I have an outie belly button. Is it a hernia?
Your belly button, or umbilicus, is where the umbilical cord connects the fetus to the mother in the womb. In the majority of people, this area heals after birth to form an innie belly button. In some infants, this area doesn’t close leading to a belly button or umbilical hernia which is essentially a hole in the deeper tissue under the skin. In most babies, this area eventually closes but not always and often will have to be repaired if it doesn’t spontaneously close by 5 years of age.
Most people have an innie belly button, some have a flat belly button, while the remainder have an outie belly button. Although it may just be how the belly button healed, and outie may also represent an underlying small umbilical or belly button hernia. This bulge may be a small piece of fat or issue pushing through the small hole where the umbilical cord used to travel through. Although innies are more common, an outie, even if associated with an underlying hernia, is not dangerous.
If your outie is bothersome, either visually, or occasionally causes discomfort, seek out a hernia surgeon who can determine whether you indeed have a hernia and if so, if it should be fixed. If you think you have a hernia, make sure you go see your doctor.
Is an outie belly button better than and innie?
This is a great question that has been debated through out the ages. One great benefit of the outie is that you don’t need to deal with belly button lint because there is not any space for the lint to collect. This could also be considered a negative for those that like to collect belly button lint.
An argument for the innie is if you were stranded on a deserted island and needed to collect small amounts of water you could lay down in the rain and let the water collect in your innie belly button. This may not be possible with an outie and you may die from dehydration on the deserted island.
Please share your arguments for the outie and for the innie. Sign up for our email newsletter over on the left side of the screen. Share your hernia story or ask us a hernia question.
Here are some pictures of Umbilical Hernias