Why does my belly button smell?

Belly buttons do not normally smell and therefore the smelling of the belly button is a red flag that something is wrong. There are plenty of issues which can cause the smelling of the belly button and therefore you have to look into these details and then find out which is the cause of the smelling of the belly button.

In most of the cases, the smelling of the belly button is related to the hygienic conditions in the belly button. However, it can indicate a more serious problem as well. Therefore, it is important to locate the cause and find out the solution to solve the smelling problem. We would be going into both of these subjects below.

As we said above, there are a lot of reasons for the belly button to smell and therefore we would be going into all of these reasons to help you better understand why your belly button is smelling?

Why does my belly button smell?

-Smelling due to bacteria:

If you are not maintaining proper hygiene of your belly button area then there can be dust and and oil and soap which can be easily collected into the belly button.

Due to this, it becomes the ideal place of growth for the bacteria. Bacteria likes the places which are moist and therefore it becomes the ideal place for the bacteria to grow. Whenever the bacteria is growing in the belly button, it would cause it to smell.


You might be thinking what obesity has to do with smelling of the belly button but when you’re obese and when you stomach is bulging, the hollow nature of the belly button would be more deeper and therefore if you’re not maintaining proper hygiene then, there would be a lot of dirt and moisture in the belly button resulting in the smelling of the belly button.


Diabetes can affect our body in various ways and one of the most dangerous ways in which it can affect our body is the cause of frequent infections. If you compare the occurrence of infections in diabetics and the occurrence of infections in normal people you would often realize that the occurrence of infections in diabetics is much more.

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The problem is that when you’re suffering from diabetes and are suffering from an infection, the body is not able to treat that infection quickly and therefore that particular infection can last for a long period of time and if it is not getting treated then it would become worse. Due to these kind of infections in the belly button area, there can be a bad smell along with the pus -like liquid flowing out.

-Inflammation of the skin in the belly button:

why does my belly button smellWhen there is little dirt accumulation in the belly button, it would cause itching and if you are vigorously itching it again and again then it would cause inflammation of the skin and this would again cause the bad smell in the belly button and also if you continue with the behavior of itching even after the inflammation then it would surely result in an infection as well.

-Impact of you UV rays:

These days specially during the summer seasons, the sunlight is pretty harsh and contains a lot of UV rays as well and if your body is exposed to these rays then these can easily cause various types of skin infections. The belly button is often exposed to the sunlight during sun bathing as well as swimming and when you are opting for natural tanning as well. If the belly button is exposed to these sunrays containing UV rays then, it can easily result in an infection in the belly button which can result later on in the foul smell as well as white discharge from the belly button. This type of infection needs medical intervention as soon as possible.

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One of the most problematic type of cysts which can occur in the belly button is known as sebaceous cyst and it is caused due to being accumulated dirt in the belly button. It leads to itching as well as smelly discharge from the belly button. Another type of cyst is the urachal cyst and this is because of the non-cleaning of the belly button for a prolonged period of time and it is more serious because it can lead to the formation of excessive WBCs which can directly impact your health. Due to the formation of WBCs, you would be suffering from fever as well. This type of cyst is also accompanied by a fall discharge.

-Infection of fungus:

When infection of fungus is caused in the belly button, it can result in severe itching and you would not be able to ignore that itching but at the same point of time you if you are itching that area then it would result in pus discharge and inflammation of the skin in the belly button making the problem worse.


Skin conditions like these, result in a lot of dead cells and dead skin which is often accumulated in the belly button and entirely fills up the hollow hole in belly button which can cause many different problems like the growth of bacteria or the accumulation of dirt and therefore it is important to get these skin conditions treated as soon as possible.

-Poorer quality of belly button piercing:

belly button ringsIn most of the cases, whenever you are going for belly button piercing the jewelry which you would be using would be gold or silver but there is the affordable option of plated jewelry as well but plated jewelry contains nickel on the inside which can easily produce allergic reaction in a lot of people. It is important to go for authentic belly button rings or belly button piercings instead of the plated options which contain nickle. This would mean you have to spend a bit more but it’s well worth it in the longer-term to stay problem free.

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Ways to avoid smelly belly button:

-Clean your belly button regularly: As you might have read above, most of the problems which cause the smelly belly button are related to the hygiene -related problems and therefore it is important that you clean the belly button regularly and also dry the belly button as soon as possible and as frequently as possible.

-Treating skin -related diseases: If you’re suffering from any skin -related disease, especially on your chest or on your stomach or on your back, it is important to get it treated as soon as possible.

-Avoiding cheap early button piercing: As we mentioned above, smelly belly button can also be caused by poor quality of belly button piercing and therefore it is important to for the gold or silver options rather than the plated options.

-Avoid exposure of excessive sunlight: Excessive sunlight especially the exposure to UV rays can easily cause infection in the belly button and therefore instead of directly exposing your belly button to sunlight, you should be avoiding swimming or sunbathing in the summer.

-Avoid itching the inflamed skin: If the skin around the belly button or in the belly button is inflamed, then instead of itching the inflamed skin, you need to use aloe vera paste or ice cubes to suit that inflamed skin. This would avoid the infection in the belly button which would avoid foul smell as well.

So, as you can see there are plenty of reasons why your belly button might be smelling but the solutions in most of the cases are quite easy and therefore you can easily opt for these solutions.