Why Does My Belly Button Smell?
Why Do Belly Buttons Smell?
There are a number of reasons why the belly button, commonly referred to as the 'navel', might start to smell funny; some have to do with hygiene and others are completely unrelated. Quite often though, people will report that the inside of their navel or belly button does come with a bit of an odor which can only be described as unpleasant, which prompts the question of: “Why does my belly button smell”?
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The "Innies" and "Outies"
In many cases, the likelihood that your navel will become smelly when not regularly cleaned has to do with the shape of your navel. Some people have navels that face outwards while others may have navels that face inwards. The two names generally associated with these two navel shapes are “Outies” and “Innies”. Because the navel is one spot in the body where oil and dirt tend to accumulate, bacteria usually thrive in it. Usually, Innie-styled navels are the ones more susceptible to bacterial growth, which then emits that characteristic unpleasant odor, although "Outies" may also be susceptible to such but to a lesser scale.
However, in some rare cases, there are a number of different skin conditions that can aggravate the smell of the navel as well and increase the production of bacteria. Conditions such as eczema may create dead skin cells that flake off and clog up the navel. This condition can spur even further creation of bacterial growth and oils which cause the smell.
What You Can Do To Prevent a Smelly Belly Button
Certain hygienic options can be taken in order to try to combat the smell. Part of answering “why does my navel smell?” is coming up with an answer on how to prevent it from smelling in the first place. One of the easiest ways to clean out the small, hard to reach area of the navel is by using q-tips or cotton swabs dipped in rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol, an antiseptic, stops the growth of bacteria and dries out the moisture that forms inside the navel. However, one must take some precautions with rubbing alcohol as it can sometimes be an irritant. Other alternatives may be witch hazel, or hydrogen peroxide.
Some have also used anti-perspirants and deodorant in order to combat the smell temporarily as well. Moreover, making sure that your navel is always well-cleaned in the shower is a good hygiene regimen that keeps any kind of navel smell down to lower levels to nil.
In a Nutshell
In the question of “what makes my navel or belly button smell?”, the main culprit seems to be the growth of bacteria which causes the foul odor. The main solutions to the problem generally fall under hygiene and skin care issues. Although people with inward belly buttons are more at risk for this type of problem, just about anyone can experience the same foul smell from their navel if they do not take care of their skin or keep an eye on controlling their hygiene.