Aside from comparing your belly button with friends to see who has an "innie" or "outie," we never think too much about that little hole.
If you've ever stuck your finger in there, you've probably noticed a strange smell, like a really unpleasant smell, and that is a sign your belly button is putting your health at risk.
While we are in the womb, our belly buttons are what connects us with our mothers. Once we're born, the belly button is severed, and that becomes our first "scar."
These folds of skin provides the perfect place for germs to grow, because it's so easy for sweat, dead skin, or dirt to get trapped in there.
If your belly button doesn't get cleaned often, you may be at risk for developing an infection.
“The navel is an occluded area where skin rests on skin, creating a dark, moist environment in which bacteria and yeast can breed and can become a cesspool for microbes if not properly maintained,” Dr. Susan Bard of Sadick Dermatology told Teen Vogue. “If bacteria and yeast are allowed to breed, it can lead to foul odor and even infection.”
Symptoms like redness, itching, and swelling will indicate to you that something is wrong.
Before you go scrubbing down there, keep reading to learn how to clean your belly button properly without causing it damage.
If you have an "innie."
Doctors recommend people to clean their navel daily in the shower with gentle soap and water. If there's more gunk in there, you might need to use a washcloth or a Q-tip.
Keep in mind that you should be gently cleaning or swabbing the inside of your belly button. Scrubbing too hard may aggravate your skin.
Once cleaned, rinse your navel with water. Then gently dry the inside with the tip of a clean, dry washcloth or Q-tip. Make sure you're not moisturizing your belly button afterward, because too much moisture can become a breeding ground for bacteria.
If you have an "outie."
Outie belly buttons are much easier to maintain, and require less vigorous cleaning. The best part here is that you can treat your navel just like any other part of your body. When you're washing your torso, gently scrub your belly button in the process. Then dry off and moisturize.