Belly Button Pain

Published: March 10, 2015
Last reviewed: February 13, 2018

What is the belly button and where is it located?

The belly button is a scar in your abdominal wall where the umbilical cord was attached when you were still in the mother’s womb.

Other names for the belly button: navel, umbilicus, umbilical dip, tummy button.

The belly button is located in the middle of the lower part of your abdomen, about 2-3 inches below your waist line. The only organs placed directly under the belly button are the abdominal wall muscles and the small intestine.

In most infants, the belly button bulges out a bit (“outie”), and in most children and adults it is more or less depressed (“innie”).

Causes of Belly Button Pain

1. Belly button  pain with DISCHARGE
2. Pain AROUND the belly button
3. Pain ABOVE the belly button
4. Pain UNDER and BELOW the belly button
5. Pain on the RIGHT or LEFT SIDE of the belly button
6. Belly button pain in CHILDREN
7. Other causes of central abdominal pain

1. Pain and Smelly Discharge from the Belly Button

Fungal Infection

  • Cause: the yeast Candida
  • Risk factors: regular touching, bad hygiene, moist skin, obesity
  • Symptoms: red, smelly, itchy, tender and mildly painful belly button surrounded by flaky skin and pus-filled blisters (pustules) with dark, yellow or white discharge or occasional bleeding (Picture 1)
  • Treatment: anti-fungal creams
  • Reference: (4)

Ringworm around the navel

Picture 1. Fungal infection (ringworm)
around the navel

(source: Samuel Freire da Silva, Dermatology Atlas)

Bacterial Infection

  • Causes: the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (staph) or Streptococcus pyogenes (strep)
  • Risk factors: bad hygiene, obesity, scratching or rubbing, a cut, piercing, an epidermoid cyst, a foreign object, steroids or immunosuppressant drugs (in Crohn’s disease), a wound after surgery or laparoscopy
  • Symptoms:
    • Folliculitis: red, itchy bumps with occasional white centers filled with pus
    • Cellulitis: red, thick, tender and warm skin in and around the navel, possibly mild fever
    • Abscess: a soft lump up to a size of a golf ball, occasionally draining pus
  • Treatment: antibiotic creams, oral antibiotics, abscess drainage
  • References: (9,14,15)

Urachal Cyst

The urachal cyst develops from the urachus–a remnant of the duct withing the umbilical cord through which a fetus drains urine from the bladder. Rarely, this duct remains open in children or young adults and drains urine through the belly button or becomes infected.

  • Symptoms: pain between the belly button and the pubic area. An abscess in the belly button or an opening (fistula) with clear or thick discharge from the belly button can develop.
  • Treatment: antibiotics, drainage or surgical removal of the cyst.
  • References: (5,6,10,13)

Other Causes

A pilonidal sinus is an abnormal tissue that develops as a reaction to an ingrown hair. It usually appears above the sacrum and rarely in or near the belly button. Symptoms may include a painful lump with hair and redness in the belly button and leaking pus or blood (31). Treatment may include antibiotics, drainage, hair removal or surgical removal of the sinus.

Endometriosis–the endometrial tissue outside the uterus–can present as a painful nodule in the belly button that can bleed during menstruation (32). Treatment is with excision of a nodule.

2. Pain AROUND the Belly Button

Umbilical or Paraumbilical Hernia in Adults

An umbilical or paraumbilical hernia is a protrusion of the small intestine between the muscles in or near the belly button.

  • Risk factors: pregnancy, obesity, persistent coughing, abdominal surgery, a large abdominal tumor, accumulation of the fluid in the abdomen in liver or kidney disease (ascites)
  • Symptoms: a soft bulge–of the skin color, red, gray or blue and up to few inches big–near the belly button; coughing and straining can cause discomfort, pressure, pain or burning feeling.
  • Treatment is by surgical repair of the muscles near the belly button.
  • Reference: (3)

In infants, an umbilical hernia is common but rarely painful (6).


Causes of pain around the belly button during pregnancy:

  • Umbilical hernia
  • Stretching of the abdominal wall muscles
  • The pressure of the fetus upon the belly button (in late pregnancy)


Appendicitis is an inflammation (usually acute) of the appendix.

  • Symptoms:
    • Anorexia
    • Vague pain that initially appears in the belly button area and, within several hours, moves to the lower right abdominal quadrant or rarely to upper right abdomen, right flank or the rectum, becomes severe and stabbing and is aggravated by coughing (Picture 2)
    • Nausea, vomiting, constipation and low-grade fever after the pain
  • Signs:
    • Tenderness in the lower right quadrant
    • Rovsing sign (rebound tenderness): applying pressure upon the left lower abdomen and quickly releasing it triggers pain in the right lower abdomen.
  • Treatment is by surgical removal of the appendix.
  • Reference: (1)

Appendix pain location

Picture 2. Appendix pain location
(source: Emergencyus, CC license)


Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin condition with red or silvery white, itchy or burning patches with occasional painful cracks around the belly button, knees, elbows, scalp, back, hands or feet (Picture 3(8). Treatment includes topical and oral anti-psoriatic medications.

Psoriasis around the belly button

Picture 3. Psoriasis
(source: DermNet NZ, CC license)

Abdominal Cancer

In advanced stomach, colorectal, pancreatic or other abdominal cancer, irritating red rash around the belly button called “Sister Mary Joseph nodule of the umbilicus” can appear.

