The belly button or ‘umbilicus’ is a scar on the anterior abdominal wall. It is a fibrous ring at the attachment of the umbilical cord, an opening through which several structures pass during fetal life. These include some blood vessels and ducts, which normally close quite early in life.
Very occasionally, the vitellointestinal duct or urachus remain patent leading to umbilical fistulae. Sometimes these fistulae communicate with internal organs and drain their secretions to the umbilical surface.
Infection of the Umbilicus
Much more common are the localized umbilical infections that can be a source of umbilical drainage. Yeast infection is the most common umbilical infection. Keep umbilicus clean and dry with rubbing alcohol and powder; antibiotics may be required. Antifungal creams (such as clotrimazole) for yeast may be helpful.
If these measures don’t help, see a doctor for thorough physical examination to rule out other causes of umbilical discharge such as umbilical sinus, fistula or tumor.