Infected umbilical cord or belly button
How to identify an umbilical cord infection
- red, swollen, warm, or tender skin around the cord.
- pus (a yellow-greenish liquid) oozing from the skin around the cord.
- a bad smell coming from the cord.
- a fussy, uncomfortable, or very sleepy baby.
To treat an infection
Keep the skin of your belly button clean and dry. Use an antifungal powder or cream to clear up a yeast infection. For a bacterial infection, your doctor might recommend using an antibiotic ointment. Some infections may require oral antibiotic treatment, incision and drainage of the cyst, or both.
The main cause of omphalitis is exposure to any bacteria during delivery, when the umbilical cord is cut after birth or a few days later at home.
Taking care of the stump
- Keep the stump dry. Parents were once instructed to swab the stump with rubbing alcohol after every diaper change. …
- Stick with sponge baths. While there’s no harm in getting the stump wet, sponge baths might make it easier to keep the stump dry.
- Let the stump fall off on its own.
Infections in newborns remain a leading cause of death worldwide, and doctors believe umbilical cord infections (UCIs) are a major factor in this. However, in developed nations, serious complications from UCIs are rare, as long as the baby receives prompt medical treatment.
When to see a doctor
Also, a doctor needs to examine a newborn’s belly button if there are any signs of infection, including: pus or cloudy, foul-smelling drainage from the belly button area. red, warm skin surrounding the umbilical cord stump area. a fever of over 100.4°F.
If your belly button is “leaking” clear or colored discharge or blood, you may have a bacterial, fungal, or yeast infection. Crusty skin, strong odor, itching, and redness are also signs of infection. If discharge and crust stick around after you wash your belly button, you should see your doctor.
It can cause a yeast infection known as candidiasis. Along with a white discharge, candidiasis can cover your navel with an itchy, red rash. Treatment: Use an antifungal cream such as miconazole nitrate (Micatin, Monistat-Derm) or clotrimazole (Lotrimin, Mycelex), and keep your navel clean and dry.
If the cord smells bad or seems infected, you can smear a little antibiotic ointment (such as Neosporin®) around and on the base of the cord. You can clean the cord as often as needed, perhaps 3 or 4 times a day.
Is discharge from umbilical cord normal?
You might notice a yellow, sticky fluid that oozes out. This is normal. It sometimes happens when the cord comes off. It’s not pus, and it’s not an infection.
What is umbilical infection?
Omphalitis is an infection of the umbilical stump. It typically presents as a superficial cellulitis that can spread to involve the entire abdominal wall and may progress to necrotizing fasciitis, myonecrosis, or systemic disease.
Use clean cotton clothing on your newborn and their healing belly button. It’s ok to pull light clothing over the stump, but avoid anything too tight, or fabrics that don’t breathe well.
Keep The Area Clean
Pediatricians used to recommend cleaning the base of the cord with rubbing alcohol. However, most now recommend leaving the stump completely alone because alcohol is believed to irritate the skin and sometimes delays healing.
It appears as a small pink or red lump and may be covered in a clear or yellow discharge. It doesn’t usually bother the baby, but it can occasionally become infected and cause symptoms such as skin irritation and fever. It will often go away on its own within a week or two.