Sister Mary Joseph nodule of the umbilicus

Picture 4. Sister Mary Joseph’s nodule
of the umbilicus
caused by abdominal cancer
(source: DermNet NZ, CC license)

3. Pain ABOVE the Belly Button

  • Acute gastritis (stomach infection): loss of appetite, burning pain and nausea, burping (33)
  • Gastric ulcer: gnawing pain, which can be relieved or aggravated by eating, feeling of fullness, heartburn and–if bleeding–black stool (2)
  • Duodenal ulcer: deep pain usually relieved by eating (2)
  • Acute pancreatitis: severe, constant upper abdominal and back pain–which can last for several hours or days and can be worse after eating–, nausea, vomiting and fever (17).
  • Ventral hernia: part of bowel protruding through the abdominal wall muscles

Ventral hernia above the belly button

Picture 5. Ventral hernia
above the belly button
(source: Archana Ramaswamy, MD, SAGES)

4. Pain UNDER (BEHIND) and BELOW the Belly Button

Bladder Problems

  • Bladder infection (cystitis): pain about 5 inches below the belly button, frequent urination, cloudy urine and low-grade fever
  • Interstitial cystitis: very frequent urination, mainly in women; the pain is relieved by emptying the bladder
  • Bladder cancer: pain in the bladder, blood in the urine
  • Reference: (11)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)

IBS pain is often located below the belly button but can appear anywhere else in the abdomen; other common symptoms include bloating, loose stools or constipation shortly after meals (16).

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, mainly the small intestine, most commonly in young adults. Common symptoms include pain below the belly button or in the lower right abdominal quadrant, chronic diarrhea, nausea, weight loss, fatigue and skin rash (30).

Urachus with Pulling Pain

Some, mainly young, people describe a sharp, shooting pain in the belly button that travels down to the bladder, penis, vagina, clitoris, urethra or groin when they stand up quickly, urinate, or press or pull the belly button upwards, usually when they have full bladder; some describe it as a string going down from the belly button (21). The pain may originate from the urachus, which is a remnant of the duct that connects the bladder and umbilicus in the fetus. If necessary, the urachus can be surgically removed.

5. Pain on the RIGHT or LEFT Side of the Belly Button

  • Shingles: burning, itchy, crusty rash that travels from the spine around the trunk toward the belly button
  • Urinary stones: sudden, severe, colic pain on the left or right side of the abdomen, which can radiate to the groin, and burning urination
  • Bulging or herniated discs or arthritis of the thoracic spine can be associated with pinched spinal nerves that can cause pain on the right or left side of the belly button.

6. Belly Button Pain in CHILDREN

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Urinary tract infections in children can present with pain around the belly button, frequent urination and cloudy and smelly urine (29).

Umbilical Granuloma and Polyp

In newborns, a granuloma–1 mm to 1 cm pink, crumby lesion with or without drainage–can develop after the umbilical cord separation (6).

A polyp is a congenital lesion that appears as a 1 to 4 cm bright red, soft mass with occasional discharge in the belly button, mainly in male infants; rarely only in adulthood (6).


Omphalitis is a bacterial infection of the umbilical stump in newborns with purulent discharge (7).

Other Causes

  • Abdominal migraine (mainly in children before puberty) refers to central abdominal pain of unknown reason lasting 1-72 hours, vomiting, dizziness and sensitivity to light (photophobia) (25).
  • Henoch-Schönlein purpura is an inflammation of blood vessels (vasculitis) with generalized rash (small, red/purple spots) caused by bleeding into the skin, abdominal and joint pain (26).

7. Other Causes of Central Abdominal Pain


  • Trapped wind can occur within few hours after eating high-fiber foods (fruits, beans) anywhere in the abdomen; the pain can be sharp, crampy and quite severe.
  • Food poisoning: bouts of watery diarrhea and abdominal cramps several hours after eating
  • Diabetic ketoacidosis: abdominal pain, excessive urination, excessive thirst (18)
  • Uremia (accumulation of waste products in chronic kidney disease): abdominal pain, nausea, itchy skin (19)
  • Rectus sheath hematoma (due to anticoagulant therapy, persistent coughing or straining at stool, injury): sharp, severe pain in the middle of the abdomen, bruising and a firm lump, which is only sometimes visible (20)
  • Intestinal obstruction (due to adhesions or cancer; or a non-mechanical obstruction called ileus after surgery or in serious disease): central abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and absence of bowel movements (22)
  • Mesenteric venous thrombosis (blood clot in a vein that carries blood away from your intestine). Risk factors: appendicitis, pancreatitis, cancer, diverticulitis, cirrhosis. Symptoms: abdominal pain worse after eating, rectal bleeding (23).
  • Acute intermittent porphyria is a genetic disorder of heme. Symptoms: sudden, severe, diffuse abdominal pain lasting for hours, pain and numbness in the limbs, muscle weakness (27).
  • Aneurysm of the abdominal aorta or its rupture. Symptoms: severe or dull pain in the central abdomen, chest, lower back or groin (24).
  • Acute lead poisoning can cause severe, cramping abdominal pain, vomiting, seizures and coma (28).
  • Other references: (12)


  • Food intolerances (lactose intolerance, fructose malabsorption): bloating and loose stools
  • Intestinal parasites: abdominal pain and distension, parasites in the stool
  • Fibroma–a benign abdominal tumor; palpation may reveal an abnormal mass

173 Responses to Belly Button Pain

  1. DarrickBor says:

    Hello Guys, Glad to Join! 🙂

  2. Elizabeth Higgs says:

    I have clear fluid that dries to a crusty scabby looking stuff. When I looked with mirror I can looks like my navel is now open!! What can this be?

  3. sikhulile emmarecia says:

    Hi I’ve got a problem my husband belly is swollen with no but it’s turn dark around it and skin is dry and and he’s tummy is getting himself is loosing weight please help cause I don’t what to do

  4. Joy says:

    I delivered my 2nd baby last year in March.It was C umbilical has not yet settled completely and have not returned back to normal so I just pressed it gently to see if it’s going day I am feeling that it’s bloated, feeling the naval area has become lil hard with pain above and below and even inside with discharge..what could be the reason?

