Understanding Belly Button Bleeding: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Belly button or the navel is the spot where the umbilical cord was once attached when we were still babies inside our mother’s womb. The umbilical cord is a tube where the oxygen, food, water, and the waste material travels from the mother to the baby, according to Kids Health.

As soon as babies are born, doctors would cut the umbilical cord, since babies can now eat and live on their own outside the womb. This will leave a scar in our body, which can be an innie or outie.

Photo from thepicta.com  

However, the navel or the belly button is not just a scar. It plays an important role in our health.

According to Facts Legend, there are 67 to 100 various types of bacteria that live inside the belly button. These are good bacterias that help maintain the health of our gut. A healthy gut will eventually lead to a disease-free body.

On the other hand, according to Hindu culture; the navel is the center of the body. The Ayurveda teaches its followers that a healthy gut will give strength and balance in our overall well-being.

Due to several factors, many people experience pain in their belly button. This is sometimes caused by yeast or bacteria, surgery, trauma, injury, or another phenomenon. Some of the belly button diseases are infection and bleeding.

In this article, we’ll discuss what belly button bleeding is, what are its causes, signs and symptoms, treatment, and tips for prevention.


Belly Button Bleeding

Photo from Med Health Daily

Belly button bleeding is an unusual medical condition which can happen for both children and adults. It is the discharge of blood in the navel or the belly button because of several factors happening on the inside.

If you’ve seen first signs of bleeding, it is best to submit yourselves for a physical examination.

Let us check below what are some of the causes of belly button bleeding:


Causes of Belly Button Bleeding

1. Trauma or Injury

Photo from Our Misconception

Belly button trauma pertains to any physical injury caused by various reasons such as force, according to Heal Dove. Those who had abdominal surgeries, accidents that affected the stomach area and those who just had birth are the ones who suffer from belly button trauma and bleeding, as stated by the New Health Advisor. If the surrounding area of the belly button experience trauma, wounds and bruises may begin to appear.

Because of the potential trauma experienced by the belly button, this can also affect other internal organs such as the intestines and the bladder.

However, any indication of abrasions inside the walls of the belly button is not visible. The only noticeable thing is the dead tissues and blood discharging through the belly button. This is the body’s attempt to repair the damaged tissues.

Thus, if you experienced physical trauma and bleeding, it is advisable to seek the help of the doctor right away.

2. Infection

Photo from Heal Cure.

The belly button bleeding can also be caused of infection. It is a medical condition which is brought by harmful microorganisms. These microorganisms grow in the belly button since it is pitch-black, watery, and warm, according to New Health Advisor.

Health Line states that you are at risk of having belly button infection when you have belly piercings, poor hygiene, and if you regularly touch the navel with dirty hands. Thus, it is always recommended to keep an eye on your navel care.

There are two types of infections which are the fungal infections and the bacterial infections.

Fungal infections are due to the growth of the fungus inside the belly button, according to  Heal Dove. One type of fungal infection is the yeast infection (Candidiasis) and any age group can have it. Yeast infection is caused by over 20 types of candida that can penetrate the body.

Doctors would diagnose fungal infection by checking the symptoms, taking a sample with the swab, and checking it in the laboratory.

Fungal infection is characterized by redness, extreme itching, secretion of liquid, and foul odor. Doctors would commonly prescribe an antifungal cream to kill the fungi externally. But if the infection is inside, oral antibiotics would work best in the problem.

Meanwhile, the other type of fungal infection is the bacterial infection. This is caused by ‘Streptococcus Pyogenes’ (Strep) and ‘Staphylococcus Aureus’ (Staph).

According to Heal Cure; poor hygiene, cuts, and belly piercing make the navel susceptible to bacterial infections.

The symptoms of bacterial infection are usually high fever, redness, and pain. On the other hand, there are also bacterial infections with no visible symptoms anymore. Thus, in this case, it is best to monitor the condition of your belly button.

