Last reviewed 01/2018

Ompholiths are hard lumps which are the result of a mixture of sebaceous secretions hairs and fluff ('belly button lint') from clothing collecting in the umbilicus.

The diagnosis can be made on inspection if the grey-brown surface of the stone is visible. On palpation, the whole umbilicus feels swollen and hard.

In fact, umbilical concretions are often stony hard and a probe can be pushed into them with ease.


  • finding of 'belly-button lint' is quite common among hairy man
    • usually it is washed off during bathing or shower and rarely does it cause any inflammation
      • has been suggested that abdominal hair is mainly responsible for directing the fibers from clothes into the navel where they are compacted
      • shaving abdominal hair can prevent lint accumulation in the umbilicus
  • obesity, deep umbilicus, and poor hygiene may be predisposing factors for developing lint accumulation