  5. Nikitha says:

    Hi, I had gallbladder surgery in 2008 and the scars have formed keloid (belly button). I have C-section scar with keloid. In 2015 I got pain in belly button and they found pus, so they removed abscess. Again 2018, same pain and pus formation inside. Again the cut and drained the abscess. But doc’s have no idea why it’s happening. If u have any idea why this might be happening, pls put some light.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Where did they find pus – in the keloid on the surface or in the abdominal cavity?

      • Nikitha says:

        The pus was found around the umbilical, below skin. The bacteria’s found were first time it was, “providencia rettgeri”. Augmentin antibiotics was given and it went off. But small cavity still had pus and on pus culture it was found to be “Proteus mirabilis”. Finally under local anesthesia keloid and abscess cavity was removed and stitched. It’s been 11 days now, again I feel burning sensation inside. Can you put some light what is happening.

        • Jan Modric says:

          If you feel similar than previously when you had an infection, go back to the doctor, who should know better than me about why is this happening.

  6. Jessica V says:

    I have bleeding and light yellow discharge in my belly button. I clean it every day and have been putting hydrogen peroxide and Neosporin multiple times a day. The belt button is bright red and bloated, scaley and itchy. Its been like this for 3 weeks and not getting better. Now its starting to make my whole stomach hurt. I can’t move, or lay down or touch my stomach anywhere near the area of my belly button without a very distinct sharp pain. Even walking or standing up cause the pain. I am overweight but I’ve never had this last for so long. What do you think it could be?

  7. Chrystal Williams says:

    I have extreme pain in my navel. I had a hysterectomy 10 years ago and had a stitch removed from the same area 9 years ago. The pain has been going on for 3days with no relief. I went to the emergency room and they did a CT scan with iodine and said everything looked fine. Tonight I feel like my navel is on fire and it is very red. I hate to go back to the Emergency room and them tell me the same thing. Can you give a few suggestions what it might be?

    • Jan Modric says:

      It can be an infection, for example. I strongly suggest you to go back to ER. The infection was maybe not apparent yet at the time when the doctors examined it.

  8. Jamie waters says:

    I had tubal laparoscopic surgery 5 months ago and the stitch in my belly button is still there on the inside dr said it should go away soon but the last few days it’s been hurting on the top right side of the belly button it doesn’t hurt where the stitch is when I touch it just the top right when I bend or move or touch there was wondering what your thoughts were on this?

    • Jan Modric says:

      If this is a newly appearing pain, I suggest you to visit a doctor. Adhesions (internal scars) can develop at any time after surgery and cause such pain. This is just one possibility, though.

  9. I don't have one anymore says:

    Here’s the problem and I’m just gonna put this here….we get told go see a doctor we go see a doctor doctor spends a minute with us dismisses us with no explanation hardly ever and we are left to go home feeling just as confused or even more than when we came in…we go to the e.r. for major scares of our health same thing get quickly treated for some guessed at diagnosis oh you have a cold idk why your heart feels like it’s was skipping bla bla bla I didn’t hear anything in the five minutes I spent here I don’t feel a need to run a test here you go go get some rest and see if you feel better in a couple days. We ask for help from doctors on here and we’re told to go see a doctor…ughhh no wonder people are dying so young anymore…just saying .

  10. Daniel says:

    My little brother of 3yrs and 3 month has been complaining of pain in his belly bottom also have a hot temperature he has been given medications for fever treatment but he is still complaining of the Same belly botton he is an (ss) patient

  11. Serge says:

    Hi. My 19 years old son has dull to severe (from 2 to 5 on scale of 10) belly pain around BB for around 5 days, Other symptoms include constipation. No fever or pain movement in abdomen. He visited doctor and did ct with iv contrast. No problem there. What else can be a cause?

    • Jan Modric says:

      While constipation itself can cause pain (especially if he was constipated before), many other conditions can cause such pain – they are listed above in the article. I don’t see how I could guess this better than doctors who have seen him in person. I suggest him to try to eat in the way to prevent constipation. If the pain persists he can go back to the doctor.

  12. Clara says:

    So I had a ovarian cyst removed11 months ago…
    I got an infection in onerror on the stitches… cleared most of it in the night before seeing the doctor that came and went quickly
    Recently (3 month) every time I get my period.. my navel has been leaking puss… it hasn’t been much so I hadnt thought it was a cause for concern…
    Along with the I now have an increased pain in my ovaries… but ive had this evey period since having the operation.
    Just wondering if anyone else has had this problemorning with there navel after an op

  13. Jason M says:

    I was sticking my finger in my belly button a week ago cleaning it out and pushing down harder than normal. I was pushing against where my bb is closed and moving my finger in a circular motion while pushing down and out against the sides. The next day it was slight sore with a small light red line coming out of it down about an inch. Doesn’t hurt on the outside just inside and its been a week and hasn’t gotten worse or better. I font have the money for the doctor so I can’t go if nothing is wrong. Should I wait and see if the symptoms get worse or better?

  14. Vanessa says:

    I’ve been having issues w my belly button for the past year, first I get severe pain to the right of it.. Then a few days later there is this greenish puss w blood, along w pain. I clean it all up and get it to go away, then it all happens again a month or two later. Plus I always make sure it’s clean, even use q-tips to make sure. Quite worrisome..

  15. Worried and Pained says:

    For the last five months, I’ve felt pain in my lower right quadrant. It started out coming and going, and is now near constant, with episodes of more severe pain at times. I’ve been to the doctor and the ER, and have confirmed that it isn’t kindey stones, cysts, or any of that. I am an otherwise healthy 20 y/o female. I had one person suggest chronic appendicitis, but I’m not so sure. Any ideas?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Chronic appendicitis might be possible but this is very rare. More common is Crohn’s disease or something other that affects the intestine nearby the appendix. I’m not sure how much an ultrasound or MRI could show. You can discuss with your doctor about these investigations and also about colonoscopy.

