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Warning signs in your belly button that tell you when to see a doctor | UK | News

Warning signs in your belly button that tell you when to see a doctor | UK | News

There is more to a belly button than meets the eye — literally.

The medical term for a belly button is navel, and it’s where your umbilical cord was attached to you. 

The umbilical cord is severed at birth to leave just a small clamped stump that progressively withers and falls away a week or two later.

For some they are a fashion accessory to be shown off in a crop top, or decorated with a body piercing. Others may not pay much attention to it but it can actually reveal a lot about your health and when to see a doctor.

Why does my belly button smell?

Sometimes your belly button may accumulate dirt and bacteria which can be cleaned out during washing. A smelly navel is a sign of poor hygiene but some people have particularly deep belly buttons which can be harder to clean.

Even if you can and do have good hygiene, if the belly button is still smelly or you have other symptoms then there could be an infection and you may need treatment from your doctor.

These other symptoms can include redness or swelling around the belly button and a discharge.

Why does my belly button have a lump?

There are various types of lumps that can present themselves in or around the belly button. 

One is an umbilical hernias which are very common in young children. It appears as a painless lump in or near the belly button.

It may get bigger when laughing, coughing, crying or going to the toilet and may shrink when relaxing or lying down. In many cases, the umbilical hernia goes back in and the muscles reseal by the time a child is four or five years old. They can also develop in adults, without treatment, the hernia is likely to get worse over time.

Why is my belly button itchy?

A belly button yeast infection can be itchy but is very treatable. Antifungal creams may help but if the symptoms persist it may be best to seek medical advice.

Your belly button is also covered in skin and so can be affected by various skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis which can lead to itching.

Can you have belly button cancer?

It is extremely rare but it is possible for belly button cancer to develop.

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