Yeast Infection in Belly Button

People of any age group can be infected in their belly button area with yeast infection. During pregnancy if the mother is infected with yeast overgrowth, like the ones causing vaginal yeast infections, then the foetus or the new born can also be infected due to exposure through the bloodstream when it is inside the mother’s womb. In adolescents and children the yeast infections can affect the groin region of any child or start as diaper thrush from where they can spread to the belly button. In adults, yeast infection in belly button is mainly caused due to excessive fat accumulation in the abdominal area or diabetes. Thus if the symptoms are experienced then you should see a doctor immediately for appropriate diagnosis.

According to a survey conducted on 60 volunteers for investigation on microbial life, which was later, published in PLOS ONE in 2012, it was found that around 2000 different species of bacteria and archaebacteria were present in the belly button area of each patient.

This clearly showed that it didn’t matter where you are from, how old you are, what you eat or what gender you belong to, you have equal chances to bacterial infestation like the rest. It was also concluded through this survey that most bacterial presence in the human body was in the navel region.

 

Symptoms of Belly Button Yeast Infection:



  • Odour: after the infection by the yeast, sometimes there’s a fluid emitted from the infected portion of the skin, and sometimes that area is attacked by a secondary bacteria, that causes the skin to break, giving rise to an odour. There can also be a layer of white or white discharge at the belly button area. See a doctor if the odour persists even after applying any antifungal ointment to the infected area.

  • Itching: As the healthy skin will be eroded by the yeast the belly button, a yeast infection can start to itch in the area. The blood flow will increase to this area. We should apply an itch healing cream so that the itch does not get intense. Sometimes the itching can remain hidden, and starts occurring when we apply water or soap to clean it. However, these symptoms will decrease after applying the anti-itch ointment. You should not scratch the area, as that will make the infection difficult to heal, as the yeast will enter the skin easily.

 

A study conducted by Rob Dunn and a capable team full of efficient ecologists found out that of the 60 belly buttons they chose for the study, some were home to 29 different species of bacteria, while some contained as much as 107 different species. In the same study it was found that a science writer had a very rare species in his belly button, that is normally found in Japan, which was much unexpected as he had never been to Japan.

This study discovered that 10% of the subjects harboured most of the bacterial species, which is alarming because of the fact that it doesn’t follow a definite pattern as to who could probably harbour more or less bacteria based on where they lived, age and other factors.  But regularly washing the belly button during baths, and then drying it with a towel, can sure make a difference.

 

Causes of the Yeast Infection:

  • Belly piercing has become a quite popular way through which most women try to express themselves. However, this sometimes plays a role in causing an infection in the belly button.

  • Poor hygiene can also lead to infection if the person does not take a bath regularly. Or using muddy or unclean water for sanitary purposes, not cleaning the navel regular as soap deposits along with water can remain in the navel, causing the microorganisms to grow faster there.

 

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Treatment:

  • The Yeast infection in belly button area can be reduced by applying salt water that is warm. The salt will help the area to dry faster as it will absorb the moisture and the mild heat of the warm water will increase the flow of the blood to the infected area. It will also work as a disinfectant in the infected area.

  • The infected area will heal up even faster if it is kept clean, and that would limit the bacteria growth if the area is kept dry. The area should also be regularly cleaned with warm water and antibacterial soap, water based antifungal lotion or ointment should be applied more than two times daily.

  • For getting relieve from the discomfort of the belly button yeast infection, warm compressions can be applied. The heat will ease the pain and aid in faster healing.

  • Rubbing light alcohol in the infected area can also help in healing, as it does have some antiseptic properties. It will help in sterilizing the wound, and the infection won’t spread any further. Apply it with cotton balls. Apply several times in a day.

 

References:

Bacteria in Belly Buttons – 2012 – Jiri Hulcr , Andrew M. Latimer , Jessica B. Henley , Nina R. Rountree , Noah Fierer , Andrea Lucky , Margaret D. Lowman , Robert R. Dunn – PLoS One
http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0047712

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