  16. patricia says:

    my husband haven sharp pains in the middle of his belly button what can cause his pain

  17. Sumaira says:

    Hello Mr. Jan modric i would like to ask you that my friend got infected near navel area he have red ball type in navel whole and it is also discharging and also having pain

  18. KIT says:

    My 1 yr old fell on my belly with her elbow hitting my bellybutton with her full weight. It startee bleeding in an hour and stopped immediately. Afterwards a non smelly white fluid discharged untill the next day. Its not bleeding anymore, no discharge or foul smell, however I have pain in both left and right side of my belly around the corners. Also its uncomfortable when I cough as I am suffering from cold and cough. Should I be worried about?

  19. R. Usha says:

    I have pain in right side of the belly button. I saw the doctor. In my scan report enteritis mentioned. So Iam suggested to taking medicine by doctor. But this pain not going

    • Jan Modric says:

      Enteritis means an inflammation of the small intestine. You can read about it here. Treatment depends on the cause. You can ask your doctor what could be a cause in your case: celiac disease, Crohn’s disease or something other.


    Our baby likes belly buttons and she pokes at them.. She does it kind of hard.. Anyway my husband just showed me a small but painful lump right above his belly button. He said if he pushes on it, it sends a sharp pain to his penis and also said that he’s had blood in his urine.. I am thinking possible ventral hernia? He is very thin, so she could have perforated the muscle possibly?

    • Jan Modric says:

      A lump near the belly button with pain in pubic area can be urachal cyst (see above in the article). Blood in urine may be a separate problem and I suggest him to visit a doctor soon.

  21. Diane says:

    I had laparoscopic surgery done in Feb 2017. I dont think it has anything to with it but not sure. Ive noticed a small hole forming in belly button it drains bloody like fluid sometimes. I was on an antibiotic already for UTI. Figured itd help if it was an infection. Well it hasnt and I have sharp pains all around belly button and lower right part of stomach. My appendix was removed during my surgery..Im clueless but I dont like the Sharp pains Im feeling even with the discharge i also have some dried up crusty blood..I have pictures but dont know how to post them here if the hole in my belly button..

    • Jan Modric says:

      No pictures needed. Bleeding from belly button is not normal. Please go to the doctor soon; it could be internal bleeding.

  22. J says:

    My belly button has this yellow discharge and it hurts it comes n goes but mainly happens when my menstrual cycle happens

    • Jan Modric says:

      I suggest you to show this to a doctor at some time when the discharge will be visible. It could be an inflamed cyst under the skin, for example.

  23. Ann Marie says:

    Hey! Basically I’m having pain in the right side of my tummy at the bottom and I’ve had redness and puss coming out of my belly button it hurts really bad so bad I’m having to take codien for the pain in my stomach, I’ve felt very hot and cold and feeling very sick and dizzy at times, why do you think this could be?

  24. Dom says:

    Okay so for about 4 days I’ve been having pain in and around my belly button, so I went to the emergency room until I have the time off work to schedule a dr. Apt. But it’s still hurting me, it is swollen there was discharge yesterday from it, it really hurts when I touch anywhere near it. If I do anything it puts pressure on it and it feels like it’s going to wrip open, and ever since I showered its burning. The Dr didn’t know what it is they just gave me meds for the pain but if it’s something serious I need to be seen immediately. It’s really hurting any ideas of what it may be?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Please, go to a doctor as soon as possible. It can be an abdominal infection and it can get worse without treatment.

  25. Dee says:

    My grandson, 4, developed a 6 inch rash surrounding his navel. An area directly above the navel is firm, with a slight bruised color. The ED says possible infection due to a scratch, but no scratch is present. Rx for Bactrim was given. Other reasons for concern?

    • Jan Modric says:

      I can’t interfere with a treatment given by a real doctor. If the thing is not improving after the give therapy in few days, the boy should see a doctor again.

  26. Jiordan says:

    I have had my second baby almost 2 months ago. I only noticed about 4 days ago that my belly button had a thick kind of clear/white discharge in it and when I stuck my finger in my belly button to clean it I got pain in my abdomen and genital area, I have no idea if it’s serious or common

  27. Ss says:

    Pain in the bb with bloating of areas around bb and slight redness. Pain is subsided a little with combiflam and stool is dark liquid you though not loose
    Slight fever. Pain there on moving turning walking…..everything

  28. Nicholas says:

    I have a red small lump almost like a tic tac sticking out of my skin inside my belly button. It of course hurts when I touch it, and there’s smelly liquids coming out. Its been leaking for about 4 weeks now. Any ideas on what that may be?

    • Jan Modric says:

      It can be an infected cyst or abscess. I strongly recommend you to visit a doctor.

      • Nicholas says:

        Thank you very much for replying. I’ll schedule an appointment.

        • Jess says:

          Have you had this confirmed on what it was? My boyfriend has the same thing happening. It comes and goes and when he went to the ER, they didn’t have any answers even after doing an ultrasound.

  29. Wedy says: sister h been experiencing stomach cramps around her belly area that come and go, and I’m getting worried now. Please help

  30. Wedy says:

    Hie… I have been experiencing stomach cramps for the past five days and the pain lies close to my bell button, it is also accompanied with headaches and dizziness not talking about the small patch of redness near my bell button…please help me

    • Jan Modric says:

      Please visit a doctor as soon as possible. It could be bleeding within the abdominal cavity and can be an emergency situation. This cannot be solved with an online conversation.

