Yeast infection in the belly button can affect people of any age. Newborns can develop infection by exposure to his mother's vaginal yeast infection during birth. Conditions that often affect children and adolescents, including thrush or athletes foot, can spread to the belly button. Diabetes and excess abdominal fat can increase risk of belly button yeast infections in adults. See your doctor for an accurate diagnosis if you experience these symptoms.
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A yeast infection in the belly button will itch as the yeast erodes the healthy skin surface, causing an increase in blood flow to the area. This itch may be sudden and intense, and can often be relieved by cleaning the belly button with soap and water and applying an itch blocking ointment to the site. Anti-itch creme or ointment will not cure the yeast infection, but will decrease symptoms. Scratching the site will allow the yeast to enter into the skin, making the infection much more difficult to treat.
Redness occurs anytime the top skin layer is damaged. Redness will fade as the infection clears, serving as a good indicator that treatment has been effective. Yeast infection in the belly button skin folds requires topical treatment which starts with gentle cleaning of the site with a mild soap and water. The belly button should be dried and covered with one of the medications sold over the counter as a treatment for either vaginal yeast infections or athlete's foot. This process should be repeated as often as recommended on the label of the medication.
Odor may develop from an infection in your belly button when a secondary bacterial infection occurs or the skin breaks down from the invasion of the yeast infection, emitting fluid. If the site has been treated with an over the counter antifungal creme for a few days and the odor persists, see your doctor.
Pain, fever, nausea and vomiting or red streaks that start at your belly button and move outward are all signs of a secondary bacterial infection. These require immediate medical attention. Diabetes and human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, are both associated with an increased risk of yeast infections of the skin.