What Are Umbilical Blisters?

Pregnant women may suffer from umbilical blisters.
Navel piercings can cause umbilical blisters.
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  • Written By: Adrien-Luc Sanders
  • Edited By: Michelle Arevalo
  • Last Modified Date: 29 September 2014
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Umbilical blisters are blisters that occur on or around the umbilicus, commonly known as the navel or belly button. In newborns, they can also occur in the area of the umbilical cord stump. Blisters at the umbilical site may be a sign of irritation, infection, or disease, depending on the symptoms and the age of the sufferer. Both children and adults can suffer umbilical blisters for a number of reasons.

In newborn infants, blisters filled with either blood or pus can be an indication of infection in the umbilical stump or the navel itself. Generally, these infections require medical attention within 24 hours, especially if other problems with the umbilical stump — such as early or late separation, excessive bleeding, and pus leakage — are present. Cleansing with rubbing alcohol may help alleviate the blisters until the infant can receive proper medical care.

In older children and adults, umbilical blisters can be a sign of various skin conditions and may be part of a skin reaction that covers a larger area. Conditions such as eczema, contact-based allergic reactions, and yeast infections can cause blisters on the belly button, often accompanied by a rash. Something as simple as friction against the belly button from rubbing fabric can also create fluid-filled blisters. Treatment for these may vary depending on the cause, and should be verified by a medical professional.

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Pregnant women may suffer from blisters at the umbilical site if they are infected with herpes gestationis, also known as gestational pemphigoid. This rare disease, while not actually a form of herpes, causes umbilical blisters along with lesions on the arms, legs, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. At times blisters can affect other areas of the body as well. The condition typically appears in the fourth and fifth month of pregnancy or after birth, and can be treated with orally-administered corticosteroids. The disease can also be passed to the infant. Affected infants usually recover a few weeks after birth.

Navel piercings can also cause umbilical blisters. The pierced skin may swell, bleed, and form blisters filled with blood, pus, or fluid if the piercing irritates the skin with friction, or if the piercing site becomes infected. Most guides on piercing care advise leaving the piercing in until the infection has drained, and treating the site with peroxide and topical antibiotics. Should the flesh become necrotic or the infection persist for more than a few days, it may be necessary to remove the piercing and consult a medical professional to prevent long-term or even fatal effects.

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Discuss this Article

bear78
Post 3

@ysmina-- I'm not sure but I'm guessing it's from friction that happened during exercise. Were you wearing really tight clothing? You might want to wear loose clothing for a while and just keep the area clean. Don't pop it. Hopefully it will go away soon. And if you want to prevent more blisters, try to keep yourself dry while exercising. I usually keep a small towel with me and wipe my sweat at the gym.

If it doesn't go away or if more show up, you should probably see a doctor in case it's caused by a bacteria or a virus.

The only time I got a blister around my belly button was in the summer and an insect bit me while I was outside. I had a minor allergic reaction to it and got a blister there. It went away after applying some corticosteroid cream though.

ysmina
Post 2

After coming home from the gym today, I saw that I have a couple of blisters around my navel. They are filled with a clear fluid. I didn't have them this morning before going to the gym. They're not painful or anything. I just don't understand how they showed up all of the sudden. I'm hoping it's nothing serious.

Sometimes I get lip blisters when I'm sick and have a fever. But those are different and I'm not sick right now. I didn't get blisters anywhere else either.

Has anyone gotten blisters like this before for no apparent reason?

SteamLouis
Post 1

I had an umbilical blister once because of a belly button piercing. I regretted the piercing so badly after that.

I not only had a blister form there, but my piercing was constantly leaking pus. It was infected. My doctor had to put me on oral antibiotics and also told me to use an antibiotic ointment on it. I ended up removing the piercing because I just wanted it to heal and for the blister to go away. It hurt a lot, especially when I moved, coughed or when my clothing rubbed on it.

It took a little over a weak for the infection to heal and for the blister to go away. I heard later that an infection at the belly button can be very dangerous and can spread to other organs. I think I was lucky that I got it under control early on. I haven't gotten any other piercings after that.

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