Although bleeding is the body’s natural way of fighting infection, it may sometimes cause a concern, especially when occurring in some body parts that are not easy to observe, such as the navel. The organs attached to the belly button are the abdominal wall muscles and the small intestine, so that pain concerning this area may tell something about these organs’ condition, although it may also be an ordinary external skin infection that is not harmful when taken care immediately. However, the occurrence of blood may bring the concern into a next level, especially when the condition is accompanied by the other kind of discharge, such as pus, and foul odor.
How harmful is belly button bleeding?
The cause of belly button bleeding can give you a clue of how bad the bleeding can be.
- A light bleeding in newborns will certainly be a concern for the parents, although the condition is mostly harmless. When you were a fetus, an umbilical cord is attached to your abdominal wall, and it leaves a scar—your belly button, when clipped off. Hence, bleeding occurring in newborns that is not followed by fever and lasts for less than 10 days of his early life should not indicate any health problems concerning the other organs.
- A light bleeding and/or dried blood occurring after surgeries is commonly caused by buried stitch of the procedure. This is categorized as a normal part of healing when lasts not more than two weeks after the surgery performed, and is not accompanied by elevating pain, worse inflammation, and chill or fever.
- Bleeding around the navel occurring after piercing should last only on the first day after the procedure. If it lasts longer, accompanied by pain, and turns into whitish discharge with foul odor, you might need to anticipate an infection that can be worse and harmful when left untreated. It is important to note that piercing on the navel area is an open wound and thus, will probably cause re-bleeding when disturbed or infected. Thus, it is best to pay attention and care for a pierced belly button for 3 to 6 months after the piercing, making sure the site is fully healed.
When to see a doctor?
Most light bleeding occurring around the umbilical area that does not trigger other bad symptoms, such as nausea, throbbing pain, chills, or fever should be able to take care at home. However, others causing these bad symptoms or involving pus-like discharge and sharp foul odor should be taken into account, as it may be involved in some other health problems and may worsen. Some symptoms to be concerned include:
- Leaking blood coming frequently out of the navel. Some people experience leaking blood and pus that does not cause any pain, but emerges very foul odor. These discharge keep coming and have to be cleaned every few hours. Collapsed umbilical cord can be the main cause, and this may affect the other inner organs, such as the intestine and may trigger infection. See a doctor immediately when experiencing continuous bleeding that won’t stop and accompanied by other discharge and odor.
- Bleeding on a pierced area of the navel, which causes inflammation and pain should be taken care of. It may be an infection if fever, nausea, or chill also occur. Most navel piercings are infected from poor hygiene practices performed after the procedure and this needs to be treated immediately. Prescribed oral antibiotics can be taken for badly-infected navel piercing, especially when blood is badly leaking.
- Bleeding in newborns’ umbilical area that lasts longer than 10 early days. See a pediatrician if bleeding or dried blood is spotted after 10 days and causes high temperature and pain, as it may be a sign of an infected site that needs to be treated immediately, especially in infants.