What Are the Common Causes of Pus in the Belly Button?

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  • Written By: Madeleine A.
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 10 January 2020
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Pus in the belly button is caused by a bacterial infection. A navel infection can produce pus as well as a clear discharge, bleeding, redness, and inflammation. Sometimes, a foul odor can originate from pus in the belly button, but this can usually be managed very effectively. Also, an infection that produces pus in the belly button can cause extreme pain and tenderness in the belly button and on the surrounding tissue.

The waistband from pants and undergarments can worsen symptoms, as can not completely drying the inside of the belly button after bathing. A belly button piercing can get infected and cause pus in the belly button. It is very important that the piercing parlor follow sterile piercing procedures to reduce the risk for infection. Proper aftercare will also reduce the risk of a navel infection, which may include cleaning the area with a special antiseptic solution and keeping the area dry.

In extreme cases, severe itching can occur and cause tissue damage. Cortisone ointment can be applied to the navel when itching and swelling persist, which will generally reduce symptoms. The health care provider may recommend an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment and possibly an oral antibiotic. If the infection persists, the health care provider might also choose to investigate the cause further. Medical conditions such as diabetes, fungal infections, yeast infections, and cysts can contribute to pus in the belly button.


After bathing or showering, the navel area should be dried thoroughly and a small amount of rubbing alcohol should be applied to the infected area. This will reduce the bacteria count and promote healing. If, however, the area is very sore, or if a throbbing pain is felt, alcohol is not recommended. In these cases, plain cornstarch can be dusted in and around the belly button to keep it dry and itch-free.

Navel infections can produce pus of various colors and textures. Pus can appear as white, beige, green, or brown. The infection can also produce blood-tinged pus that can appear pink or red. The texture of pus in the belly button can have a thin consistency or it can be sticky and thick. The consistency, the amount, or color of pus should not be used as an indicator of the severity or nature of the infection. A navel infection that produces minimal amounts of light-colored pus can be just as significant as those infections that produce copious amounts of dark pus.


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Post 8

I have this white pus it had a brown scab on it. Then when I removed it, it started to discharge a white sticky pus. I don't know why it is doing this. It's the only time it has happened.

Post 7

I have been having leakage in my belly button (no pain whatsoever), but recently I found there is a paste-like pink flesh sticking out of my belly button. Has anyone ever heard of this? Is that part of my stomach coming out? Please help. This scares me.

Post 6

What all you need is to be examined by your doctor, antibiotics and clotrimazole absorbent dusting power (it's antifungal and antibacterial). This has worked for me.

Post 5

I had pus oozing down my navel. The pain at the beginning was very slight but later it developed to unbearable pain and finally I had to undergo surgery, and after nine months, again I am having pus. I am totally worried now and don't know what to do. I keep my belly clean.

Post 4

@cloudel – I agree with you. Pus is nothing to take lightly!

I used to get a lot of yeast infections when I was younger. After my third one, my belly button started dripping pus.

It seemed that I could not go a year without a yeast infection. My doctor told me that the pus was related to it, and after treating me for the existing infection, she told me something I could do to prevent getting more infections.

She said that all I needed to do was to eat a serving of yogurt every day! The active cultures in yogurt prevent yeast infections. This was an easy way to prevent belly button pus, as well.

Post 3

Any kind of pus is usually a sign of infection. If I had pus coming out of a wound, I would see a doctor, and navel pus should be treated with just as much seriousness.

When you think about how close your belly button is to many major organs, it just makes you wonder if the pus is coming from one of them. I would not take a chance and wait for it to go away. If I were oozing goo out of the center of my abdomen, I would be worried!

Post 2

I tried to clean the pus out of my navel with a cotton swab covered in alcohol. When I touched the base of it, I felt a terrible pain that seemed to radiate all the way through to my back!

I will never again try to use a cotton swab in my navel. I think that a cotton ball would have been a lot better, because it is soft all over and there is no chance of jabbing it into my flesh.

Post 1

I had orange pus coming out of my belly button once, but I just assumed it was caused by stress. I noticed it right after I visited a friend in prison, and that had been an extremely stressful day for me.

There was just a trickle of orange liquid coming out of it. I didn't see a doctor, and it cleared up on its own. I don't know if my theory about it being stress related is correct or not, but I lean toward that reasoning still.

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