I’m a doctor and here’s the grim truth about not washing your belly button properly

BELLY buttons are strange things and whether you've got a deep hole or an outie, it's important to keep it clean.

The clothes we wear and the sort of lifestyle we have can all mean that sweat and dirt gathers in our belly button.

If you develop white, brown or yellow discharge seeping out of your belly button then you might have an infection.

But if you constantly skip your belly button when you're in the shower, you could end up with belly button jewels.

Posting to TikTok, Dr Karan Rajan explained that your body can make it's own natural jewellery.

He was responding to a user, who said her partner had recently confessed that he had never cleaned his belly button.

The woman explained that she had decided to clean his belly button, as he said it had been hurting.

She explained how she kept 'digging and digging and finding more gunk', until she actually found something and pulled it out.

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Dr Rajan said that this is known as a belly button stone.

He explained: "All flesh holes can build up with sweat, dead skin cells, oils, clothing fabric, bacteria and forbidden cheese.

"If not washed out on a regular basis, this material can accumulate and harden into an omphalolith – a belly button stone.

"Belly button stones come in a wide array of colours, it's usually black but can be a light brown."

Most people won't know that they have a naval stone and might only realise if a scratch or infection draws attention to the area.

They are most likely to form in people who have poor hygiene, a very deep belly button, are overweight and those who have a lot of hair in the area.


Experts previously found that thousands of bacteria lives in your belly button.

A study that looked into the contents of 60 belly buttons found 2,368 species of bacteria in total.

Some of the bacterial species were even thought to be brand new to science.

The cleaner navels had around 29 species but others had as many as 107.

The most common amount of bacteria types to have was around 67.

One of the volunteers was found to host a bacterium that had previously only been found in soil in Japan.

What makes that even more unusual is that he had never been to the country.

Another volunteer apparently hadn't washed for several years and harboured bacteria in his navel that typically lives in extreme conditions like on ice caps.

The study was conducted as part of the Belly Button Biodiversity project.

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