Why Does My Belly Button Smell and How to Clean?

Why Does My Belly Button Smell and How to Clean?

Why does my belly button smell? Is it something you aren’t doing right, or is it an infection you should be worried about? Well, from a health perspective, yes, a belly button can produce a foul smell due to a discharge or a medical concern. In other cases, however, it may purely be due to hygiene, especially if one has an inner navel.

To break it down to you, let’s take a look at some of the reasons that could be leading to your belly button smelling, and, of course, what you can do about it.

1. Body Shape

One of the main reasons a belly button releases a foul smell is because of the body shape. How? Well it’s simple. People with larger bellies tend to develop infections right in their belly buttons, since the area is more open to moisture, dirt and bacteria.

2. Infections


That’s right. There are a number of infections that have been proven to be culprits when it comes to a smelly belly button. A good way to tell is when there’s excretion of pus or any other strong discharge. The area may also be painful, appear red or swell tremendously. Some of these infections include:

  • Fungal infections
  • Bacterial infections
  • Post-surgical infections
  • Patent Urachus ( infections that occurs between the umbilicus and the bladder, cause by the tube)

3. Dirt and debris

Now this is where hygiene comes in. If you do not take care of the belly button, cleaning it more often, skin debris and dirt could build up causing the area to smell awful.

In the worst cases, the debris can lead to an infection, making the umbilicus to release an even more awful smell.

4. Pregnancy


If you haven’t experienced a smelly belly button before but you do once you are pregnant, do not beat yourself down, because this can be normal.

According to experts, one of the changes you are likely to experience once you are pregnant is increased sweating, some of which can make its way right into your belly button. This causes a smell. Just to be on the safe side, keep cleaning the belly button with a q tip and rubbing alcohol regularly.

5. Diabetes


We cannot ignore this chronic condition when looking at some of the reasons why a belly button smells, and I will tell you why.

Normally, people suffering from diabetes tend to develop infections more, including those linked to the belly button. This causes a bad smell, sometimes with a fluid being released from the area.

6. UV light exposure

You might not think about it, but yes, a lot of exposure to sunlight can also be a culprit in making your belly button smell.

Why is this so? Well, the light damages your skin, and when it is subjected to the belly button directly, it can cause an infection and hence the foul smell.

7. Rare skin conditions

According to skin experts, there are also a number of skin conditions that have been proven to add to that smell of the umbilicus.

Some of these conditions are rare and not life threatening, so don’t be worried. Two of the most common skin conditions we are talking about include eczema and sebaceous syst.

8. Inflammation

Sometimes the problem might not be with the belly button, but the skin around it. If the area around the umbilicus swells or get inflamed, it could transfer the anaerobic bacteria to your belly button, causing infection. So treat any area before it gets worse.

So, how do you keep your belly button from smelling?

how to do

Well, it’s pretty simple. Just do the following things:

  • Wash the belly button with some warm water and salt, and then gently massage the navel using a soft washcloth.
  • Rinse the navel area with cotton balls or a clean towel after you are from shower. Keep it dry always and avoid excess moisture.
  • Do not apply creams or lotion to the area. This can contribute to more growth of fungi.
  • Do not expose your belly button directly to the sun for a long time.
  • If you realize some discharge, consult your doctor to have it evaluated. Chances are that it could be an infection that can be treated quickly.


And there you have it! If you have been dealing with a smelly belly button, just know you are not alone. There are many people who have this problem and are always asking questions why it occurs and what they can do about it.

These are some of the reasons for a smelly belly button, and some actionable tips to make the smell go away. As a general rule of thumb, maintain good hygiene and treat infections on time. It will be a thing of the past in a matter of days.

Go ahead and share this article to help someone who would need it. Comment in the comment box and tell me what you think or your experience.

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