      • Temeka Alexander says:

        I have gets and I think a gastric ulcer. I’ve been taking protonix and zantac until my appt. I have dizziness when standing, upper abdominal pain, side pain, difficulty swallowing, bloating, chest pain and shortness of breath. Last night i woke up with stomach pain in my navel and it was really inflamed red and swollen with a bruise around my navel.My temp was 95.9. I felt veins and it’s hurt around the navel and when I moved. It has gone down some today but it’s even darker but not as wide as last night. Monday I was in the ER for blood pressure 190/100 & heartbeat at 92. I’m usually 114/72. Lately it’s been high.

        • Temeka Alexander says:

          Do you think it’s bleeding from an ulcer? Or an infection? Should I go to the ER my appt with GI is Tues? They did say I has esoughagitis but I have to get an endoscopy for my stomach.

          • Jan Modric says:

            Bruise around the belly button sounds very much like infection or bleeding to me. Go to a doctor as soon as possible.

  31. Rose says:

    Every so often just above to the right side of my BB a pocket kind of forms under the skin and it Is about an inch-two inches long. It hurts to bend over it have pressure in it. After a few days it leaks from my BB. No usually a lot of blood and not really a smell. The doctor told me it was just a yeast infection. I hate doctors and don’t want to go back if I don’t need to. Any ideas? And if it’s just a yeast infection what can I do to prevent it? I already do my best to keep it clean and dry.

    • Jan Modric says:

      A pocket? A raised lump? A lump and leakage from the belly button could be from a an infected cyst under the skin, not just from a yeast infection. Yeast infections do not typically form lumps. If it’s a cyst you can’t really do anything on your own. A dermatologist or gastroenterologist can say more.

  32. Kennedy Barasa says:

    I have had a rich history of a discomfort often resulting to mild pain at my navel, especially when I engage in some slightly streneous activity, or say when I wriggle my body or turn suddenly in bed. This has especially been the case when am hungry. This has worsened over time because the mild pain can now be felt just above my navel…and upon closer examination, I have discovered the navel has assumed a reddish color,with some black dead-skin-like stuff around the upper part of the navel. What could be the problem..Kindly!

    • Jan Modric says:

      Such pain can be caused by a congenital cyst or abscess under the skin near the navel. A doctor can tell more.

  33. Bernice says:

    For almost 6 years Di’s pain and a dark patch around my belly bottom,its off and on..what could be the cause

  34. Khanyi says:

    I had laparoscopy 2 and half years ago ,,my belly button is itching very bad and painful,I can’t sleep for long with my stomach.i feel pain.i just want to know what went wrong?

    • Jan Modric says:

      You may want to go back to the doctor that operated you. Maybe an internal scar has created behind the belly button.

  35. Sameer a p says:

    I have burning sensation in my BB and after few hours its gone .
    after taking bath I always clean my bb with finger but I saw there is no scratch yet still burning sensation was there , what may cause this

  36. Jordan says:

    I have a nodule behind my navel and it hurts when I move and I am nauseous. Does anyone have an idea? I went to the doctor but he didn’t see anything. Thank you for your help.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Is the nodule visible? You may want to take a photo and show it to the doctor. I encourage you to ask for further examination.

  37. My three year old daughter got fever and rushed her to a doctor. On examination, he said that there is fever and infection in her stomach. Now after administering drugs prescribed, she is feeling sharp pain around her belly button.
    What could be the problems?
    She has sleepless nights complaining of the stomach pain around the belly button area.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Any other symptoms, such as nausea or diarrhea or coughing? Appendicitis usually starts with pain near the belly button, but such pain then typically moves to the lower right abdomen. By far the most common stomach problem with fever in small children is “stomach flu,” which is viral gastroenteritis.

  38. Bani says:

    I m having discharge of while liquid(puss) from my navel but in very small amount but from last 20-25 days and suddenly yestarday i found neel below my navel. And 1-5? pain in navel. I dont know what is this going on.. is it serious.. please share your contact no. I want to discuss

    • Jan Modric says:

      Bani, this sounds like an infection – either within the skin around the navel or from a cyst or other disorder under the skin. A doctor can tell what it is.

  39. bhoke says:

    please help me..I feel pain inside my belly button,,its nt sharp bt it pains all time,both day and nyt..I also have nausea n headache bt dnt vomit..please help me..

    • Jan Modric says:

      bhoke, it is possible that you have an infection or some other infection in the abdomen. It is a doctor (gastroenterologist) who can give you a diagnosis and recommend treatment.

  40. DONNA says:

    I think i have a Ural abnormality. I’m a 54 yo female, post menopausal & I have suddenly had very old symtoms. I awoke recently and my pajamas & bedding were soaked. I thought i urinated in my sleep, which I’ve NOT done before. I smelled it to see if it was urine but it was odorless & also clear. I was totally perplexed. The next night while in bed reading i felt my belly button & there was a dried film insude including a very small ring if dried blood. I realized the liquid in my bed had to come from my belly button. I don’t have a fever, & I’m constipated (& taking meds for that which is starting to work. My intestions a more sluggish than normal. I do have more of my usual back pain & groin pain than usual & I’m really concerned with how MUCH fluid came out. It had to be 10 to 20 oz (591 ml) or so. My pajama pants & some of the bedding was soaked! There has been zero fluid coming from my naval since that one event during my sleep. What do you think?

    • Jan Modric says:

      DONNA, if you think you have found anything unusual in your belly button, you may want to check this with a doctor – probably an abdominal surgeon. Even if you have no other obvious symptoms, there is a risk of an infection.

  41. Anu says:

    My mother is experiencing gas trouble and at times smelly fluid is coming out from the belly button with pain. The case gets worse when she lies down. She is not able to sleep at night.When she consulted the surgeon he gave some medicines .The course of medicine couldn’t complete, as she was experiencing more discomfort by taking the medicine. Later consulted with a physician, told to have a surgery if the discharge doesn’t stop after taking the medicines he had given. It is still discharging the fluid from the belly button. What should we do?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Anu, a doctor, probably a surgeon, should know best what to do. It may be a small infected cyst or so under the belly button, which may not heal until removed.