Meanwhile, managing bacterial infections can be done easily by using warm water and saline solution. If the infection becomes serious, ask the doctor for oral or topical antibiotics.

3. Surgery

Photo from Sunday Times Sri Lanka

In surgeries, the majority of the surgeons would prefer to make incisions in the belly button for it can reduce scarring in the patient’s body, as stated by Heal Dove. This is especially true in laparoscopy.

However, in some cases, the wound may open and cause the navel to bleed. For example, even if the surgery pertains to the gallbladder, the belly button might be affected and bleed. In this case, consult your doctors immediately after operations.

4. Belly button piercing

Photo from Infinite Body Piercing

Nowadays, a navel piercing is becoming a trend. It has become an expression and symbol of freedom for many millennials.

However, it is also one of the causes of belly button bleeding. Bacteria begins to form in the uncleaned area of the skin and it causes rashes, liquid discharge, and bleeding. Thus, it is recommended to clean the belly button piercing regularly even until a lifetime.

5. Endometriosis

Another cause of belly button bleeding is a medical condition called the endometriosis. The endometrium lines outside the uterus, ovaries, and abdomen; instead of lining on the inside, according to MedicineNet. This condition is common among the women and it might lead to infertility.

People who suffer from endometriosis still experience their regular menstruation even if the endometrium lines are outside the uterus. However, the waste does not escape through the vagina but through the belly button.

There is no single cure for endometriosis however, doctors can issue pain relievers to patients, antibiotics, and perform surgery.

6. Cysts 

Cysts such as urachal and sebaceous can also cause belly button bleeding.

The urachal cyst or sinus remnant forms between the bladder and the umbilicus and it occurs during embryo development, according to Treat Cure Fast. It is a mass of pale yellow liquid that can be seen in the pelvis and abdomen.

This type of cysts forms after birth. The umbilicus serves as the pathway for excreting waste from the baby to the mother. It is attached to a duct above the bladder. The umbilical cord will be cut by a doctor after birth, however, there are possibilities when the duct was not closed properly.

Because of this, the remnant on this pathway which is known as urachus will become a cyst. It will begin to swell and cause the blood and mucus to exit at the belly button. Doctors would usually perform an operation or administer antibiotics to treat urachal cysts.

Photo from Treat Cure Fast.

Meanwhile, the sebaceous cyst is non-cancerous or benign. It is a tissue build-up with pus that grows in all parts of the body. It contains keratin and it grows in hair follicles or epidermis, according to Heal Dove. Although it is tempting to pop the sebaceous cyst, however, doctors don’t recommend it.

This type of cyst is a lump of skin which is tender and doesn’t pose any danger. However, the sebaceous cyst may be uncomfortable especially when it bleeds and left untreated.


Signs and Symptoms of Belly Button Bleeding

According to Women Tribe, the symptoms of belly button bleeding varies and it transpires in different stages.

On the first stage, you can experience the following:

  • Swelling or a bulge in the belly button area
  • Mild Pain
  • Itchy and tingling skin
  • Redness of the skin around the belly button

Photo from Lightskincure

The infection would further develop in the entire belly area if left untreated for few days and more symptoms would begin to rise such as the following:

  • Belly area becomes warm and tender
  • Lump begins to appear in the belly button area
  • Discharge of pus; from gray turns to yellow, and then to green
  • Smelly pus
  • Bleeding from the inside
  • Uncomfortable feeling
  • Fever
  • Extreme pain
  • Nauseous feeling
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting


Treatment of Belly Button Bleeding

1. Oral Medication

Photo from Medicine Info, Cambodia

Doctors would prescribe pain relievers for those experiencing extreme pain and antibiotics to fight the ‘Streptococcus Pyogenes’ (Strep) and ‘Staphylococcus Aureus’ (Staph) for those who have belly button bleeding due to infection.

Some of the antibiotics to cure belly button bleeding and infection are amoxicillin and penicillin. For individuals with penicillin allergies, the alternatives are cephalexin, azithromycin, and erythromycin. Remember to not take this medicine without consulting a doctor.

