Girlfriend cleans out her boyfriends belly button
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Smelly belly buttons shouldn’t be ignored – you need to wash your belly button to keep it in tip-top shape. If your belly button is starting to smell, you need to get to the root cause. Express.co.uk reveals everything you need to know about belly button hygiene, according to Medical News Today, Healthline, the NHS and Flo.
Why does my belly button smell?
If your belly button smells, it is probably down to poor hygiene.
Personal hygiene must always include the belly button and you should be washing yours at least once a week.
A 2012 study found 67 different types of bacteria live in the average belly button, all hiding in the little crevices and breeding on dirt and sweat.
Belly buttons aren’t immune to infections, the gathering of bacteria, fungi and germs can trigger infections such as yeast infections and this is normally what causes bad smells.
Belly button infections are more common in people with belly button piercings, ‘innie’ belly buttons.
This can often develop into liquid or pus-filled growths and cysts, which can ooze white, yellow or green discharge, appear swollen or red, itch, scab and even cause a fever or lump in your abdomen.
Newborns and children can develop urachal cysts if the tube that connects the fetal bladder to the umbilical cord isn’t sealed completely
Other cysts, such as sebaceous, epidermoid and pilar cysts can lead to belly button discharge which also gives off a horrible smell.
A smelly belly button could also be caused by something called omphaloliths, which happens when dead skin cells and sebum accumulate in your belly button.
Also known as navel stones, they’re made of the same materials that form blackheads.
Healthline said: “The surface of a navel stone will turn black from oxidation.
“Naval stones aren’t typically pressured out like a blackhead, but removed with tweezers.”
How to clean your belly button
How you wash your belly button depends on your belly button shape, according to Healthline.
The site explains if you have an innie belly button you’ll need to clean more thoroughly.
If you have an innie button, follow these steps before you take your next shower:
- Dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and gently rub the surfaces inside your belly button – If the swab gets dirty, throw it away and start a new one
- Once the cotton swab comes out clean, use a fresh one dipped in water to rinse the alcohol out of your belly button so it doesn’t dry your skin
- Following your shower, gently dry the inside of your belly button with another clean, dry swab or the corner of a towel or washcloth
- If you use body lotion, keep it away from your innie belly button (the moisture from the lotion could promote bacterial growth and make your belly button dirty again)
If you have an outie belly button, do the following while in the shower:
- Lather up a washcloth, and gently scrub your belly button. Rinse off the soap
- After your shower, dry your belly button thoroughly
- Massage some lotion onto your belly button
If you have a belly button piercing, try these two steps when it’s fully healed:
- Follow the cleaning instructions for the type of belly button you have, innie or outie
- Gently wash the pierced area with a cotton ball that’s been soaked in a solution of a quarter teaspoon of sea salt in eight ounces of boiling water that’s been cooled
- If you don’t want to make the solution yourself, you can buy an isotonic saline solution at a drugstore or online
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