WHAT IS UMBILICAL GRANULOMA?
An umbilical granuloma, a small moist reddish lump/ball of tissue, becoming apparent following the separation of the umbilical cord. Normally the stump of umbilical cord gets dried off and falls within 15 days of birth without any complications. Sometimes instead of completely drying, the cord will form a granuloma (a small reddened mass of scar tissue) that stays on the belly button after the umbilical cord has fallen off.
Sometimes the umbilical granuloma can get infected and thus cause sepsis.
SYMPTOMS AND CAUSES
Usually it does not produce any symptoms like pain or any discomfort. However you may notice some:
- presence of sticky mucus
- mild irritation of the skin around the navel
If it becomes infected, symptoms of infection may include:
- pain or discomfort when the navel or surrounding tissue is touched
- increased swelling
- warmth or redness in the area
- red/blue streaks leading from the navel
- Thick pus draining from granuloma
The exact cause behind its formation is not known. However, these granulomas may be more likely to develop if it takes longer than 2 weeks for the umbilical cord to fall off.
Some adults develop umbilical granuloma after navel piercings.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
Physical examination by a physician or pediatrician is required to make a diagnosis.
If the granuloma does not go away over time on its own, the following options are available conventionally:
- Silver nitrate treatment: to cauterise the area but this method involves the risk of chemical burns to the surrounding healthy skin.
- Liquid nitrogen treatment
- Surgical thread
- Surgical removal
Salt therapy has shown really good results in many cases. Small amount of salt can be directly applied on the granuloma and kept in place using a piece of bandage over navel. After about half an hour, clean the area with a clean cloth or wipe soaked in warm water. Repeat this step twice a day for two or three days.If the granuloma starts shrinking, continue it until it disappears and the navel starts to heal.
Some other general instructions include:
- Changing diapers frequently.
- Keeping the diaper area clean and free of moisture will promote healing and help to prevent infection.
- Positioning the diaper below the belly button- roll the top of the diaper down at the front, so that it sits under the navel. This will help to keep the area clean.
- Giving the baby sponge baths, rather than soaks in the tub. This will keep the granuloma dry and help it fall off faster.
Some of the most common homoeopathic medicines that can be used for treatment of umbilical granuloma are chamomilla, aesculus, nux vomica, silicea, calc carb, lycopodium, tabacum etc. But it is to be noted that above mentioned medicines should only be used under the guidance of a homeopathic practioner only.
DO’S AND DON’TS
- Changing diapers frequently
- Keeping the navel dry and clean
- Keep an eye on signs of infection
- Give the baby sponge bath
- Avoid getting anxious
- Avoid applying anything around navel without your doctor’s advice