  42. Gill says:

    Please every year I have the same symptoms for about a week/two weeks before I go really dizzy and vomit quite a lot and have to go to bed for 24 hrs . Then after that period my navel really hurts for about a week and has redness the size of a dinner plate , and feels on fire , then my navel will pop and a really foul smelling discharge follows it last for about ten days draining and sometimes out comes a white core , been to the doctors and he said its my dieteties that is the cause so why does it take a year to fill I have had quite a few in the past but just taken antibiotics and it goes but they are getting worse any ideas what’s wrong please help

    • Jan Modric says:

      Gill, such pain and discharge can come from a cyst beneath the belly button. A doctor can tell what exact cyst it is and what can be done about it.

  43. Jennifer says:

    My 9 year old son has been complaining that his bb is hurting for 3-4 days. Upon inspection, the skin just below is red and hard. The bb has a wound but only clear drainage. What is your recommendation?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Jennifer, the hard skin speaks for a collection of blood or pus under the skin. A doctor can tell if he needs antibiotics or drainage, for example. Do not try to squeeze the lump.

  44. I have an outie due to Hitial (sp) Hernia. The past 5-6 days I have experience bloating and pain in and around my navel. I started taking Gas-x which has provided a lot of relief, but belly button still red and very warm to touch. Also pain in abdomen.
    When I cough or lay down and sit up I experience pain. I am 76 and was born with hernia. Just wondering if anyone else has experienced similar conditions.

    • Jan Modric says:

      George, redness and warmth around the belly button is more likely from inflammation or infection than from bloating. You may want to get this checked by a doctor. If Gas-X helps, it means it will probably help if you avoid or limit certain foods, such as beans and peas, apples, pears, oats and barley. You may also want to get tested for lactose intolerance and fructose malabsorption, which both can cause a lot of gas.

  45. linda tabor says:

    Have big hard on my right lower bellybotton now it is getting bigger it hurts to walk and hangs down very low I had a lot of problems with belly button infections after I had my gallbladder out now I don’t know what to do go to the hospital and it’s hard for me I think it’s a tumor bar a hernia 5 months I do have sharp pains sometimes your advice

    • Jan Modric says:

      Linda, you may want to go back to the surgeon and ask if he/she can check for surgery complications, such as adhesions or abscesses.

  46. Aparna says:

    Can anyone please tell me y m I having abscesses in my naval part and severe pain also and fever too

    • Jan Modric says:

      Aparna, an abscess can develop after a skin cut or due to an infection that starts in the abdomen. Please, go to a doctor.

  47. Aryan says:

    Hello Sir….
    Before 3 days I was cleaning mint from belly button. Afterwarda a round Small 2 cm Reddish and White stuff occured in b.b.
    Whenever I Push or take load On stomach a yelloish fluid comeoutside the B.b.
    I’M taking regular Injections for pain relief but cant able to do This round b.b me!!

    • Jan Modric says:

      Aryan, it is possible you have an infection under the skin near the belly button. I myself cannot give any advice that would help, so, please visit a doctor.

  48. Gemma Robinson says:

    Feeling burning pain inside belly button next day belly button bleeding and pus discharge

  49. Catey says:

    So, around the 1st of this month, I started noticing a pus like discharge draining from my naval. I didn’t think much about it. It started to hurt and I couldn’t lay down on it. On the 11th after I cleaned it I got a sharp pain. It hurt to lay down, it hurt to get up, it hurt to walk, everything. So I went to the ER and they said it was Cellulitis. They gave me oral antibiotics and a pain med. They said after I finish the antibiotics that if it wasn’t cleared up to come back. It did good up Until last night. It started oozing again except this time there’s blood in it. I did everythin I was told to do. I took the meds, I take my last antibiotic today, I cleaned it with the steril liquid they gave me, and it starting back. Going off this the only thing it matches is staph.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Catey, it seems that the infection has recurred. It’s also possible you have a cyst or abscess under the skin. Please, go back to the doctor and do not try to solve this on your own.

  50. Erica Almance says:

    For the past two days the area around my belly button has been hurting like a fresh cut would. The feeling is just under the skin and in the flesh, not in any internal organs. Today, a little amount of slightly yellowish transparent fluid started coming out and it smelled. It also hurts when I bend down or turn over in bed.

  51. Concerned Girlfriend says:

    My bf and I recently got back from a 4 day camping trip. The very next day he was complaining that his belly button hurt and there was blood coming from it. He did see a doctor and the doctor gave him an anti bacterial cream and he is taking antibiotics 4x a day. That’s all he will tell me.

    I am curious to know the potential causes of this and whether or not it can be spread thru skin to skin contact. I have told him that he cannot stay the night with me nor will we be having sex until it heals.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Concerned…the fact that the doctor gave him antibiotics suggests that he has a bacterial infection, which can spread by skin-to-skin contact. Other causes are described above in the article.

  52. Jennifer says:

    I am a lady of 20, i’ve been having navel pains for as long as I can remember, since childhood. What can possibly be the cause?

  53. santosh says:

    i have pain around and in side belly button and discharging smelly yello

    also pain increase while walking

    • Jan Modric says:

      Santosh, it may be an underskin abscess. A doctor can tel if you need antibiotics or some other treatment.

  54. Rachel says:

    yesterday I experienced a sharp irritation in my belly button that came and went through out the day. When I got home, I had inflamed skin around my belly button spreading to the sides. I put some lotion on it. This morning the irritation is not as bad but the skin around it and to the sides are more inflamed. Any recommendations?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Rachel, if you have a feeling that the inflammation comes from beneath the skin and it increases, please go to a doctor because you can’t know what it is and you probably can’t treat it with some random ointment.

