A belly button infection is fairly common across populations, and can affect just about anyone, ranging from infants to adults. This infection may be the result of either of two causative agents: yeast of bacterial populations in the crevice that makes up the warm and moist region surrounding the belly button.

belly buttonThe presence of a yeast infection causes redness around the navel region, and in some cases, extreme itchiness that does not seem to ease. A bacterial belly button infection on the other hand, causes a discharge whose color ranges from off-white to yellow, and is often accompanied by the formation of scabs.

Some of the factors that predispose you to a belly button infection include excessive sweating, skin sensitivity as pertains to soaps and personal bath products as well as fluffy clothing. For a number of people, the infection may result from belly button piercing when combined with poor hygiene.

In addition to the aforementioned symptoms, others that you should be on the look out for if you suspect an infection include some inflammation, swelling and a discharge which may vary in color. While it is important to get professional medical attention when your belly button gets an infection, there are some handy natural remedies that can help you manage the infection. When used alongside preventive measures, you are sure to get speedy healing.

1. Saline Solution:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1 Tablespoon of table salt, a cup of warm water, cotton wool and a clean towel. Commercial saline solution (optional).
Difficulty: Easy


Warm salty water is one of the simplest home remedies for anyone who needs a quick solution to disinfecting the infected belly button. The heat present from the use of warm water helps increase the flow of blood to the area. The salt on the other hand, draws out moisture from the inside of the belly button to facilitate for quick healing. This remedy is recommended for infections that result from piercing of the navel. In fact, it is advised as a treatment regimen for the piercing in different parts of the world. Alternatively, you can always purchase saline solution from the nearest chemist.


  1. Stir in the teaspoon of table salt in the glass of warm water for complete dissolution.
  2. Soak the cotton wool in the salty solution and rub it gently on the affected skin.
  3. Do this for about 5 minutes before patting the skin dry with the clean towel. The reason for doing this is to prevent moisture from accumulating in the folds of the belly button, a situation which only worsens the infection.
  4. Use this remedy twice daily until the infection clears.


2.Warm Compress:

Time Required: 15 Min
What You Need: A clean washcloth and warm water in a basin.
Difficulty: Easy


One of the simplest ways to get relief from a belly button infection, especially one that is accompanied by pain and infection is to use a warm compress. The warmth of the compress alleviates the pain and eases the discomfort. In the long run, this enhances the healing process from the infection. This remedy has just 2 requirements, so it is pretty easy to use even while on the go.


  1. Soak the clean washcloth in the water and squeeze gently to get rid of the excess water.
  2. Put the warm cloth on the affected area and press gently for a couple of minutes.
  3. When the compress cools, repeat steps 1 and 2 above.
  4. Use this remedy as often as you need to during the day.


3. White Vinegar:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 1/4 Cup of white vinegar, 1/2 cup of warm water, cotton wool and a clean towel.
Difficulty: Easy


White vinegar has been shown to be effective in the management of discharge-producing bell button infections. This is attributed to the vinegar’s acidity which helps ward off the infection as well as curb its spread to the area surrounding the belly button. Note too, that the intended use of the vinegar for this reason must be in its diluted form. Undiluted white vinegar can easily cause skin irritation, hence the need to dilute it with double the amount of water.


  1. Mix the white vinegar and the water and stir to get an even solution.
  2. Soak the cotton wool in the resulting solution and dab on the affected skin.
  3. Leave the solution on for 15 minutes to allow for the vinegar to act and treat the infection.
  4. Use warm water to rinse the affected skin before drying using the clean towel.
  5. Use this remedy thrice daily until the infection clears.


4. Tea Tree Oil:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 5 Drops of tea tree oil, 1 teaspoon of your choice carrier oil (olive/ coconut/ jojoba oil are some of the options to choose from), cotton ball and soft towel.
Difficulty: Easy


Tea tree oil is listed as one of the most effective home remedies for a belly button infection, thanks to its different healing properties. This essential oil is known for its super antifungal and antibacterial properties, both of which help manage the infection. The addition of carrier oils is intended to provide a medium as ell as facilitate for dilution. Any of the listed oils are gentle on the skin and work well when mixed with tea tree oil. The oils are readily available in chemists and retail stores.