Meanwhile, in treating endometriosis, some people would opt for hormone treatments that could come as a pill, injections, or nasal spray; according to National Institute of Child and Human Development.

There are also over-the-counter drugs for belly button bleeding caused by piercing such as Bacitracin, Bactine, Mupirocin, and Polysporin and you could try these alternatives too.

2. Topical medication: Antifungal and anti-inflammatory creams

The treatment for belly button bleeding depends upon its causes.

When it is caused by an infection, you should use an antifungal cream or antibiotic ointment.

Photo from Pharmacy2u

According to Medimise, you should try the Fucibet cream. This type of cream can treat body parts affected by bacteria. It contains  ‘fusidic acid’ and ‘betamethasone valerate’ which is a powerful ‘corticosteroid’ or steroid hormones.

The Fucibet cream will fight the bacteria in the belly button and prevent it from spreading in numbers. In addition, it also prevents swelling, inflammation, and itchiness on the skin.

However, Fucibet cream can thin the treated skin thus, it is highly recommended to follow the dosage prescribed by the doctor.

Aside from the Fucibet, the Daktarin cream is a helpful solution too. It cures yeast and fungal infection in the belly button.

Daktarin cream contains Miconazole which stops fungi in reproducing. Both creams must be used externally and it should have a prescription from the physician. Other products that also acts like Daktarin and Fucibet are Daktarin powder, Daktarin Aktiv, Daktarin oral gel, Loramyc, and Gyno-Daktarin.

3. Surgery

Surgeries can also be performed in treating the cause of belly button bleeding. In draining the pus of the belly button, doctors would first recommend patients to take antibiotics medication to heal the swelling navel. Once the infection is clear, then the patient will undergo surgery through laparoscopy.

Then, the doctor will cut a small incision in the belly and insert a fiber-optic instrument on it. It will drain the pus and remove the urachal and sebaceous cysts existing inside the belly button.

In removing the patches of endometriosis, surgeons will perform a laparotomy, according to National Institute of Child and Human Development. Sometimes they also remove the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries to address the endometriosis.

4. Home Remedies

Belly button bleeding can also be treated with the use of remedies that can be found inside your home. The bleeding can be stopped once the infection is solved.

Here are some of the tips on how to do it:

5. Warm salt water

Photo from WiseGeek

The warm saline solution can act as a disinfectant in an infected belly button. The warm water can increase the blood flow and help relieve the discomfort while the salt can absorb the moisture, according to top 10  home remedies.

To do this, mix a teaspoon of salt in one cup of warm water. Soak a cotton ball and apply it around the belly button. Thereafter, pat-dry the area around it. You can also apply an antifungal cream around the area, right after having the saline solution.

Do this remedy twice a day every day, until the problem is gone.

6. Tea tree oil

Another home remedy is through the use of tea tree oil. Tea Tree Oil is known for its ability to treat wounds due to its antiseptic properties, according to Dr. Axe. It is commonly used to fight against infections, fungus, ringworm, and even cancer.

To do this, mix four to five drops of tea tree oil in coconut oil or olive oil. Soak a cotton ball and apply it on your belly button. Leave the cotton for about ten minutes and let it dry. Do this routine twice a day until the bleeding and infection stop.

7. White vinegar

Photo from Amazon

White vinegar is an effective solution too against belly button infection and bleeding. It can treat yeast infection and fungal problems, according to NewsMax. It is a natural antibiotic, and unlike other home remedies, it is an effective alternative therapy that can stop the growth of infection.

To do the white vinegar solution, mix one cup of white vinegar to two cups of warm water. Then, soak a swab and apply it gently on your belly button. Leave it for few minutes, rinse with warm water, and pat-dry.

8. Warm compress

As stated above, the warm water will help increase the blood flow in the belly button and ease the pain. It can drain the pus inside the navel.

To do this, soak a clean cloth in a warm water and press it gently on your belly button for five minutes. You can also try showering in warm water in the morning or even at night.

