Help! My belly button is maybe infected - need advice!

on 3/24/10 2:25 pm, edited 3/24/10 2:27 pm - St Augustine, FL
Hi all!  I am 3.5 months out from a VSG surgery and doing great, but I just noticed a strange situation with my (inny) belly button. I need some advice! 

I noticed it is kind of overly moist and kind of weepy, and the moisture is a bit stinky. And when I look deeper in it (sounds weird), it is red!  Is it possible that I have a yeast infection inside of my belly button? That is what comes to my mind from these symptoms because I get that sometimes on the crease under my hanging-over belly.  When the first symptoms under my belly show up, I just dab on some anti-fungal clotrimazol (1%) cream (usually called "Athlete's Foot Cream" in the store) and it clears up almost overnight.  I've never ever experienced any problems with my belly button, so I don't know how to approach it.  Would anything bad happen to me if I put some clotrimazol cream inside my belly button in case this is indeed yeast? Or is this more likely to be something else?

I do not have any incisions in my belly button. The only thing I can think of is that I work out a lot, so maybe my belly button is sweatier than it ever was before? Not sure. I've also lost over 60 lbs, so the skin of my belly and belly button is changing a bit, I assume.

Thanks for your help!
 9 of these lbs lost pre-op
on 3/24/10 2:58 pm - Duluth, MN
VSG on 12/11/09 with

Sounds like a little infection.  First, dry your belly button - if it's a little deep, try a Q tip gently to absorb the moisture.  Getting the moisture out will help the skin be less vulnerable.  It is either a yeast infection or the other thing that lives on our skin, bacteria.  It won't hurt to put some clotrimazole on it.  If it is yeast, as you already have seen, the redness will go away in a short time.  If it is bacteria however, the clotrimazole won't help at all and I would put an antibiotic ointment (bacitracin, or neosporin, etc) on the skin.  If it is a bacterial infection, the clotrimazole might make it a bit worse because it will kill any yeast around and that makes the bacteria happy - they kind of compete for a life on our skin.  So, if the clotrimazole makes it worse, go right to the antibiotic.  Just like the infection you have had under the skin fold before, you should be able to clear this up at home.  If it just spreads onto your abdomen you'd want to have it checked but that is not likely.

on 3/24/10 3:37 pm - St Augustine, FL
Thanks so much, Anne! I will try the successive yeast/bacteria treatment steps you recommend. Luckily it doesn't hurt or itch...yet.
 9 of these lbs lost pre-op
on 3/24/10 3:35 pm - Columbus, GA
I would say that it's probably more bacterial. Use rubbing alcohol on a q-tip and it will dry up the stinky seepage mid-late day. Then after every shower, dry it with a q-tip. I have a weirdly deep belly button. At my heaviest, I could stick my entire pinky finger into my belly button. Yeah. CREEPY deep. I use alcohol all the time to dry my belly button. If I didn't I would get skin breakdown grossness. And it stinks BAD. 
If it gets itchy, then use the creme.
But if you're ever considering to get a tummy tuck/panni removal  covered by insurance, then you should probably call your Dr so it's documented in your chart about your skin issues. 

Jackie McGee
on 3/24/10 7:01 pm - PA
Whatever you do, don't stick your fingers in there. I know that sounds weird and stupid, but you're going to be tempted because when it starts to hurt and itch, about the only thing that helps is sticking your finger in there and spreading the opening apart, applying pressure, scraping out the crap, etc.

The best bet is to keep it as dry as possible. I get infections in there all the time so to help that and to prevent it, I blow dry my belly button after every shower and I don't take baths because the standing water can hurt the infection.

I wouldn't recommend sticking Q-tips in there either, or even applying any creams.

Talk to your PCP about getting an antibiotic, or see if he/she suggests using a prescription strength antibacterial/antifungal cream. Stay away from anything OTC as those will make things worse before they make things better.

If you have any pus or anything coming out, see your surgeon or your PCP as you'll want to treat that as soon as possible.

And it will stink to high heaven if you don't keep it dry.

Hope it heals up soon.

(Also, it might be wise to document these infections as documentation of infections are key to getting insurance companies to pay for plastic surgery.)

 Proud mama of Mischa and Gabriel, both born post-op.

on 3/24/10 9:58 pm - somewhere, MD
I had a similar problem.  I would try to keep it as clean and dry as possible.  Call your surgeon.  Mine was an easy fix- it was a stitch from my surgery that was pushing it's way out.  Did you happen to have an incision in your belly button?
SW= 268     
CW= 145  ***GOAL REACHED on Christmas Day 2010****             
5'6"       BMI= 23
 LapBand 3/2006 to Revision DS 12/2009
Get the FACTS about the Duodenal Switch at or

 Extended Tummy Tuck, BL/BA scheduled for 11/18/11 Dr. Larry Lickstein          
on 3/24/10 10:11 pm - Owings Mills, MD
sounds like YEAST....  I get that too.. Yeast grows in dark moist places like belly buttons.

put the same cream in the belly button or get some anti-fungal powder.

I get the doctor to prescribe Nystatin powder because I want DOCUMENTATION of my issues so that when I need my tummy tuck I can have insurance pay for it.
Ticker is from Day of Surgery.. weight goal is personal preference as I've MET my doctor's goal



Nissa W.
on 3/24/10 10:36 pm - Cloquet, MN
I just went through that too! Never had it before but there it was...I used fungus killing cream on it and kept it dry. Went away in a couple days.

RNY 7.08.09
Ht. - 5'5"
Highest Wt. - 267    Goal Wt. - 135

Nell R.
on 3/25/10 4:12 am - Hewitt, TX
I get that too, I went to my dr. and she said it is a yeast infection, she told me to buy monistat cream and apply it everyday it does help but I don't always use the cream everyday so it ends up coming back.


on 11/21/10 7:13 pm
In belly button infection , you should.. try a hot compress. Use a clean cloth and thoroughly soak the compress with water. Place the cloth in the microwave for about 25 seconds or until it is hot. Place the compress on your infected belly button and hold is against the infected area until the cloth cools down. You may repeat this a few times. This helps to increase blood flow to the infected area and allows pus to drain and then try soaking the infected area in sal****er and at last..if there is pus and it has not yet drained, try using hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide will assist in draining the pus and clearing the infection. Only use hydrogen peroxide for these reasons, do not use it after the infection is gone.