Why does My Belly Button Smell, Stink and Pain Badly? 10 Cleaning Tips

Why does my belly button smell, stink and pain is a weird question? Not commonly faced by all… But are faced by a few. Smelly and stinky belly button are due to discharge and cysts. Also, I will explain you in detail how to clean your belly button as a preventive measure.

Let us just have a look at some of the commonly faced problems around your navel or belly button, whatever you call it!!

What Does it Mean, When My Belly Button Smell and Pain?

The answer is very simple. It is because you have a poor hygiene and health conditions. It is a medical concern and it should be treated. Your navel can smell like a cheese or a rotten fish.

However, it can be treated, if you follow some regular hygienic practices. At worst cases, your navel becomes itchy and even there can even be discharges of pus and blood.

A stinky belly button can always mean anything ranging from a fungal or a yeast infection or simply an infection due to the accumulation of sweat or dirt. Therefore, just know the causes that will be mentioned below. You may definitely get ideas, after going through this article.

Why Does My Belly Button Smell, Stink and Pain Badly

Photo Credits: Robert McDonald

Why Does My Belly Button Smell or Stink Very Badly?

Here are some of the reasons for why your navel or belly button smell?.Hope these causes helps you to understand the answer to your query, why does my belly button smell?

1. Belly Button Discharge

Is your belly button leaking? Have a look at some of the common causes and effects!!

Belly Button discharge is caused by fungal or yeast infections. When your navel acts as a perfect place for overgrowth of these micro-organisms, they lead to brown, white, yellow or other dark discharges.

It also leads to pus-filled blisters, swollen navel or redness around the affected area. Some of the other symptoms also include,

  • Itching Sensations
  • Intense pain around the navel
  • Irritation and tenderness
  • Bleeding in worst cases.

At any case, do not scratch your navel. Because this will only increase your problems and will increase the growth of fungus and yeast infections. Some of the other reasons for belly button discharge are as follows:

  • Infections after surgery and Laparoscopy
  • Infected Sutures
  • Formation of cysts in Umbilical tracks.

The common types of cysts are as follows.

2. Urachal Cyst

Urachal is a duct that connects the fetus to the umbilical cord just above the bladder. Generally, they close after birth, but for some, they remain open and lead to the formation of cysts.

These travel up to the belly button and cause unwanted mucus or urine discharges. They are highly infectious and can cause various diseases, if not treated properly.

3. Sebaceous Cyst

Another cause of discharge and pain is the presence of a Benign cyst on the belly button. These have a foul smelling discharge when they are infected.

These cysts lead to infection of tissues in the navel area. Though they are not of great issues, they can prove to be dangerous when they are disturbed by scratching with rough materials.

Note: People who have recently had an abdominal surgery or umbilicus surgery are also at risk for these infections. So too are those with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, are morbidly obese or have an overexposure to the sun.

How to Get Rid of Belly Button Smell and Pain?

Some of the tips that I am going to mention can help you get rid of a belly button. Here I give you both the natural, as well as the common medications that are used to get rid of poop like or smell of an anus in belly buttons.

1. Antifungal or Anti-Bacterial Topical Creams

  • Use an antifungal or anti- bacterial topical creams. Just consult your nearest medical practitioner for the creams or just have a look at some of the topical creams or ointments below.

2. Try Saline Water Solution

  • Use salt water or a saline solution to prevent further infections. It clearly absorbs the dirt and other bacterial friendly elements prevent thriving of bacteria and other micro-organisms.

3. Rub Your Navel with Alcohol

  • Rubbing alcohol is one of the guaranteed solutions. Soak a cotton ball in the alcohol solution and just rub it gently over the navel region.

4. Use OTC Antibiotic Cream to Clean Your Navel Frequently

  • Frequent cleaning is required, especially if you have a smelly navel.
  • Use an OTC antibiotic cream twice or thrice a day after thorough cleaning. Get the antibiotic cream for your belly here.

5. Tea Tree Oil

  • Tea tree oil is a ready-made remedy to cure infections in and around the navel. This is a very effective home remedy that serves as an anti-bacterial as well as an anti-fungal solution for curing belly button infections and smells.

6. Apply an Ice Pack

  • Apply an ice pack over the navel will help heal the pain. The coldness of the ice pack will help constrict the blood vessels and rejuvenates flow of blood.

7. Cold Compress Gives Your Better Results

  • Just give a cold compress over the navel region if you experience pain or a bad discharge around your navel. This works quite well when you experience this pain during physical exercises.