9. Aloe vera

Aloe Vera is a plant that grows wild in tropical climates. The people from the ancient civilization of Egypt use Aloe Vera to heal several diseases in their body. Nowadays, companies have used Aloe Vera in several home products such as ointments, shampoos, soaps, and creams.

To do this, rub an Aloe Vera plant on the belly button. Leave it for few minutes and rinse it with warm water. Pat-dry it with clean cloth or cotton ball. You can also buy cream and gel with Aloe Vera on the market and this is more convenient than other products.

10. Turmeric

Photo from Alive by Nature

Turmeric is a plant which is prevalent in Southeast Asia. It is from the family of ginger and it has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antibacterial properties. It has been used by several Asian countries in alternative medicine for many years.

To treat belly button bleeding, apply a paste of turmeric in your belly or drink a turmeric juice with milk once a day, according to Remedies and Herbs.


Tips for Preventing Belly Button Bleeding

The parts in our body, just like the belly button, no matter how small it is, plays an important role in our health.

Here are some of the tips on how to prevent belly button bleeding in the future:

1. Maintenance of good personal hygiene

Photo from Inlife Health Care

Maintaining a good hygiene is important for social, personal, and psychological reasons.

It leads us into better living and fights the occurrence of several diseases. A good hygiene improves our image, help us socialize better, and boosts self-esteem. Finally, it helps us think and maintain focus on the task ahead of us.

A good personal hygiene includes taking a bath every day, cutting the nails short, wearing clean clothes, and making the hands clean all the time.

To prevent belly button bleeding, the clothes you wear must not be too fit that air can’t circulate in your body. Your nails must be clean and short. The hands should be always clean and avoid touching your belly button when it’s dirty because the germs might transfer on it.

The jewelry you use in navel piercing must not be fake. It must be sanitized and must be the right kind of jewelry for your body.

This simple routine will help us prevent infection in the belly button and bleeding profusely.

2. Lifestyle change

Another tip is to change your lifestyle. This includes avoiding alcoholic drinks that can trigger digestive problems. In addition, proper exercise must be observed to build the muscles and burn the excess fat in the body to be able to avoid stomach issues such as endometriosis.

In addition, lifestyle change includes sleeping 8 hours a day and avoiding stress. This will give you proper mindset and prevent anxiety and depression that can trigger several diseases.

3. Clean surroundings

Places such as home, school, and workplace must be clean to prevent belly button infection and bleeding.

Make sure to clean your room and automobile regularly to get rid of germs and bacteria. The wardrobe and the cabinets must free of dust so the clothes you wear won’t have it. Clean your hands regularly before and after holding the things inside your house.

4. Eat healthy foods

Lastly, a proper diet must be observed always. Avoid eating sugary foods to prevent the spread of yeast infection and fungus. Eliminate carbonated drinks and opt for fresh juices instead.

Don’t skip meals and eat healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables. Incorporate protein and probiotics in your diet to have a better gut system. Some of the foods that are rich in probiotics are kefir, kimchi, sauerkraut, and yogurt.   



In sum, the belly button or navel is not just a scar but it serves a purpose in the body right after being born.

Medically, surgeons use the belly button to perform incisions and insert medical apparatus to determine several digestive issues. Any discoloration in the belly button can indicate the presence of pathological species in the body. The location of the navel indicates the center of gravity of a person and it determines the athletic ability. The umbilicus can also differentiate the intra-abdominal and pelvic mass in the body.

Aside from this, people also flaunts the belly button and decorate it with adornments such as piercings and tattoos. These adornments are being used to express a person’s unique personality.

The belly button is also susceptible from fungal and yeast infection which can cause bleeding. The signs and symptoms vary from mild to severe. Doctors can give oral and topical medications to its patients, depending on the severity of the infection. In extreme cases, surgeries are performed to save the patient.

To prevent it to happen, proper care and lifestyle change is the best way to do. Keep an eye on what you eat, maintain a clean body, and always sanitize the decorations you put in your belly button.