ZocdocAnswersWhat can I do about belly button odor?

Question

What can I do about belly button odor?

Along with the odor it has a greenish/yellow liquid crusting around the belly button as well as in. Even after I clean it daily it comes back. Its also very red and itchy around the area and seeps through my shirts.

Answer

This is a great question. It is very important for you to make an appointment with your primary care doctor to have a full history and physical to determine what is causing your symptoms. Your doctor may take a sample of the liquid discharge as well to send to the lab for testing. There are several causes for malodorous belly buttons, usually they are relatively benign but it is still important to be evaluated as only your primary care doctor can best evaluate you and decide upon the course of diagnostic work up and treatment. In general, there could be an underlying infection that is causing you to have this drainage. If that is the case, you may benefit from a course of antibiotics, either orally or topically to the area that is affected. Also, it could be possible that you have a fistula (an abnormal connection between two body parts) that could be causing the drainage. If you are obese or if you often wear damp clothing (such as after working out or swimming) it could be a yeast infection that is causing your symptoms. Again, it is very important to seek care immediately to obtain a correct diagnosis and treatment.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.