Maintaining your body is hard work. The longer you live, the finer the things you must do to stay reasonably healthy while you’re alive, especially when it comes to grooming and hygiene. You may think you’re doing a reasonable job of cleaning every part of your body, but many people miss a pretty important part of the body when they clean it. The belly button.
You probably haven’t thought much about your belly button, at least not since the heyday of Navy piercings in the 1990s. But it’s a dangerous thing. If you don’t keep your belly button clean, it can make you very aware of its presence. Here we explain why and how you should clean your belly button regularly.
Simply put, the belly button is disgusting. How unpleasant it is depends on whether your belly button is “inny” or “outny”. Outnys are less likely to cause problems and are easier to clean, although they do need to be cleaned regularly. On the other hand, “inneys” require more attention because they are actually indentations on the body. One study found that the average belly button can harbor more than 60 different types of bacteria. Belly buttons also tend to accumulate dirt, hair, flaky skin cells and clothing fibers, all of which can create a nightmare scenario, according to the report.
What’s the scenario? One is infection. Because of the amount of dirt and moisture in the navel, there is the potential for infection by bacteria, yeast and mold. An infection of the navel can cause redness, swelling, itching, pain and bloody or pus-filled discharge. And belly button infections can be quite serious, especially if they spread to other parts of the body.
There is also the possibility of so-called “belly button stones”. These are huge blackheads that form from dead skin cells, sebum, hair and other things caught in between. These can be quite… It can be a large size and may require specialized skills (and a strong stomach) to remove.
How to clean your belly button (and what not to do)
The best way to prevent umbilical infections and stones is to keep your navel clean. If your belly button is dirty, a bath is not enough. This means cotton swabs can be used outside the ear. Simply moisten the swab with alcohol and gently swirl it around your belly button. If it gets dirty, throw it away and use another one, and repeat until the swab is clean.
Cleaning the belly button is easy, but care must be taken to ensure that dirt and other items have been properly removed from the belly button during the bath. A dirty belly button can become infected.
If you use lotions or skin creams, avoid putting them on your belly button. The navel is already quite wet, so adding something like a wet lubricant to it is not the best idea.