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Treating an infected belly button

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I unfortinately cannot afford to see a doctor. My belly button has a strange odor, it started last night. i tried not to touch it because i know that can only make things worse. this morning it started to ooze blood and white puss. My mother advised me to clean it with alcohol and a q-tip (this has happened in the past, and that seemed to work), it is VERY painful when i clean it, and afterward. it BURNS. i assume this means it is from the alcohol santizing it. What causes this? Is there a way to avoid this happening, because it's very unnerving to have blood in my belly button. I am not over-weight, but i do have a very Deep navel. I am very clean, and because it is so deep, i make sure it is dried before i dress. also the pants i wear, rarely touches my belly button, making it even more of a mystery. what can i do?

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replied February 22nd, 2010
Skin Answer A10163

According to the data you provided (sore belly button that keeps draining blood and pus, treated with alcohol which causes additional burning sensation and pain), you are likely experiencing infection in the area of the belly button.

You are likely doing pretty much the right stuff. Since your navel is deep, you have to keep it very clear. Any pieces of cloth (fibers) or skin debris are considered foreign bodies and might irritate the skin and the underlying tissue. This leads to infection which produces pus. The blood indicates that the infection is stronger than usual and has affected the blood vessels. This is understandable when you say that this is not the first time. Cleaning the wound with antiseptic is recommended. Instead of alcohol, you might want to use betadine.

You are advised to visit a doctor because of the infection that has to be treated with antibiotics. Taking a swab from the wound would tell the exact bacteria as well as the proper antibiotic. The doctor would also be able to tell how deep the wound is and if it has to undergo further treatment.

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