How to Clean Your Belly Button Properly

Belly button stink is an embarrassing problem. Many people don’t think to clean this particular area of the body, which means that dirt and dead skin can accumulate there.

The belly button is dark and damp which is very favorable for the breeding of yeast and bacteria. Deposition of sweat and dirt can facilitate bacterial growth and infection.

The belly button can easily become infected by Candida, or other fungi – it is just the sort of warm, moist crevice that fungi like. If you have a fungal infection the belly button will look red, and the redness may extend to the surrounding skin for a few millimetres. It may be itchy.

Bacteria may also infect the belly button, often taking advantage of the damage already done by the fungi. This leads to scabbing and a yellowish discharge.
Redness may not be an infection at all – it may be caused by psoriasis, a skin disorder. On the arms and legs psoriasis causes scaly patches, but in moist areas like the belly button there is no scaliness – it just looks red and shiny. Usually, but not always, you will have psoriasis somewhere else on your body.
Image via HeyDoctor

To prevent these problems, Livestrong gave three simple steps to get rid of that belly button odor:

STEP 1 Wash your belly button with warm water and salt, recommends Margaret Steam, M.D. Add about 1 tbsp. of salt in a small bowl of warm water. Use your fingertip to gently massage the salt water into your navel or dab it with a soft washcloth.

STEP 2 Rinse your navel area thoroughly and dry it with a clean towel or cotton balls. Use a hairdryer on a low heat setting to dry your belly button if you have trouble removing all of the excess moisture.

STEP 3 Refrain from applying lotion or creams to your navel area, unless your doctor recommends using an antibacterial cream. Excess moisture can contribute to the growth of fungi, which could result in an infection and persistent odor.