  1. Add the 5 drops of tea tree oil to the choice carrier oil and mix well.
  2. Using the cotton wool, scoop some of the oil mixture and dab gently on the infected area.
  3. Leave the oil mixture on for some 20 minutes before wiping off the excess using the soft towel.
  4. Use this remedy at least twice daily for best results.


5. Neem Oil:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 5 Drops of neem oil and cotton wool.
Difficulty: Easy


Neem Oil is best known for its efficiency as a home remedy, thanks to its diverse medicinal properties. The oil obtained from the neem tree (sometimes referred to as the Indian lilac) is a natural antifungal and helps destroy fungi present within the belly button folds. This not only provides relief from the pain and discomfort, it also helps soothe the infected area and prevent further spread of the infection.


  1. Take the neem oil and pour it drop wise onto the cotton wool.
  2. Apply it onto the affected part of the belly button and leave on for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Repeat this procedure twice daily until the infection clears completely.


6. Rub Alcohol on the Affected Skin:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: 90% IPA alcohol (Isopropyl Alcohol) and cotton wool.
Difficulty: Easy


Alcohol is a simple and affordable way to deal with infections arising within the belly button region. The alcohol not only helps destroy fungal and bacterial populations, it also causes a significant reduction in the swelling of the surrounding skin. This two-step procedure is as simple as it gets, so if you notice an infection developing, you may want to apply some of the alcohol to curb it. Note that on application, you will feel a cooling sensation which dissipates after a few minutes. This is perfectly normal with this remedy.


  1. Soak the cotton wool in the alcohol and make sure you gently squeeze the excess alcohol.
  2. Apply the alcohol on the belly button region and allow the skin to dry on its own. Use this remedy 2 – 3 times daily.


7. Coconut Oil:

Time Required: 10 Min
What You Need: Coconut oil, cotton wool and a clean piece of cloth.
Difficulty: Easy


Coconut oil is one of the most versatile home remedies as far as different skin conditions are concerned. Its remarkable efficiency is attributed to its potent antibacterial and antifungal properties which prevent the spread of the infection. Added benefits of using coconut oil for this treatment include antiinflammatory properties which help manage the pain while reducing the swelling. Since coconut oil is gentle on the skin, it often does not need a carrier oil. You can therefore use the oil on its own.


  1. Simply place some of the coconut oil on the cotton wool and apply on the affected skin.


8. Aloe Vera Gel:

Time Required: 20 Min
What You Need: Freshly cut aloe vera leaf, sharp knife, cotton wool and warm water used for rinsing.
Difficulty: Easy


Aloe Vera is best known for its healing properties, and this makes it effective for the treatment and management of a belly button infection. Its cooling sensation not only soothes the skin, it also provides much needed relief especially for those whose infection is accompanied by intense itching. The best way to do this is to use freshly cut aloe vera leaf to extract the juice, but if this is unavailable, commercial aloe vera juice works just as well.


  1. Cut the fresh aloe vera leaf in a slanted angle using a sharp knife. This is important because it increases the total surface area of juice extraction.
  2. Gently but firmly squeeze the ends of the leaf to release the juice onto the cotton wool before applying it on the infected skin.
  3. Massage the area and leave on for 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse the gel off with warm water.
  5. Use this remedy at least twice daily for best results.


Other remedies that are available for you when dealing with a belly button infection are herbs such as calendula which have antiinflammatory properties and turmeric which has the same benefits. In addition to these remedies, it is important to observe personal hygiene. This means you must avoid, at all costs, the urge to scratch your belly button no matter how itchy it feels. In addition to this, avoid trying to clean your belly button inside out as this only aggravates the situation. Instead, follow the procedures laid out above to carefully clean it, especially if you have a naval piercing. Overall, the infection should clear after a few days, in which case if it does not, make sure you seek professional medical help.