Many bacteria live in the navel, but you can forget about them if you follow the rules of hygiene. Basically, such bacteria are harmless, but sometimes they become dangerous. We will talk about what can cause an unpleasant smell from the navel, and how to keep the navel clean and healthy.

The navel or navel is a hollow in the middle of the abdomen. He appeared at the place where earlier, in the womb, the umbilical cord was attached. Navels come in all shapes and sizes, but, regardless of their appearance, an infection may appear there.

  • If the bacteria in the navel multiply too actively, a fungal infection can occur.
  • The skin of the navel must be cleaned regularly to maintain health.
  • There are certain risk factors, such as poor hygiene, which increase the likelihood of an unpleasant odor.

What causes bad breath?

Most navels are pressed inward, so they become an ideal trap for sweat, dead skin cells and dirt. Few people wash the navel with soap, so the bacteria actively multiply. The most common cause of odor from the navel is poor hygiene. All parts of the body must be washed regularly in order to remain clean and healthy.

The skin is home to trillions of bacteria that multiply naturally and are usually harmless. But in the navel there are skin folds that provide favorable conditions for the growth of bacteria. Most of these bacteria, however, do not exceed the norm and do not cause odor. But if the bacteria gets too much, they can lead to a persistent unpleasant smell.

Any infection should be examined by a doctor as treatment and lifestyle changes may be required.

Candida – these are yeasts that live on the skin. Usually they do not cause problems, but in a warm and humid environment they begin to multiply more actively. If this occurs, a fungal infection may develop.

Candida often breeds in the mouth and throat, causing thrush. Yeast infection also often appears in the vagina.


A type of infection known as candidal intertrigo may appear in the folds of the skin, such as the armpits, groin, or navel. The skin may become red and scaly, and sometimes blisters form. This infection is treated with antifungal and lifestyle changes, which include keeping the skin cool, dry and clean, as well as avoiding heavy clothing. Very often, this infection develops in people with diabetes and obesity.

Other the cause of the smell of the navel is an inflamed cyst or fistula. A cyst is a fairly common phenomenon that usually does not cause pain. However, an infected cyst becomes red, inflamed and painful. An unpleasant smell appears when pus starts to come out of the cyst.

Navel fistula manifested by the release of a small amount of fluid with a strong unpleasant odor and granulomatous changes in the tissues in the navel.

What could be the smell from the navel and why?

Some parts of the body, including the armpits and legs, often sweat and have an unpleasant smell. This is because bacteria destroy sweat and create waste that has a strong odor. If the navel has become a trap for dead skin and sweat, it will probably have a corresponding smell of sweat. Fungal infections also most often cause unpleasant odors, especially if pus has formed in the umbilical region.

When is it worth to see a doctor?

If an infection appears in the navel, you should consult a doctor who will tell you how to fix it and prescribe a medicine if necessary. Symptoms of infection are redness, itching and swelling. Sometimes there may be fluid or pus that hardens, forming a crust around the navel.


In addition, it is necessary to consult a doctor if you suspect that you have a cyst. An infection of the cyst could occur, rupture or exit, which can lead to additional problems.

If the smell is the result of soiling of the navel, you should wash it more thoroughly. If the reason for the smell is an infection, you should consult a doctor who will give recommendations and prescribe treatment if necessary.

How can I clean the navel

Proper navel cleaning prevents the accumulation of dead skin cells, sweat and oils, which the body naturally produces. Regular cleaning also removes germs.

Use warm water and mild soap as well as a sponge., to gently clean the area around the navel and the groove itself. Rinse the navel with clean, warm water and towel dry to make sure there is no water inside.

Taking a shower or bath regularly will help prevent skin problems and odor. While bathing, people often do not pay enough attention to parts of the body like the navel or legs, although they need to be cleaned as regularly as other areas of the body. It is especially important to wash these areas after sweating, for example, in hot weather or after exercise.

Risk factors

The likelihood of an unpleasant odor increases if you have:

  • Diabetes
  • Belly button piercing
  • Overweight

Navel piercing can lead to infection. Infection can cause fluid or pus, known as discharge, which can smell bad. Allocations may be viscous, yellow or green, and they can also dry out, forming a crust around the puncture.


Other signs of infection include redness and swelling around the piercing, heat or pain in the abdomen, and bleeding. A person may also have a fever and worse health. If you notice the above signs, you should immediately consult a doctor. Removing the earring from the navel will help stop the discharge and the formation of an abscess.

A professional piercing master should advise on how to keep the puncture clean and prevent infection during the puncture.

How to care for the navel

Careful hygiene of the navel should solve the problem of bad smell, if it is associated with the accumulation of dirt and germs. It is also important to avoid forming a moist and warm environment in the navel and the area around it.

If the cause of an unpleasant odor is an infection, you should consult a doctor who will prescribe the correct treatment. After recovery, keep your navel clean and dry.

Among other things, we recommend avoiding wearing tight, tight-fitting synthetic clothing, as it may increase the risk of developing a fungal infection.

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