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
- usually it is washed off during bathing or shower and rarely does it cause any inflammation
- obesity, deep umbilicus, and poor hygiene may be predisposing factors for developing lint accumulation
- Sarma DP, Teruya B. 'Lint ball' omphalitis, a rare cause of umbilical discharge in an adult woman: a case report.Cases J. 2009 Jul 27;2:7785. doi: 10.4076/1757-1626-2-7785.
Last reviewed 01/2018