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How to clean your belly button

Readers Lounge By Esther Muchene
A dirty belly button could actually lead to yeast infections so it’s important to learn how to keep that at bay (Shutterstock)

Belly buttons don’t usually get the love they deserve as far as cleaning is concerned. The most they get is a quick rinse and that’s it.

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Generally, they’re one of those forgotten areas that people barely think about when it comes to hygiene.

But did you know that there are over 50 strains of bacteria that can live in the belly button? On top of that, there could be hairs, oil build up, dead skin and sweat all mixed up in there. That’s quite disturbing to think about especially if you know you haven’t given it a thorough cleaning in a while.

Basically, there are two main types of bellybuttons. There are innies, that cave in and there are outies that protrude outwards, each with a slightly different cleaning process.

A dirty belly button could actually lead to yeast infections so it’s important to learn how to keep that at bay through simple steps.

Use these tips for a germ free belly button the next time you hit the shower

Outies that protrude outwards (Shutterstock)

The outie belly button:

  • The most common cleaning process recommended is by using soap and water. This is the best way to clean up if you have the outie belly button.
  • Use a soft washcloth or sponge that you’ll use to clean it. Your belly button is a sensitive area and a rough washcloth could irritate the skin easily.
  • Wet the area with some warm water. Warm water is best because it’s gentle on that area so you won’t have to nurse burns from hot water.
  • Lather with soap. The best soap to use is one that’s mild.
  • Scrub gently. Always remember to be gentle as you clean your belly button. It’s not too difficult to get the dirt out so a gentle scrub will do. Outies can also have some folds so you can use a cotton swab to clean those areas out.
  • Rinse well. Ensure that you rinse all the soap out before drying.
  • Lastly, pat dry the area well.
  • As a final step, you should moisturize that area to prevent your skin from dying out. The skin on your navel also needs some extra care because it can get ashy.
The innies cave in (Shutterstick)

The innie belly button:

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  • For an innie belly button, you’ll need an earbud, some soap and water. The earbud is important because it’s soft and it’s able to get into all the folds.
  • Wet the earbuds with water and soap. Use a mild soap for this process as well. Others like to use alcohol but it can often dry or irritate the skin.
  • Use the swab to gently clean your navel.
  • Get a new swab to dry the area gently.
  • For an innie, you need to avoid moisturizing with lotion because it can attract bacteria.
  • If you have piercings, the best way to clean that is by using water and salt solution. Boil some water and let it cool down first. Pour in about a quarter tea spoon of salt and mix well .This amount should be used for roughly 125ml of cooled water. Get a swab or cotton ball and dip it in the mixture. Gently clean the piercing and let the area dry.
  • If you spot any unusual signs around your belly button, it’s a sign that you need to go see a doctor.
  • Some signs of infections are a smell that’s persistent even after cleaning your navel, puss, pain, redness and swelling. If you also notice your piercing is infected you need to get that treated right away.

It is recommended that you should clean your navel at least once a week to keep those yeast infections and other problems away.

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