen while urinating. There is a cyst known as the urachal cyst. This is a cyst that is basically caused when the embryo is developing. This is common among the female especially during or after pregnancy. A bleeding belly button in female or during early pregnancy should be checked and treated by a doctor immediately.

Belly button Yeast infection

Candida albicans is a type of fungi that may easily affect the belly button when it overgrows in the favorable warm, dark and moist environment of the belly button. This will explain a colored or clear discharge and a swollen navel in most cases.

It may also explain why you are having an itchy belly button that may turn red and sore from the constant scratching in both children and adults. Some of the common cause of yeast infection on the belly button include;

  1. Tight fitting clothes on the body that will keep the navel moist
  2. Obesity that will leave no breathing space in the inner walls of the curved belly button
  3. Some medications including chemotherapy drugs that involve cancer treatment
  4. Being on the PILL for women may also lead to this
  5. Lack of proper cleaning of the navel may also cause infection due to accumulated germs or bacteria

Belly Button Infection Treatment, Navel Discharge, Bleeding Home care

After consulting your doctor and you are treating the belly button at home or you are under medication, here are a few tips that you may consider applying at home for a proper and quick healing. It is always important and highly advisable to seek medical advice before you treat this condition at home since it may be fatal.

1. Moisture

Avoid moisture on the belly button by ensuring you pat it dry very well after showers or soaking. This moist environment is what the bacterial and fungal infections thrive in and keeping it dry will help in keeping further infections away.

2. Hygiene

Bleeding belly button-hygiene;Always ensure you keep a good hygiene and clean the belly button and ensure it is well aerated and dry after taking a shower. Many victims will confess that they tend to leave and neglect patting dry the belly button and this is what causes their troubles.

3. Water and salt

For a swollen belly button with discharge oozing from it due to infection, warm salt water will help in disinfecting and increasing blood flow in the area thus aiding a fast natural healing. Consider using the following simple steps;

  1. Warm some water and put in a clean cup
  2. Add a teaspoon of salt in to the warm water and stir to mix
  3. Soak a clean piece of cotton wool in it and use it to clean the belly button
  4. You may pat dry and leave it to aerate
  5. Apply an anti-bacterial cream for better results and repeat 2 times a day for better results

4. Scabs and care

In case the healing wounds are forming scabs on the belly button, avoid touching or picking at the scabs however much they may tingle or itch. This will only open and make the wounds worse and cause a bleeding belly button to re-occur at the same spot.

5. Tea tree Oil

This will give you relieve especially when the bleeding or discharge is caused by bacterial or fungal infection. Tee tree oil is a good home remedies for anti-fungal, anti-bacteria and a good natural antiseptic that is gentle n wounds and sensitive skin that is prone to allergies.

You will need the following,

  1. Tea tree oil
  2. Olive oil or coconut oil
  3. A clean piece of cotton wool
  4. A clean extra soft piece of clean cloth or hand towel

Steps to use at home;

  1. Put FIVE drops of tea tree oil in a clean container
  2. Add a tea-spoon of coconut oil, in case you don’t have that you may add a tea spoon of Olive oil
  3. Stir until they mix properly
  4. Use the clean piece of cotton wool to apply the mixture on the belly button
  5. Lett it be for 15-20 minutes before you wipe off with the clean soft hand towel
  6. Repeat 3 times a day or a least 2 times a day for better results

6. Bathing Soaps and shampoos

Avoid using soaps and shampoos especially the antiseptic ones. This will irritate the wounds and make the healing process even longer. If you do not have any prescribed soaps around, consider using the warm salt and water method to clean the area until it heals.

7. White Vinegar

White vinegar is very effective in stopping any discharge from an infected or bleeding belly button. It has acidic properties that will clear infections and keep it from worsening.

  1. Mix FOUR parts of warm water with TWO parts of white vinegar
  2. Dub a clean piece of cotton wool and use it to apply in the navel
  3. Let it settle for 20-25 minutes and rinse off with warm water
  4. Ensure you part dry, aerate and repeat 3 or at least 2 times a day for better results

8. Warm water compress

Warm water compress may do you good when treating a painful inflamed bleeding belly button at home. These Simple steps will give you some relief;

  1. Fill a clean basin with some warm water
  2. Soak a clean hand towel in the water, remove and then squeeze off excess water
  3. Gently place and hold the towel on the affected area or against the navel

9. Piercing hygiene

In case you have a belly button piercing, ensure you keep it clean and wash it with recommended anti-bacterial soaps and detergents. Don’t just go for any over the counter cleansers.

You may also consider removing the belly button piercing ring in cases of allergic reactions until the area is completely healed. Only replace the jewelry under a doctor’s supervision in case you really have to.

9. Loose Clothing

Consider putting on loose clothes to avoid moisture from body sweat caused by tight clothing. Loose will also promote aeration on any open wounds of the bleeding belly button to help them scab fast and heal naturally. Tight clothes will even make the navel sore worse from constant friction.

10. Rubbing alcohol

This is a good sterilizing agent that will decrease the chances of more infection and leave the area well sterilized. It will also relieve itching and any painful feel on the infected navel

  1. Add a few drop of rubbing alcohol on a clean piece of cotton wool
  2. Gently apply on the bellybutton and around it and let it settle as you continue with your duties
  3. You may repeat this after every shower to promote healthy heling

11. Weight

When you have a recurring bellybutton issues due to obese and poor aeration of the belly button due to the folds on your belly, consider losing weight. This can be best done by recommended daily exercises and watching your diet. You may also consider hitting the gym.

Pain Around Belly Button

A mild or sharp pain on the abdomen and around the belly button may indicate an infection on the navel or in most cases, may be linked to other diseases. Below are some of the diseases that may be linked to this condition;

  1. Appendicitis-basically a problem with the appendix
  2. Infections or underlying problem in the small intestines
  3. Too much eating or poisoned food
  4. Infection in the urinary tract or UTC
  5. Cystitis may also cause a painful feeling around the belly button
  6. Hernia may also be a possible cause of pain on both the belly button and around it

Bleeding Belly Button, Infection, Discharge Treatment

Anti-fungal or antibacterial medications may be prescribed but only when the causative factor is determined to be fungi or bacteria. Some cases may have oral prescription as best seen by the doctor and best advice is that do not use any over the counter or self prescribed medication before consulting a doctor.

Surgery may be performed on the belly button depending on the causative factors or when doctor’s advice that medication will only worsen the problem. A good example is-in case the bleeding is caused from urachal remnant.

Bleeding navel caused by umbilical endometriosis may also be treated by hormone therapy but doctors will always prefer surgery to completely and permanently remove the lumps once and for all to avoid any recurrence of the same.



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