Navel Inflammation Symptoms and Treatment in Babies

Inflammation of the navel, also called omphalitis, is a problem that can be seen at any age. However, especially in newborn babies, navel inflammation requires extra care, as it can lead to more dangerous situations. In this article, you can find answers to all your questions about what causes belly button inflammation, how to treat it!

What causes belly button inflammation?

The umbilical cord, which is cut and separated from the baby during birth, loses its function after birth, but a small part of it remains attached to the baby’s belly button. You need to meticulously care for the umbilical cord , which dries up in about 3 weeks and falls off by itself . Because wrong and incomplete navel care can lead to navel inflammation (omphalitis) in babies.

Belly hole cleaning, which is disrupted during childhood, can also lead to inflammation. For this reason, timely detection and treatment is very important for the health of the baby. In summary;

  • Touching the belly button with unclean hands,
  • Failure to clean the navel,
  • Sweating (because it provides a suitable ground for bacteria to settle) can cause navel inflammation in infants and children.

Symptoms of navel inflammation in babies

The sooner you notice the inflammation in your belly button, the better. This way, you can start treatment early before symptoms get worse. So, let’s move on to the symptoms of navel inflammation in babies;

  • Swelling and redness in and around the belly button,
  • Tenderness in and around the belly button
  • Bad odor in the belly button,
  • Inflammation from the belly button (bloody and pus discharge),
  • bleeding in the belly button,
  • Darkening in the belly button.

You should definitely consult a doctor when you see one or more of these symptoms in your baby.

Do not confuse navel inflammation with other diseases!

The discharge, which is one of the symptoms of belly button infection, can sometimes point to another disease. Therefore, it is very important that you evaluate the symptoms correctly. Discharge from the belly button in babies;

  • umbilical granuloma,
  • The connection between the congenital navel and the intestine,
  • It may also indicate diseases such as sinus opening to the navel.

If the physical examination is not enough to make the correct diagnosis, you can also try methods such as culture from the umbilical discharge and blood analysis.

How is navel inflammation treated?

Navel inflammation is easy to treat if detected early. If left untreated, the inflammation spreads rapidly throughout the body, causing a disease called sepsis. This means life risk. Untreated navel inflammation can cause serious liver problems.

Treatment of navel inflammation depends on the severity of the inflammation and the age of the baby. Newborn babies between 0-1 months need close follow-up and care, since the inflammation is likely to mix with the blood. The baby in this period must be hospitalized and treated with antibiotics.

The treatment method after the first month varies according to the severity of the inflammation. If there is a mild navel inflammation, it is necessary to pay attention to the regular use of the drugs recommended by the doctor and to the cleanliness of the navel.

If umbilical cord inflammation is detected late in 1-3 months old babies, hospitalization and close follow-up of the baby are required. These babies are in the risk group because their immune system is very weak. In this case, antibiotic treatment is required.

Navel inflammation in babies older than 3 months can be treated at home. Antibiotic cream treatment for navel inflammation provides results in a short time.

What is good for navel inflammation in babies?

  • Warm salt water plays an important role in the treatment of navel infection. You can soak the cotton in the saline solution and use it to clean the infected area. Then gently pat this area dry. You can do this application 1-2 times a day.
  • Compressing with warm water helps relieve the pain caused by navel inflammation. After soaking the cotton cloth in warm water and wringing out the excess water, you should leave it on the navel for 3-5 minutes. Do this several times a day.
  • Tea tree oil is a method used in the herbal treatment of belly button inflammation. This essential oil has antibacterial and antiseptic properties. You should dip a cotton ball in this mixture, apply it to the infected area, leave it for 10 minutes, and then wipe it gently. Doing this process 2-3 times a day is effective.
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