Springdale Mason Pediatrics

Umbilical Granuloma

Definition

  • A small red growth found in the navel after the cord falls off
  • The navel is also called the belly button or umbilicus

Call or Return If

  • Develops a red streak or redness that spreads off the belly button
  • Fever occurs
  • Cloudy discharge occurs
  • You think your child needs to be seen
  • Your baby starts to look or act abnormal

About This Topic

Symptoms

  • Small round growth in center of navel after the cord falls off.
  • It's red and can be on a stalk. Covered with clear mucus.
  • Not dry like normal skin.
  • If the navel heals slowly, this is usually the cause.

Cause

  • A low grade infection of the navel
  • Occurs in 1 out of 500 newborns

After Care Advice

Overview:
  • After the cord has fallen off, the navel will gradually heal.
  • It's normal for the center to look red at the point of separation. After a week, the navel will be covered by skin cells. The redness should go away.
  • It's abnormal if the center red area starts to grow like a berry.
  • That's called a granuloma and it needs treatment.
  • The treatment is easy and can be done in your doctor's office.
  • Here is some care advice that should help.
Silver Nitrate Treatment of Granuloma:
  • Granulomas need to be treated by putting on a chemical called silver nitrate.
  • This can be done in your doctor's office.
  • This chemical should turn the pink tissue to gray or black. This will dry up and shrink the granuloma.
  • Any chemical stains of the surrounding skin will eventually heal over.
  • Leave it exposed to the air. Do not cover it.
  • Do not apply any alcohol. Reason: It may remove the silver nitrate.
  • Clean off any discharge with a wet cotton swab.
Normal Navel Care:
  • Keep the navel (belly button) clean and dry.
  • Clean the area once per day with warm water and a clean cloth.
  • Remove any dried or sticky secretions. It's normal for the navel to ooze some secretions.
  • Do this gently to prevent any bleeding.
  • Caution: Don't use any rubbing alcohol. Reason: can interfere with healing.
Bathing:
  • After the cord falls off, continue sponge baths for a few more days.
  • Help the belly button area dry up.
  • Then, tub baths will be fine.
Diapers:
  • Keep the navel dry to help healing.
  • To provide air contact, keep the diaper folded down below the navel.
What to Expect:
  • With treatment, the granuloma usually will shrink and go away within 1 week.
  • Repeat treatment may be needed if the granuloma continues to grow.

Author: Barton Schmitt MD, FAAP
Copyright 2000-2020 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC
Disclaimer: This health information is for educational purposes only. You the reader assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
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