There are several causes for belly button discharge including urachal cysts, patent urachus, thrush, yeast infections, and other infections which may be due to piercing or another irritant in or around the belly button. Discharge from the belly button is usually white in color but can be darker or clear depending on the type of infection. These infections can be extremely malodorous and usually require medical attention. A physician will first have to examine the infected area before making a diagnosis and prescribing treatment. Most of these causes are easily treated and take very little time to heal.
Urachal cysts can be found in the umbilical area of the body and may be in a cluster that causes abdominal pain. There are additional symptoms that are associated with this disorder, including a high fever, painful urination, and lumps in the abdomen. If the cysts are not treated by a physician, they may begin to seep belly button discharge. This is a rare disorder and is usually discovered based on the other symptoms before seepage occurs.
Patent urachus generally occurs after a female has given birth and the tube between the bladder and the umbilical cord remains open, leading to several medical issues. In this case, the belly button discharge is urine seeping out and can be corrected by a minor surgery. A physician will usually close the the opening during surgery, and the healing time is relatively short. Once the problem has been corrected, the area will need to be kept clean to avoid further infection.
Yeast infections and thrush are very similar because both problems are caused by fungal overgrowth. During a yeast infection of the belly button, the area may become red, sore, itchy, and irritated. There are several treatments that can be tried at home, but most people opt to see a physician who will usually prescribe anti-fungal cream. Thrush causes candida yeast to form, and can be found on different parts of the body, including skin, throat, and belly button. This infection is also treated by an anti-fungal cream, but it may take more time to heal because it is a topical disorder.
People who notice a foul smell and belly button discharge should seek medical attention if home treatment does not work. Most of these conditions are not serious and can be treated with topical solutions. If pain or discomfort is associated with the discharge, the individual should immediately contact a medical professional.