A belly button yeast infection is a fungal skin infection caused by a yeast called Candida. It causes a bright red, itchy rash in your navel area. Candida grow and thrive in warm, dark environments. Treatment includes creams, ointment or powders. You can prevent belly button yeast infections by keeping your navel area clean and dry.
Yeast infections don’t just happen in your nether regions. They can actually show up almost anywhere on your body, including your belly button. A belly button yeast infection is a yeast infection within the skin of your belly button (navel). A yeast infection of the skin is called candidiasis. Candidiasis is a fungal infection. It’s caused by a yeast called Candida. Yeast is a type of fungus.
Your skin has many types of fungi (plural for fungus) and yeast that live on it. This includes the yeast called Candida. In healthy people, this normally doesn’t cause any harm. But when Candida collects in damp, dark areas, it can dig under the surface of your skin. This can cause a skin infection. Candidiasis can happen almost anywhere on your body. But it’s most frequently found in the warm, moist crevices of your skin like your belly button.
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The most common symptom of a belly button yeast infection is a bright red rash in the skin folds of your navel. The rash is typically extremely itchy. It may burn. You may also see scaling, swelling or a white discharge.
Belly button yeast infections don’t usually cause a smell or odor. But you may notice a musty smell if your yeast infection is due to a skin condition called intertrigo. Intertrigo is very common. It occurs due to a combination of heat, moisture and your skin rubbing together.
A yeast called Candida causes belly button yeast infections, or candidiasis. Candida yeast grow and thrive in warm, damp environments. Conditions that allow Candida to grow and thrive include:
Belly button yeast infections are more common in some groups of people. This includes people who:
Belly button yeast infections are also more common in people with weakened immune systems. People with conditions such as HIV/AIDs or diabetes have a great chance of developing a yeast infection.
Belly button yeast infections aren’t usually contagious. People with weakened immune systems should be more cautious around people with yeast infections. They do have a greater risk of catching an infection.
Your healthcare provider may perform a physical examination. They may be able to tell you have a yeast infection by looking at the skin of your navel area. A bright red rash is a common sign of a belly button yeast infection.
Your healthcare provider may want to test a sample of the infected area. They’ll use a tongue depressor or scalpel to lightly scrape some of the skin from your navel area. A lab technician will examine the sample under a microscope. Or they may place the sample in a culture. A culture is a substance that allows the sample to grow so the fungus can be identified.
If you do have a yeast infection, your healthcare provider may recommend testing for diabetes. High blood sugar levels in people with diabetes are used as food for yeast and help it grow.
Treatment for your belly button yeast infection may include an antifungal medication. Your healthcare provider may recommend an antifungal cream, ointment or powder. You’ll apply the antifungal directly onto the skin of your belly button. You can find many antifungal creams over the counter. Your healthcare provider may offer a prescription antifungal medicine if necessary.
You’ll need to keep your navel area clean and dry as part of your treatment. Keeping the area clean and dry can also help prevent yeast infections from returning. Exposing your belly button to air may help as well.
In certain cases, your healthcare provider may suggest an antifungal medication taken by mouth. Medications such as fluconazole are taken orally.
You may be able to prevent belly button yeast infections by keeping your navel area clean and dry. Losing weight may help prevent the overgrowth of yeast in your navel region. If you have diabetes, be sure to maintain proper blood sugar control.
Belly button yeast infections often get better on their own when you keep your navel area clean and dry. Healthy people can usually treat belly button yeast infections with an antifungal medication.
Your belly button yeast infection should start to clear up within two weeks of starting an antifungal treatment.
Belly button yeast infections frequently return, especially if your navel area isn’t kept healthy and dry. Yeast infections are more likely to return in people with weakened immune systems.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
A belly button yeast infection can be itchy and unpleasant. But it’s easily treatable. You can prevent belly button yeast infections by keeping your navel area clean and dry. If you have symptoms of a belly button yeast infection, call your healthcare provider. They’ll be able to correctly diagnose your condition. They may recommend an antifungal treatment so you’ll be feeling better soon.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 04/29/2022.
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