Blood oozes out of the belly button when a blood vessel in the area ruptures. A bleeding belly button in a newborn baby in the first few weeks is quite a common occurrence and there is nothing to worry about it. This occurs as the blood vessels separate when the umbilical cord dries and eventually falls off. In adults, navel bleeding is often a cause of concern and it is accompanied by a number of other symptoms such as pain, swelling, excessive itching, and redness. Sometimes, a foul-smelling, white or yellowish discharge occurs along with the bleeding.
The main cause of bleeding is an infection in the belly button. If you have pierced your belly button recently, then it may get infected. Most of the time, professional piercers take suitable precautions and use sterilized instruments to prevent this kind of infection. A pierced belly button is infected by bacteria either because wrong piercing techniques are used or proper aftercare instructions provided by professionals are not followed.
A person who has never pierced their belly button may also get an infection, however, for other reasons. The belly button region is warm and moist and this provides a suitable condition for abnormal growth of various types of fungi and bacteria. These growing number of microorganisms then attack the skin and cause inflammation. The blood vessels in the site of infection then suffer a rupture due to the skin inflammation and therefore, blood is drained out of them.
The bacterial skin infection is mostly triggered by the staphylococcus bacteria or streptococcus bacteria and the infection is referred to as cellulitis. Yeast infection by a fungus named candida albicans is another cause of a bleeding belly button. In normal conditions, these microbes live in the skin surface without causing any infection. Lack of proper hygiene, touching the area with unwashed hands or bathing in polluted water are some of the common factors that contribute towards uncontrolled growth of the infection causing bacteria or fungi.
A bleeding belly button should be given proper medical treatment as soon as possible, otherwise it can lead to some serious complications.
☛ Doctors first conduct a thorough physical examination of the area and study the symptoms to identify the cause. If it is a case of fungal infection, then antifungal creams are prescribed for topical application. A bacterial infection is treated with the help of antibacterial ointments. In case it is a serious bacterial infection, then high doses of oral antibiotics are also needed to ensure faster elimination of the infection.
☛ Before an application of medicated ointments, the navel area has to be washed with a gentle hand using antibacterial soap and water. Vigorous rubbing of the area should be avoided as it can irritate the infected skin. After that, pat the skin dry, and apply the medicine. It should be applied 2 - 3 times a day as per the guidelines provided by the doctor.
☛ Warm compression is good for reducing the pain and swelling caused by the infection. Take lukewarm water in a small bowl and dissolve a pinch of Epsom salt into it. Soak a cotton ball into this solution and wring out the extra water from it. Now, place the warm and damp cotton on the belly button. This treatment will release the pus accumulated in the infection site and thus the pain and swelling will subside soon.
☛ As the infection heals, a scab will form on the infected part. You may feel like picking up those scabs but you must control that urge as it can cause bleeding from the belly button all over again.
The only way you can prevent a recurrence of a bleeding belly button is by keeping the area free from infection. Wash the navel area thoroughly with mild soap and water on a daily basis so that no harmful germs get accumulated in the region. If you plan to pierce your belly button, make sure it is done by an experienced professional. You should avoid wearing nickel rings in your belly button to reduce the chances of an infection.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.