Strange fluid from my navel
May 12, 2005 12:39 PM   Subscribe

My wife and I were hit by a car a few weeks ago, and we both seem to be recovering nicely. However, today at work, I was scratching my navel, and it was moist. There was some whitish, mildly stinky fluid on the end of my finger. Any ideas? It sounds like some sort of infection, but I wanted a 2nd opinion...
posted by jackofsaxons to Health & Fitness (26 answers total)
See a doctor.
posted by terrapin at 12:46 PM on May 12, 2005

posted by Specklet at 12:50 PM on May 12, 2005

WTF? Go see a doctor.
posted by mkultra at 12:51 PM on May 12, 2005

Come on. We heard about your accident before, and have our sympathy. But this has got nothing to do with that, does it? Sounds like you need to wash a little better.
posted by beagle at 12:52 PM on May 12, 2005

Response by poster: I guess all of you missed this part of Ask.Mefi

Ask MetaFilter is as useful as you make it. Please limit comments
to answers or help in finding an answer. Wisecracks don't help people find answers. Thanks.

I wasn't asking whether or not I should go to a doctor. I wasn't fishing for sympathy, Beagle.. I thought it might be related.
posted by jackofsaxons at 12:54 PM on May 12, 2005

jackofsaxons, not sure why anyone is jumping on you, but at the same time, you're getting basically free medicare because that guys' insurance is paying for it. You have ZERO lose by getting a doctor to check it out, and that guys' insurance is as totally ruined as it will ever be, so another $50 from his insurance company won't mean jack to him now. :-)

Why not just ask a doctor?

(if it were an infection, though, from my experience squeezing the area would make more pus run out...)
posted by shepd at 1:01 PM on May 12, 2005

jackie, was the fluid emanating from your finger or your navel?
posted by ajbattrick at 1:02 PM on May 12, 2005

it "sounds like"? You mean it seems like?

Anyway, if it is an infection, then you'll need to get a perscription for penicilin, so you'll need to see a doctor anyway.
posted by delmoi at 1:03 PM on May 12, 2005

If you have an innie, stuff can grow down there on its own, with no participation from you, and be very gross. The solution is to clean it out, even with tweezers.
posted by smackfu at 1:04 PM on May 12, 2005

Yeah, that's infected. Clean it and give the infected area some protection and Go To A Doctor.
posted by Jon-o at 1:05 PM on May 12, 2005

I wasn't asking whether or not I should go to a doctor.

As far as I can see, you were asking broadly for opinions about this new development. Some have the opinion that you should go see a doctor. Another has the opinion that it sounds like nothing (and in fact, the idea that the kind of injuries you mentioned before would have complications manifesting in secretions from the navel seems quite unlikely to me, as well). What is wrong with any of this?
posted by redfoxtail at 1:05 PM on May 12, 2005

Response by poster: Shepd: Well, I plan on going to see a doctor, I guess I just didn't phrase my question as well as I should of. I was curious if my assumption of it being an infection was right. As a side note (not to bring anymore focus on the accident, even though I only mentioned as a possible cause) the guy had no insurance.

Anyways, I think people need chill on the Meta-asshole-ism.
posted by jackofsaxons at 1:06 PM on May 12, 2005

I apologize, but as redfoxtail stated, you seemed to be asking for opinions in general. I think you are overreacting.

Your question needed to be more clear. You should have stated that you intended to go to the doctor, and you should have specified whether or not you had any injuries that could possibly develop into a bellybutton infection.
posted by Specklet at 1:21 PM on May 12, 2005

What I would do:

(1) Wash the area really well with hot water and soap.

(2) Pour Hydrogen Peroxide into the area. Or rubbing alcohol.

(3) Put on a clean t-shirt.

Repeat for 1-2 more days. If symptoms keep going or seem to get worse: doctor time.
posted by Mid at 1:31 PM on May 12, 2005

Err, either I've had an infection of the navel for my entire life, or many of you people are over reacting. I get that, especially if I've been sweating for whatever reason, it's just skanky water and sweat that pools in there. Just dry carefully after you shower and see if you still have it tomorrow.
posted by jacquilynne at 1:35 PM on May 12, 2005

My brother (who is a doctor) had a childhood friend whose mother was ompholophobic to the point that she eventually had her belly-button surgically removed. I realize that this is only tangentially related to the question at hand, but it does involve doctors and belly-buttons and so I thought it might provide a good break from the discussion as its currently taking place.
posted by alms at 1:36 PM on May 12, 2005

That happens when I go on campouts and don't get to scrub or wash for a couple of days. It sounds to me like the inside of your navel wasn't very washed and bacteria started doing their thing. I suspect it's nothing to worry about.

I really doubt it's related to the accident. Did you get a laceration or something on your abdomen? Soft tissue damage won't cause that.
posted by sourwookie at 1:42 PM on May 12, 2005

Response by poster: I take a liberal amount of showers... probably twice a day. I'm a clean freak so I don't think it's a cleanliness issue.

It seems to have shifted from the milky colored fluid to mostly blood now, w hich I would think is a good think. Blood + Air = Clotting. I've got a doctor's appointment scheduled so I'll let them figure it out.

Sorry if I wasn't very clear in my initial post. Finding strange fluids leaking from wierd places on your body is most unsettling. Especially after an accident.
posted by jackofsaxons at 1:58 PM on May 12, 2005

I had no idea that anything could go wrong with one's navel other than linty-buildup. However, apparently one can suffer from this man's problem, a mailman who "while he was on his postal route, his navel was “popping out.” The location of the incident was given as “on route.” The time of the incident was not noted. " Yikes.

In other news, Google claims navel infections are common among goats.
posted by CaptApollo at 3:03 PM on May 12, 2005

Does it become crusty/flaky if you stop touching it?
I had a similar affliction, and still do.

I long figured it was part of having psoriasis. I went to a doctor who gave me a steroid cream and it cleared up for the better part of a year and a half. It is back now and I have to go see the doctor again to get my prescription refilled.

Psoriasis is a funny beast, you never know where it could crop up.
posted by thefinned1 at 3:32 PM on May 12, 2005


Hey, cool! Now I've got a new word to use to describe my wife! She hates anything even coming close to touching her belly button. This entire thread would make her shut her eyes and shudder in horror. Especially the tweezers.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:59 PM on May 12, 2005

What mid said.
posted by kimota at 5:30 PM on May 12, 2005

Well, the switch to blood certainly concerns me. Glad you're seeing a doctor.
posted by jacquilynne at 5:38 PM on May 12, 2005

is the blood because you were picking/poking/etc? i'd keep it spotless (but be gentle) and put neosporin--and go to a doc. : >
posted by amberglow at 8:36 PM on May 12, 2005

Response by poster: No, it just sort of stopped oozing the white stuff and switched to blood. I left it alone with the exception of cleaning it out (which I was gentle with)

Strangely enough it stopped doing this all together. But I'm still going to see a doctor.
posted by jackofsaxons at 7:32 AM on May 13, 2005

It's just a mild bacteria infection most likely. Cause is usually from not drying the belly button well enough. You need a round of antibiotics from the doctor. To prevent in future, thoroughly dry the belly button after showers - really stick the towel in with a finger to absorb all the water. And going from the milky bit to blood is normal if it's the bacterial infection.

I'd love to say this is all advice from me as a doctor, but alas, I'm not one.
posted by cyniczny at 6:53 PM on May 13, 2005

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