Umbilical Granuloma

ExitCare ImageNormally when the umbilical cord falls off, the area heals and becomes covered with skin. However, sometimes an umbilical granuloma forms. It is a small red mass of scar tissue that forms in the belly button after the umbilical cord falls off.


Formation of an umbilical granuloma may be related to a delay in the time it takes for the umbilical cord to fall off. It may be due to a slight infection in the belly button area. The exact causes are not clear.


Your baby may have a pink or red stalk of tissue in the belly button area. This does not hurt. There may be small amounts of bleeding or oozing. There may be a small amount of redness at the rim of the belly button.


Umbilical granuloma can be diagnosed based on a physical exam by your baby's caregiver.


There are several ways to remove an umbilical granuloma:

  • A chemical (silver nitrate) put on the granuloma

  • A special cold liquid (liquid nitrogen) to freeze the granuloma.

  • The granuloma can be tied tight at the base with surgical thread.

The granuloma has no nerves in it. These treatments do not hurt. Sometimes the treatment needs to be done more than once.


  • Change your baby's diapers frequently. This prevents the area from getting moist for a long period of time.

  • Keep the edge of your baby's diaper below the belly button.

  • If recommended by your caregiver, apply an antibiotic cream or ointment after one of the previously mentioned treatments to remove the granuloma had been performed.


  • A lump forms between your baby's belly button and genitals.

  • Cloudy yellow fluid drains from your baby's belly button area.


  • Your baby is 3 months old or younger with a rectal temperature of 100.4° F (38° C) or higher.

  • Your baby is older than 3 months with a rectal temperature of 102° F (38.9° C) or higher.

  • There is redness on the skin of your baby's belly (abdomen).

  • Pus or foul-smelling drainage comes from your baby's belly button.

  • Your baby vomits repeatedly.

  • Your baby's belly is distended or feels hard to the touch.

  • A large reddened bulge forms near your baby's belly button.