What It Really Means When Your Belly Button Itches

Itchy skin, no matter the location, can be annoying to deal with as we go about our daily activities. While itchy skin can happen anywhere on the body, most people have likely felt an itch near or in their belly button. According to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC), belly buttons are scars left behind from the umbilical cord during birth. Once a baby is delivered, the umbilical cord is cut and the navel slowly heals itself. After that, the belly button doesn't really offer any bodily functions, so it's often a forgotten body part.

Many people describe belly buttons as "innies" or "outies," but from there, the navel can be broken down into several different variations. Healthline reports there are six types of belly buttons: Outie (or protruding), round, horizontal, vertical, lightbulb, and deep hollow. No matter the type, an itchy belly button is bound to happen at least once in your life. However, an itchy navel typically isn't a serious condition, and most of the time is just aggravating to deal with.

How to care for an itchy belly button

Belly buttons can itch for a number of reasons, but the cause behind the itch is going to vary from person to person. For example, skin conditions, like eczema and contact dermatitis, can result in an itchy belly button, but this isn't due to any problems with the navel itself. According to Healthline, if your belly button itches, you may have a rash or infection causing you to itch. Dirt, dead skin, and lint can cause an infection if there's an excessive build-up in the navel area. When this happens, a yellow or brown discharge may leak from the navel.

Crusty skin and redness are also symptoms of a belly button infection to be on the lookout for. Keeping your belly button clean and dry ensures you don't wind up with an infection, whether it be yeast, bacterial, or fungal. According to MedicineNet, if you experience discharge or other uncomfortable symptoms, reach out to your doctor as they may be able to prescribe antibiotics.

In many cases of simple itchiness, however, a quick cleanup will do. Soap and water is a classic combination to rid of bacteria and germs. For those with a deeper navel, take a washcloth and dip it into saltwater before gently cleaning your navel (via UPMC). This will help loosen any grime in your belly button.