  55. Rahul says:

    My gf is reporting light to higher pain below or around belly button for the last one week even she had her periods.

    – we had unprotected sex but she had emergency contraceptive pill just after that.Her period was due in 3-4 days.
    – after 5 days again we had unsafe sex and she had pill.
    – she had her already due period,after a delay of 4 days and she bleed properly for 3 days but one or two drops continued for a week then period got over.
    – now after 5 days after her period got over she is having mild pain around navel and not going away.
    – are there any chances that she might be pregnant. Pls suggest the way out.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Rahul, I don’t think anyone can reliably answer to this. The fact she had a period speaks against pregnancy, but a pregnancy test can tell is she pregnant or not.

  56. Patricia Goldsmith says:

    I experience sharp little pains beneath my belly button when gas travels through my digestive tract and also when I lean my stomach against the counter

    • Jan Modric says:

      Patricia, if the pain is from gas, you may want to try a low-FODMAP or similar diet. If you think, there is something wrong in your belly button area, please visit a doctor – it can be an underskin infection, for example.

  57. Heather Allen says:

    My is red and it hurts bb

  58. Danielle says:

    I have been having stomach and tummy pains on and off for four months and have lost weight and burped a lot, passing gas and bloated sometimes. I thought it was my IBS recurring but felt so anxious and been to see my gp who prescribed ranitidine, the only medicine I can take. After 28 days I was no better, on the contrary worse. Have been to see the gp again so will have an endoscopy but the waiting list is so long and not happy with continuous pain and sleepless night went to the gp again. So will see a hospital consultant in 2 days’ time. In the meantime would like your opinion. Thanks

    • Jan Modric says:

      Danielle, to reduce burping and bloating you can avoid foods high in soluble fiber (oats, barley, legumes) and sugars (apples, pears, mango, fruit juices, soda, sweets). You have search for list of foods to avoid in a low-FODMAP diet.

  59. tina says:

    I didn’t have pain till after I cleaned it… My fingernails are 1cm long for dirt to get trapped in, so I decided to see how dirty my belly button was. It was so dirty it filled my nail, and took four q-tips to clean. I have acute pain from cleaning, and no, I did not shove it any higher then past cleanings. The discharge was a moist, dry, almost powdery wet orange color, almost red mixed with white. I had this for over a week… before It wasn’t as bad but it took a few q-tips and it seems like it is getting progressively worse. I need to hold out for a month for my medical insurance to cover this. Does anyone know the severity of this? I wont die if I hold out for a month will I? – well what are the chances, I just want to know how important it would be to see a dr. time wise. The discharge seems to be increasing from a week ago. since I cleaned it there isn’t any rapid flow of discharge but it has been building an orange thick brownish color, almost maroon. Would you see a DR. right away?

    • Jan Modric says:

      tina, this sounds like a progressing worsening of an infection, so it would be irresponsible from me to say to wait a month to solve this.

  60. Mercy says:

    am currently experiencing pain below b.b and white granular discharges which are a bit sticky on the panty.Recently I was expriencine itching on the outer surface of my vagina and when I applied anti fungal it ceased…what could be my problem

    • Jan Modric says:

      Mercy, symptoms relief after applying antifungal cream speaks for a yeast infection. I can’t confirm or exclude anything, though.

  61. Joshua says:

    Today I pulled out a piece of lint and it was hard and bloody, their was aldo fresh blood present inside top crack of bb with mild burning . Please give possible reasoninh. Going to doc in morning.

  62. Dylan says:

    My belly button has been hurting for the past few days. It usually leaks yellowish-brownish liquids and when I woke up this morning there was dry blood about 4 -5 inches around my belly button. I don’t know what to do. It is a constant mild pain but when I go to sit down or get in my vehicle or turn around in bed it hurts like crazy.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Dylan, whenever something oozes from the belly button, it’s likely an infection or a cyst. A doctor can tell what it is and how to treat it.

  63. ankit says:


    I hv gone through all the questions and my be mine is none of them too. I have a knot like inside my navel and is dormant since years. About some 7 years back it bleed and puss oused out from the navel and was normal after medication. But now it’s come back and this time nothing has come out and as the pain persisted I did sonography and doppler test which said puss and some blood below the skin levels which is painful and hurting. Due to this I am on high antibiotic dosage like Augmentin 1000 twice a day and also I am obese amd now suddenly border line diabetic.

    Finally after a couple of cconsultation have been advised surgery which I am not willing to

    Is there any way out by medication or some waiting will bring results or should I opt to undergo a surgery. Pls suggest.

    • Jan Modric says:

      ankit, if the medications helped the first time, it is possible they will help this time, too. But it is possible that the pain will occur again at some later time. You probably have some cyst (a small ball that gets infected every now and again). The surgery is a small and short procedure that should cure your problem permanently.

  64. I.M. says:

    My bb only hurts when I bend over. There’s a small amount of discharge that has a small hint of blood. This happened about 6 months ago but it cleared up within 2-3 days. If it matters I am overweight

    • Jan Modric says:

      I.M., A doctor would need to take a sample of discharge or perform an ultrasound of your abdomen to see what it is.

  65. Delany says:

    Recently I have experienced mild to intense belly button pain. I haven’t ran a fever or had discharge from my belly button, although driving down the road hitting a bump makes things worse. Another time I have pain is lying down or trying to bend over picking something up. Anyone know what’s going on?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Delany, even a doctor would probably need to order an ultrasound or X-ray to check what is happening in your abdomen.

