Belly button rash, as the name suggests is the appearance of an itchy rash in or around the belly button. It is more common in women. It is generally caused due to some allergy, infection, disease, contact dermatitis or moisture in and around the belly button. It can range from mild to severe and is accompanied by redness, discomfort, itching, discharge, swelling and inflammation. This condition can subside by itself, but if doesn’t then the patient is suggested to seek medical advice. The treatment is advocated according to the underlying cause. Improper hygiene is a common cause of aggravating the condition.
The usual causes of this condition include infection, allergy or moisture. The allergy is generally caused due to the application of some substances containing metals or other substances that are allergic to the skin. This can also occur when the person uses some cloth or garment which contains substances which are allergens for the skin. Such substances include detergents, creams or lotions or soaps. These substances come in contact with the belly button or the area around it on a constant basis. The allergy produced by such allergens is known as Contact Dermatitis.
Some people having sensitive skin can experience an allergic reaction to the presence of metals. This is common in persons having navel piercing. The constant contact of the metal, especially nickel with the skin can initiate allergy. Also the hole of the piercing gives the bacteria a good atmosphere for flourishing and can produce infection.
Such rash can also be an outcome of some infection in the navel tract. The navel tract can get some things forced into itself like hair, lint or any other foreign material. These materials are unknowingly forced into the navel tract and can lead to infection. Such sort of an infection is accompanied by discharge and pus formation. Some foul odour is also observed in the navel area.
Psoriasis is a common skin disorder which can also play a role in causing belly button rash. Psoriasis is characterised by scaling of skin and extreme dryness in patches. These patches are Pruritic and red in colour. This can also cause scaling and itchiness in or around the belly button, leading to belly button rash.
Another condition seen in women is the pemphigoid gestationis. This is an autoimmune condition, resulting in appearance of several blistering lesions on the skin. The exact cause of this disease is not known. The possible cause of this disease is the raised oestrogen levels in the body. Therefore, this rash is commonly seen in pregnant women. However, it can also be seen in women who take oral contraceptives, as both of these conditions are responsible for a raised oestrogen level in the female body.
Also, during pregnancy, the skin of the abdomen gets excessively stretched. This makes the skin dry and itchy. This occurs due to lack of moisture in the skin of the abdomen. Constant itchiness of the skin around the navel will result in scratching, and consequent appearance of a rash.
Another common reason for a belly button rash is yeast infection. In such case, the area will feel inflamed, with associated itching, redness, swelling and infection. Yeast infection erodes the upper layer of the skin and the blood flow is increased to the area. This causes sudden intense itchy feeling. Scratching the area in such case can lead to tearing of the skin and can expose the area to secondary bacterial infections.
As belly button rash may be caused due to multiple reasons, the treatment modality depends on the underlying cause. If the rash is due to allergy, the allergen is identified and the patient is suggested to avoid the trigger. The allergen may be a metal, detergent, cream or soap. While, the rash occurring due to infections from bacteria or yeast needs antimicrobial approach for treatment.
Antibiotics are used in case of bacterial rashes. Fungal and yeast infections are treated using anti fungal and anti-yeast medications respectively. Contact dermatitis rash is treated by avoiding the contact of allergic substance in the area.
The rash associated with psoriasis needs proper hygiene of the area. The oil gland pores need to be cleared properly so that the sebum doesn’t get trapped in the pores, which can worsen the condition. The belly button area needs to be kept free of excessive moisture and should be cleaned regularly. Excessive moisture in the area gives a good habitat for the bacteria and fungi to grow.
During pregnancy, women should take special care of providing enough moisture to the skin of the abdomen as dryness will cause itching in this case.
Also, once you get the itchy feeling in the area, avoid scratching it too much as it will lead to inflammation and redness. This can also induce skin tearing, which can give room for the bacteria and fungi to cause secondary infections.
Belly Button Rash – Pictures
Filed in: Skin Problems