8. Avoid Junk, Hot and Spicy Foods

  • The treatment depends on the intensity of pain or the amount of navel discharge that takes place normally. In mild or normal cases, the navel discharge can be controlled by avoiding Junk foods, Hot food item, and spicy dishes.

9. Try Simple Shower

  • Generally, navel odor is caused by the accumulation of dirt, germs, and other micro-organisms. Not every time you require cleaning of the belly button. A simple shower is enough to feel better!!

10. Medications

  • A large number of medications are also available, among them Ibuprofen or acetaminophen may be given to the affected person, depending on his/her sensitivity towards medicines and other allergic reactions.


  • In Case of Patent Urachus, undergoing a surgery is the best solution. Urachus is a urinary tract infection which connects the navel directly.
  • Avoid applying unknown lotions prescribed by local quacks.
  • Sometimes belly button hurts, due to overstretching of muscles. In that case, they can be relieved by doing simple exercises or leaving it as such, so that they heal on their own.

Step by Step Treatment for Belly Button Discharge and Smell

Here is the step by step procedure to treat your belly button discharge and bad smell.

Things You’ll Need for Treatment

  1. Salt
  2. Bowl
  3. Washcloth
  4. Towel
  5. Cotton balls
  6. Hairdryer
  7. Rubbing alcohol

Step 1: Saltwater Massage

  • Take a bowl of warm water and mix a teaspoon of table salt.
  • Stir it thoroughly, and use your index finger to gently massage the belly button area.
  • Do this for 5-10 minutes, until you feel comfortable.
  • This can stop your navel from oozing.
  • Make sure that the water is warm throughout the massage period.

Step 2: Hair-Dryer Method

  • Wash your belly button area and dry it with a clean towel.
  • If you are unable to remove the water completely out of your navel, use a hairdryer on a low heat setting and gently move the dryer over the navel.

Step 3: Application of an Antibiotic Cream

The most common mistake committed is to apply lotions and other creams that are of high moisture content. They provide a conducive environment for the micro-organisms to thrive easily and encourage bacterial growth.

Now apply the OTC antibiotic cream prescribed by your doctor over the infected area. Repeat this until you witness changes…

From the above tips and measures, you come to know that it is easy to treat a belly button pain and smell. The most important thing is that you take care of it instantly before it becomes a huge problem.

How to Clean Your Belly Button?

If you have a belly button smell or pain, there are some measures you should and should not do to clear up the region. Let’s see how to clean your belly button in a proper manner.

  • Bear and resist the pain and urge to scratch or pick your navel.
  • Follow the complete course of the prescribed antiseptic creams and tablets to get the desired effect.
  • Don’t use any counter creams or powders that are marketed as “antiseptic.” This will further worsen your case and adds irritation to the skin pigments.
  • Do not turn your navel inside out. Don’t stress the skin but flush the cavity to clean it.
  • Just wash it gently using water to which you have added enough salt (about a tablespoonful in a bowl, or two handfuls in the bath). If you have a shower, use the shower head to rinse it well.
  • Carefully dab the navel dry.
  • Don’t pick or scratch at the belly button, after you have cleaned and dried the area, cover it with cause if you need a reminder not to touch it.
  • Don’t dab on any antiseptics, or add antiseptic to your bathing water. It could cause further irritation to the skin and make it worse.
  • If it doesn’t start improving within a few days, or there is a yellowish discharge, see your doctor. You may need an antibiotic cream.
  • A rare type of bladder cancer can travel into the belly button. It is called ‘Urachal cancer’ and is extremely rare. One rarer situation is that a lump in the belly button from internal cancer such as the gut or pancreas arises. Therefore, these are the reasons why you should visit the doctor if the infection does not clear up.

Remember the above remedies are proven ones for navel discharge and smell navel. And the tips on how to clean your belly button gives you better results when you like to prevent it from future.

I Hope these tips are useful to clear up the problems regarding your navel discharge and you got the answer for why does my belly button smell, stinky and pain. Follow these tips and feed your comments in the section given below. Meet you all with yet another good article again.

About the author

Anantha Krishnan

Anantha Krishnan is a well known Consultant. He is trained in the Advanced Integrated Meta-Medicine & Meta-Healing, Relationships, Parenting, Clinical Hypnotherapy, Health issues, Diet and Nutrition.
His main goal is to make people understand the simplest of scientific things and provide valuable information about health to every members of the world through his writing.

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