What does your belly button say about your health? Here’s everything you need to know about your naval

You probably don’t think about your belly button much. Those weird little hollows aren’t exactly parts of our bodies we concern ourselves with much, but when you think about it, how much do you really know about your belly button?

Do you have an innie or an outie? Does it collect belly button fluff or lint? Maybe you’ve got a peculiar lump or bump, or perhaps you’re looking to insert essential oils into your navel to alleviate health concerns (no, really). Our belly buttons are actually a pretty big health factor – so, let’s dive in. Well, not into your belly button. You know what we mean.

What does your belly button say about your health? 

Your belly button is just a scar

Our belly buttons are actually just scars. As soon as we are born, our umbilical cords get clamped and cut off. The remaining skin then shrivels up, turns black, dries up, and falls off – leaving your very first scar.

Dr Giuseppe Aragona, GP and Online Doctor for Prescription Doctor explains: “Your belly button, or navel as its otherwise known, is essentially the areas for which your umbilical cord was attached. The umbilical cord was the tube which carried nutrient’s from your mother to you.”

Most of us have innies 

Most of us have innies – which basically means that our belly buttons point inwards. Some people though, have outies – where their belly buttons protrude inwards. Approximately 10% of the population have outies, making them about as common as those who are left-handed.

Dr Aragona says, “Every belly button is different, with different shapes, sizes and skin creases. The shape and dent of your navel essentially determines how the umbilical cord heals. Belly buttons don’t necessarily mean anything in particular about your health, however some people would argue that your belly button says a lot about you as a person.”

It’s teeming with bacteria

Belly buttons are low-key gross. Belly button fluff is a real thing, and guess what? It’s packed full of bacteria. This is because our navels have folds of skin and quite a few crevices (especially if you’ve got an innie). The folds and creases provide a nice warm, moist place for bacteria to grow. 

Most of the time the bacteria remains at a low level, but sometimes it can become dense, which in turn causes an unpleasant smell.

This is why it’s important to keep your navel clean and dry. Always be sure to wash it properly when bathing or showering, and don’t forget to dry it properly so that it doesn’t stay moist (e.g. the ideal environment for bacteria to grow).

It’s actually an endogenous zone

Our belly buttons are packed full of nerve endings, which means this area might be ticklish or sensitive. A lot of people like making their belly buttons a focal point when getting intimate with their partner. After all they can be licked, dripped on, sucked on, and sipped on – providing pleasure for both parties, especially if somebody has a kink.