The two types of belly button infections are bacterial infections, caused by a piercing or a scratch during cleaning, and yeast infections. Regardless of the type of infection, the treatment is quite similar. An infection should be treated by gently cleaning the area with a saline solution, drying the area, and then applying either a water-based anti-fungal or antibacterial cream. If the infection hurts, warm compresses can be placed on the belly button to relieve the discomfort.
A bacterial infection in the belly button can be caused by a body piercing or by accidentally scratching the belly button during cleaning. It may be accompanied by redness, mild pain, and green or gray discharge. To treat the infection, you should clean the area with a mild saline solution using cotton balls, carefully dry the area, and apply a water-based anti-bacterial cream. Stubborn discharge can be cleaned away with hydrogen peroxide. If the infection is still present a day or two after treatment, becomes severely swollen, suddenly painful, or is accompanied by a fever, you should immediately see a healthcare professional.
Yeast infections in the belly button usually produce a bad smell and some pus, and may be accompanied by itching, burning, or mild pain. To treat this type of belly button infection, once or twice a day you should gently clean the belly button with a mild saline solution using a cotton ball. This solution can be purchased ready-made in most drug stores or can be made at home by placing 1 teaspoon (6 g) of salt in 1 cup (236.5 ml) of warm water and mixing until the salt dissolves. After cleaning, you need to dry the area carefully but thoroughly with a clean towel, never reusing cotton balls or dirty towels. You should try this for a few days and if the infection does not clear up, add a water-based anti-fungal cream to the regimen following the drying.
To avoid a yeast infection, you should gently clean the belly button everyday with a mild soap. Yeast grows and thrives in moist dark places, so the navel should be carefully dried following a shower or bath. You can prevent a bacterial infections by cleaning the belly button gently so the skin is not aggravated or scratched. To prevent an infection from a body piercing, you should go to a reputable, clean business and follow all care guidelines after the procedure.