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Swollen, red and tender naval, no discharge. Cause ?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 2011
Answered : 5143 Questions
I am a 39 year old male, 5'11", 150 lbs. and in good physical condition with no prior medical problems. For the past few days I've noticed that my navel (an "innie") is swollen, a little red, and tender to the touch. I have not noticed any discharge. The pain is pretty minor, it's just causing discomfort. Otherwise I feel fine. I don't have any pain in other areas of the abdomen. What could this be?
Posted Fri, 20 Apr 2012 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 15 minutes later

Thanks for the query.

I need some more details on the problem you have to answer better like,

Do you have fever ?

Is there any foreign body, fluid discharge, crust formation at the navel ?

Any foul odour from the navel ?

How are your urine and stools ?

What you have is a condition where there is infection and inflammation of the belly button. The cause can be due to retained foreign body like collection of fabric fibre, trauma induced infection due to scratching, allergy, improper hygiene as well.

Keep the area clean and dry. You may use cool pack over the site to reduce symptoms of inflammation. Apply antibiotic ointment like Neosporin or Fucidin thinly at the site for 3-4 days. Avoid using soap or any irritant substance at or near the navel. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and XXXXXXX leafy vegetables. Drink enough water. Eat food XXXXXXX in protein like cereals, pulses, chicken, lean meat for aiding in recovery from infection and boosting immune system.

It is best to consult a Doctor to look for predisposing conditions for this problem and also to look for any underlying causes from abdomen which can lead to infection as well.

I hope I have answered your query. I will be available to answer your follow up queries.


Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Swollen, red and tender naval, no discharge. Cause ? 1 hour later
Thanks for the reply.
I have not had any fever. I checked my temp before lunch and it was 96.9.
No foreign body, fluid discharge or crust formation.
No foul odor.
Urine and stools have been normal.

The only symptoms have been swelling, redness and tenderness in the area.
Answered by Dr. Aashish Raghu 9 minutes later
Hi and thanks again,

Since only redness and tenderness is present it could be just a minor infection.

Kindly consult your Doctor and get examined for any possible retained fibre or foreign body which may not be visible to you and get the would thoroughly cleansed and dressed for swift recovery. Minor trauma can result in wound that may get infected causing the redness and tenderness.

You may try applying local antibiotic ointment to the area for 3-4 days.

Keep the wound clean and dry. This is a must for better healing. Avoid touching the area with barefingers.

Hope this helps.

Wishing you good health.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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