  66. sarahjaycy says:

    three times this year I have experienced severe pain around the belly button and then it reaches a intense pain and all this green, bloody pus comes out, sorry to be so graphic,

    • Jan Modric says:

      sarahjaycy, it’s good to be graphic here, so we can know better what’s the problem. Green, blood pus is very likely from an abscess (bacterial infection) under the skin around the belly button or in your abdominal cavity. I strongly suggest you to visit your doctor soon to tell you what’s the underlying cause.

  67. Mark says:

    i have an infection/redness at the top of my bb and there is a knot there also. i have gone to a doctor and he gave me antibiotics but its not helping

    • Jan Modric says:

      Mark, redness with a knot may be an abscess, that is a collection of pus under the skin. It may need several days to clear. Continue with antibiotics as prescribed, but if you do not see any improvement in the following days, you can go to the doctor again.

  68. Edith says:

    I ve been having this serious heartburn,bloating,pain and discomfort for years now during my periods;accompany with heavy flows,what can I do to overcome this problem because I ve been to hospital and labs yet no solution.please i need answer and a way out.

  69. Gail says:

    I had my gallbladder removed about 3 years ago and they also repaired an umbilical hernia at that time with mesh. Never had a problem until this week. My bb is very sore, reddish on the inside, looks like there could be a cut, had some light blood, etc. Is this an infection or could mesh move after all this time?

  70. kal says:

    Also my testicle hurts me when touched. The pain goes up to my stomach. Plz help

  71. kal says:

    Hi iam experiencing pain in my belly button when pressed in. It feels like the pain goes up. I have had my appendices out 10 years ago. Plus I have diarrea for 2weeks.

  72. Whitney says:

    For the past two days the outer and partially inner part of the right side of my belly button is sore and painful to the touch or when I bend down. It looks slightly swollen or larger on that side than normal. Should I be concerned?

    I had a belly button infection not too long ago and my dermatologist said it was probably psoriasis, so for the past week or two I’ve been putting some perception spray on my belly button. And am not sure if that is what is causing this new belly button pain.
    Any recommendations?

    • Jan Modric says:

      Whitney, infection can recur and a collection of pus (abscess) can develop under the skin. I recommend you to visit a doctor soon.

  73. Mart says:

    Hi, my belly button becomes sore to touch inside also red and sore around my belly button. This happens often then it will go away and it’s fine.

  74. Dee says:

    I have been having a very smelly discharge coming from my belly button within the last 2 months and I clean it in the shower everyday, but it keeps returning. Any idea what it could be?

  75. bz says:

    More specifically the scar that popped out is whats so sore.

  76. bz says:

    A few months ago, my bb scar partially popped out. a couple days ago I was using fingernail o clean out. now it is red all around bb and very tender to the touch? Did I just injure it with finger or something worse? Thanks!

  77. Adrienne says:

    For the past 3 day I’ve been experiencing server pain all around and inside my bellybutton. This morning when I pressed on the area above lots of brown puss poured out. I’m still having pain, just not sure if I should go to the emergency room or wait and see if it clears up.

  78. Nat says:

    I often get pus that seeps out of my belly button and around the time that I am due on each month it becomes worse; inflamed and itchy. Shortly after finishing my period, I had sex with my partner which also left me in great discomfort: my vagina felt like it was on fire and was throbbing. I usually get these symptoms when I am on my period.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Nat, I strongly recommend you to check this by a doctor. One possible cause would be pelvic inflammatory disease, for example.

  79. linds says:

    Any updates from anyone? Also what kind of antibiotics did they give you. I have same problems. And can’t go see doc till Friday

  80. priya says:

    there is a liquid discharge from my bally button its lite yellow in colour.plz tel me wats the resion or its need to visit my doctor??//.

  81. Susan says:

    I have this brown color coming from my belly button. It hurts to stay sitting up. This has been going on for over a month I went to the hospital and they never told me what it was. I do not have any perusing there or around there.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Susan, try to contact the doctor that made an examination. In any case, try to get exact diagnosis from a doctor, because this cannot be diagnosed online.

  82. Samantha says:

    I am experiencing the pain mostly on top and inside of the b b. To the touch more and when I cough. Not sure if I should go see a GP or nor.

  83. Steve says:

    Nice page. I’m experiencing a pain/tenderness above the belly button which is neither related to eating nor sounds like pancreatitis. The discomfort is localized about 1 cm above the b.b. and just below the skin. It’s been this way for a week or so. Yesterday I saw the doctor, who had me schedule an ultrasound for next week, but I was prompted to inspect again just now and found that:

    1) There was a build-up of detritus that was white and granular. The largest of these, which i retrieved with tweezers, was about 3mm around, white at the edges, and reddish-brown at the center as though perhaps blood-stained. The navel was also rather fragrant. (Note: during the time I spent writing this, I looked at the belly button again and more has appeared.)
    2) It feels more greatly than before like there is something underneath the surface of the skin — an inflamed muscle/vein/something that belongs there, or perhaps a foreign object. I’m still not yet convinced that surgery would reveal a loose object inside, but I’m more concerned now.

    The ultrasound isn’t for another four days. I can’t decide if this is threatening enough to hit the e-room or not.

    • Jan Modric says:

      Signs of urgency would be increasing pain, spreading of the affected area, increased discharge or fever. Do what your common sense tells you. It could be an inflamed cyst with fistula, or an underskin infection with or without a foreign object. Infections or inflammations or cancers of abdominal organs are usually not associated with skin discharge, except in advanced cases, in which case you would likely have other obvious symptoms.

    • Brooklyn says:

      Did you ever find out what it was cause im having the same symptoms and i went the ER and they said they werent sure what it is?

  84. kishor subedi says:

    Its 24 weeks that my wife was in pregnancy. During 20 weeks it was small red rush around the navel. But navel gets injury and following of sticky liquid from it on 24 weeks. Is it Dangerous or not if then give me some advice.

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