Belly button

Innie or Outie?

Belly buttonHave you ever really thought much about that weird indention or protrusion on your abdomen thats called a belly button?

Your navel is a scar from where your umbilical cord was attached when you were born. If you have an infection, it can cause more tissue to grow on top of the wound and create an outie. If you were born with a tiny hole in your stomach muscles and part of your intestine poked through, you might also have an outie. This is called an umbilical hernia.

Some people are born with umbilical hernias and birth defects that can leave belly openings that require repair. A surgeon, using stitches that will sometimes flatten or stretch the navel, can close these openings. This can make it almost disappear, making it look like there is no belly button at all.

Believe it or not, some people do actually spend time studying their belly buttons. Most of us prefer that little one that’s a small indent, and not one that sticks out as an outie. This outie can also be resized and reshaped by a surgeon. An umbilicoplasty is popular after a woman has had a pregnancy or tummy tuck. But absolutely NO—the old wives’ tale won’t work of taping a coin over it and pushing it back in! Or, at least I have never heard of it working. If only!

The very center of your gravity is the navel and its position affects your speed. It’s hard to believe, but if your belly button is higher, you can run faster sprints. The lower it is, the faster you can swim laps. Doesn’t that sound strange! Wonder where Superman’s belly button was located?

Were you aware that it takes up to a year for that belly button piercing to heal? If you compare it with ear lobes, they only take 6 to 8 weeks. Piercings can get infected, so remember that before you decide to add that little “charm” to your midsection. Dark and damp places are where bacteria hide, and your new piercing needs air to heal. Another thing that can bother this sensitive skin is the touch of your clothing. Get out that crop top if you’re planning a belly button piercing. Good excuse for wearing the crop top, right?

Im sure you’re not gonna want to hear this next sentence. The belly button is a gunk trap and the dirtiest part of your body. Thanks to the dead skin, lint, dirt, dried sweat, soap and all those lotions that get stuck in there. Bacteria love this particular spot. There was a Belly Button Biodiversity project that found many species of bacteria that had never been seen before. Even though this is gross, a scientist actually made cheese from a mix of belly-button bacteria and yeast. YUK!!

Taking your daily shower should take care of any bacteria and dirt in your belly button. Sometimes there is a little dirt or a bad smell from your “innie” or “outie” and can be cleaned with a cotton swab and a little rubbing alcohol.

If you have a top-load washer, they are rougher on clothes and will loosen up the fibers more than a front-loader. The result is more fluff and more lint for that belly button. New shirts have more fuzz than those that have been washed and used, so don’t ditch that umpteen-year-old concert T-shirt that takes you back to your teen days. That one shirt won’t add fuzz and lint to your belly button after all.
Dr Fredda Branyon

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