When it comes to self-care, we pay a lot of attention to our hands, feet, faces, arms, necks, and legs. However, there is one small area that we frequently ignore. It’s the belly button you’re looking for. We spoke with dermatologists to find out the best way to clean your belly button.
That strange (and dare I say, cute?) hole in the centre of your stomach needs attention as well. Even though it appears to be completely harmless, your belly button is actually a breeding place for some pretty little things. Dr. Susan Bard of Sadick Dermatology explains, “The navel is an occluded location where skin rests on skin, providing a dark, wet environment in which germs and yeast can flourish and can become a cesspool for microbes if not properly treated.” “Allowing bacteria and yeast to breed can result in an unpleasant odour and even infection.”
Do you have a stinky belly button? Yikes! And the fact that a yeast infection may occur there?!?! Why isn’t this being discussed more? We’ve all heard of (or experienced) “belly button lint,” but this takes it to a whole new level.
Belly button problems are more common in people who have piercings, but even those of us who don’t have piercings aren’t completely safe. To keep your belly button clean and infection-free, you should give it some extra TLC on a daily basis. Dr. Bard advises patients to clean their navel every day in the shower with light soap and water. “A washcloth or a Q-tip might be useful.” Your navel, unlike your ears, is a “blind pouch” (doesn’t that conjure up images of teeny-tiny kangaroos?) Unlike your ears, there’s no chance of losing anything within your body if you use a Q-tip too far.
Find out how to clean your navel, whether it’s an innie or an outie, by reading on!
Cleaning Your Innie Belly Button
1. Obtain a Q-tip.
A Q-tip is needed to penetrate into all the nooks and crannies of the skin of the belly buttons. Swab the Q-tip with soap and water or rubbing alcohol before inserting it. Swab the inside of your abdominal button gently.
2. Thoroughly rinse it
To ensure that all of the soap or rubbing alcohol is removed, reswab the area with a clean Q-tip dipped in water. As a precaution, give yourself and your belly button a last rinse in the shower.
3. Allow to dry naturally.
Using the tip of a dry washcloth or another clean, dry Q-tip, gently dry the inside of your navel. How to Clean the Button on Your Outie Belly Soak a washcloth, a sponge, or a loofah in soap.It’s easy to keep your outside belly buttons clean. It’s not difficult to do—it’s just like washing any other area of your body. Scrub your belly button gently with your washcloth, sponge, or loofah.
4. Moisturize and pat dry.
After cleansing your belly button, pat it dry and apply a moisturiser or body oil to keep the skin soft, supple, and smelling delicious! (If you have an innie belly button, skip this step since the lotion inside can produce too much moisture and become a breeding ground for bacteria—yuck!)
How to Get Rid of a Belly Button If You’ve Got a Piercing
In addition to regularly cleansing and drying your belly button, you can wash your navel with salt water or an isotonic saline solution, which you can find for under $10 at your local drugstore. This is especially important when the piercing is new. You can also manufacture your own saltwater solution by mixing 1/4 teaspoon sea salt with 1 cup of warm, clean water. Stir in the sea salt until it’s all dissolved, and you’re done! Just make sure you use sea salt rather than iodized table salt. To prevent infections caused by piercings, use a saline or saltwater bath.
If you do have a belly button infection (which can happen whether or not you have a piercing), you’ll notice an odour or pus coming out of your belly button. But don’t get too worked up. If you speak with your dermatologist, she may be able to prescribe an antibiotic to help you get rid of it quickly.
Although most people don’t spend much time thinking about their bellybuttons, it’s not a bad idea to clean yours every week or so. Cleaning your bellybutton can help you avoid potential infections, smells, and other results of poor hygiene.