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Itchy belly button

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I am an overwieght male. I have had an itchy belly button for years and tried everything to get it to go away. It is not red or anything on the inside and I have cleaned it very very very well, buying special soaps. Can you help me?

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replied April 22nd, 2009
Intestinal Disorders Answer A6405
Is it possible that you are overdoing it with your belly button hygiene and causing chronic skin irritation? I would recommend that you look at all soaps, lotions, detergents, or other topical products that you might be using (both on your skin and in your clothes washing machine and dryer) to see if any of these products might be causing a hypersensitivity reaction. Also, you should have your doctor carefully look at your umbilicus to see if there is any evidence of any skin lesions that might explain your symptoms.

Also, rarely, a persistent remnant of a fetal structure, the urachus, can sometimes persist inside the lower abdomen, and can open into the base of the umbilicus. This urachal remnant, when present, can sometimes cause itching, inflammation, and even infection (and, very rarely, even cancer). Although not likely to be the case with your belly button itching problem, it is something that should at least be considered if no other explanation for your symptoms can be found.


Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS
A landmark, evidence-based guide to a healthy cancer-prevention lifestyle, based on cutting-edge cancer research.
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