What Is a Belly Button Infection?

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By becky
Jul 31, 2020
Medical Expert Medical Expert

The belly button is something we all take for granted. Children like to show theirs off, mystics meditate by gazing at theirs, and some people decorate theirs with jewelry. But other than collecting lint, the belly button doesn’t seem to serve much of a purpose.

If your belly button hurts, you may be thinking about it more than usual. You may feel uncertain about what to do and have a lot of questions. Can a belly button become infected? Could this problem be serious? Should you see a doctor? Here is everything you need to know about belly button infections and what to do if you have one.

1. What Is a Belly Button?

The scientific term for belly button is navel or umbilicus. This indentation in the lower abdomen is actually a scar shared by almost all humans, marking the spot where the umbilical cord was attached before birth. After birth, the umbilical cord is usually clamped and cut off to a length of approximately 1 inch. It then falls off naturally in two weeks.

Reptiles, amphibians, birds, and fish do not have belly buttons, but all placental mammals, such as dolphins, dogs, and cows, have them. Mother animals usually bite off their babies’ umbilical cords close to the skin, so the scars are not as pronounced as those of humans. Marsupials and monotremes like the opossum, platypus, and koala do not have belly buttons because they do not have umbilical cords.

Belly Button Infection

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