The belly button, or the navel, is one part of the body that hardly claims any attention – unless you have a piercing, of course. But research shows that a total of 2,368 different species live within belly buttons. An average person, it is believed, can have up to 67 species of bacteria living in there.1
It is not necessary to give your belly button a full-fledged cleanup every day. Our regular baths and showers are enough to take care of this. Especially since many of the bacteria that are teeming in there are helpful bacteria. But sometimes, the bacteria can mix with your sweat, dirt, soap, or talc, and create bad odor. So, the navel can do with a heavy duty cleanup occasionally. Here are some ways you can clean your belly button.
1. Use A Cotton Swab And Cleaning Solution
Things you need:
- Cotton swabs
- Cleaning solution: Baby oil or water or hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol
- Dip the cotton swab into the cleaning solution of your choice. Gently rub the swab all around your navel, being careful not to rub too hard. When you are done – a couple of takes should be more than enough – clean the area with a dry swab, making sure you get all the cleaning solution out.
2. Use Salt Water Cleanup
A salt water solution is at once an antiseptic as well as a cleaning agent. Using a warm salt water solution is believed to be far more beneficial than regular salt water.
- Make a salt water solution using sea salt and warm water.
- Scrape out the dirt from the navel using a cotton swab.
- Rinse the navel using the hot salt water solution
- Pat dry with a towel or tissue.
- Repeat the process till you are satisfied with the results.
3. Try Hot Oil Massage For Stubborn Dirt
Sometimes, some stubborn dirt can accumulate inside your belly button and refuse to come out with just cotton swabs and cleaning solutions. That is when a hot oil massage comes in handy. Oil can help grease the navel area well, thus making it easier to remove the accumulated dirt. Here’s what you can do in such cases:
- Apply warm coconut oil to your navel.
- Massage the navel gently in a clockwise and anticlockwise direction.
- Hold the skin around the navel taut.
- Scrape out the dirt using a cotton swab.
4. Take Special Care If You Have A Piercing
Do not remove a new piercing till it is fully healed and if there is no pus or blood coming from it. There should also be no crust formations on the jewelry. To clean your belly button and your piercing, follow the given steps:
- Move the piercing as high up as possible.
- Soak it.
- Then move it as far down as possible.
- De-crust the piercing using a tissue dipped in saline solution.
- Clean and dry your navel using cotton swabs.
Ensure there is no water or moisture in the navel. For those with new piercings, it will be beneficial to also use an antimicrobial agent when cleaning the belly button.
5. Always Moisturize After Cleaning
It is very important to keep your belly button and its surrounding area moisturized. This will ensure that the area remains soft and smooth and free of infections and foul odor. A dry belly button and surrounding area can lead to itching sensation. Scratching the itch can lead to bruises and infections.
|↑1||Hulcr, Jiri, Andrew M. Latimer, Jessica B. Henley, Nina R. Rountree, Noah Fierer, Andrea Lucky, Margaret D. Lowman, and Robert R. Dunn. “A jungle in there: bacteria in belly buttons are highly diverse, but predictable.” PLoS One 7, no. 11 (2012): e47712.|