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Hi everyone,

A strange, red, and very itchy/uncomfortable rash appeared right around and inside my belly button five days ago. I have been hydrating it with an ointment made for eczema, but the rash has not cleared up and is showing no signs of improvement whatsoever. 

I am puzzled and would very much like to identify the problem here, so I know what to do about it! Has anyone else experienced anything similar before, and if so, do you know what could be going on with me and what I could do to make it better?

It is really irritating, so please help!

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Mmm... A friend of mine had a really nasty belly button rash right before she gave birth and then again later when she started on the pill and it was thought to be hormonal in nature. I don't remember what she actually did about it but I can ask if you are either pregnant or on the pill. My other thoughts are perhaps a cosmetic (body lotion or shower gel, etc) that you are using is causing the rash, so stop your current products and try different ones. I bet if you had a piercing you would have mentioned it? Piercings can also cause that kind of rash, anyway. 

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Well, with nothing but just that information to go on, given that the eczema ointment (what is that exactly? steroids or???) has not helped clear your rash up, I would expect that your belly button rash is being caused by a fungal infection. These are very common indeed and usually respond well, and quickly, to over the counter antifungal creams you can by in ant pharmacy. That would be my first point of call right now, getting an antifungal cream and seeing if it works. If not, see your doctor.
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Well, yes, this belly button rash of yours is likely to be caused by one of the following:

  • A bacterial infection
  • A fungal infection
  • Contact dermatitis in response to either some chemicals you are in contact with or tight clothes rubbing against the area

If proper hygiene, loose clothing to avoid friction, anti-fungal creams, and leaving it alone (no scratching), and switching out your current products you use on the area, do not work, then I would certainly be looking to get an appointment with my family doctor. However, my guess is that one of the above will solve your problem. 

Rosie

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Maybe it is a sweat rash? Are you by any chance wearing one of those slimfit things? Maybe that makes you sweat a bit more around the belly button and you actually get a prickly heat rash around there. What I would do is lay off the slimfit wear for a while and see if thing get any better. Stick to cotton underwear only, something that breathes. And have a shower every day. I should get better soon if you do those things, but don't use any aggravating soap either.
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It's probably a belly button infection. They're pretty common and I've dealt with that myself as well. That isn't really a matter of bad hygiene, it's just that the belly button is naturally warm and somewhat moist from sweat and hidden away. It can happen to anyone. (And the above post about "slimfit" is really very insulting. Maybe that's what YOU wear but there is no reason to assume that the original topic starter does as well!!!)

What you want to do is cleanse the area with some lukewarm water with salt dissolved in it. You can also use a little rubbing alcohol to disinfect the area. Giving it space to breathe is pretty important too. I'd sleep without pajamas if you can.
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I am actually inclined to agree with the last poster. If the rash is getting bigger and your care is not doing it any good, then you need to see a doctor. If not though, I am assuming that it will simply go away with some extra TLC and your belly button will be back to normal in no time. 

Something I did want to check at this time of year: your rash didn't have a bull's eye appearance, did it? In that case, because the belly button area is indeed "cozy" as already mentioned, it is also a location ticks sometimes seek out. Bull's eye rashes are a warning sign for Lyme Disease, yes, even if you never saw an actual tick, and a reason to see a doctor right away. Lyme Disease can be very serious indeed. 

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I had a belly button piercing placed when I was 16, and took it out when I was 21 or so? Since that time, I have had unknown infections several times and never had the need to see a doctor about them. When I saw the pus coming out and the redness around the area, I just took care to wash more often and keep the area dry and open to the air. My infections have always cleared up within a week so I don't think they need to be serious. If you are worried or it is getting worse though, you can't go wrong in seeing a doctor of course.
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Yep... the ideal crevice for fungi to really thrive is the belly button, LOL. Though it can also be bacteria as well.

Don't scratch. Don't pull and push on it and twist it to clean inside, which I'm sure many people do and I did as well, because you are only going to inflame the area more. For that matter, all those antiseptic wipes can irritate the area further as well.

What I'd do is just shower and keep your belly button clean, then seek medical attention if you see yellow discharge or no improvement of symptoms within 5 or so days.
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Hello,

It has been nearly two weeks now, and the rash is still present. It is not only in my belly button but right around it, radiating outwards. There is no pus. It looks dry and red and it is very itchy. I have been practicing many of the suggestions here like hot compresses and using cream, but nothing seems to be working.

Do I really need to see a doctor about this? I would rather not, if I could avoid it!
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It sounds to me like you have just picked up a belly button infection, which in itself is pretty common and has numerous different causes as discussed upthread, but for some reason it won't subside... and you want to take into account the possibility that a large reason for that is that you keep scratching it, touching it, or otherwise messing with it. Even if you are not aware of doing that, you could be touching it in your sleep! 

Anyway, two weeks is quite a long time so if it's bothering you, at least talk it over with a pharmacist even if you don't yet won't to see a doctor about this belly button rash.

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I have a belly button rash too :(.

Medical websites are oh-so helpful in quote marks, saying that belly button rashes are very common and can be caused by anything from an infection to psoriasis. They add that treatment depends on the cause. Duh! My question is what I should do without knowing what is causing my (quite uncomfortable) belly button rash. Of course I am washing it out more often but what if my soap is responsible for the rash in the first place? Still, going to the doctor's over something like this feels so silly, especially since they say it is so common.

What do I do now?
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