My Belly Button is really red. Is it infected?! What should I do? (photos)

I am 21 days post op after a Tummy tuck and umbilical hernia removal. I got this done in Colombia. I had the stichtes removed here and started putting alchohol and neosporin on it and covering it during the day while i am at work like a dummy thinking this would help with cleaning and healing and protecting it. And a day later it looks like this. No other symptoms just REALLY RED. What should I do? Is it infected?! I am soo frustrated.,

Doctor Answers 10

Stop both.

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I agree with the first doctor. You are probably causing your own redness. You should tsp the Neosporin and the alcohol, both of which can irritate the skin.. Unless you have an open wound at this point you should not put anything on your belly button and leave it open to air. If there is an open wound you should see a board certified plastic surgeon to evaluate you, but over the counter Bacitracin ointment is generally much more advisable than Neosporin, which causes redness in almost everyone after a few applications. Good luck. 

Mount Pleasant Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Infected belly button?

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The umbilicus does appear to be infected in your photo, but an exam by a local surgeon could tell you with certainty. It would most likely respond to a course of oral antibiotics, but may require an area to be incised and drained if any associated fluid collection. Either way, seek care from a local surgeon sooner rather than later.

Earl E. Ferguson III, MD, FACS
San Antonio Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Infected belly button.

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You should see a physician in your area. I would stop the Neosporin as it can cause a rash/redness in some people.

Jon E. Rast, MD
Kansas City Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 35 reviews


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Without an examination it is impossible to say what is going on so see your family MD or an infectious disease expert or local plastic surgeon for an opinion ASAP

Dr Corbin

Frederic H. Corbin, MD
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Redness around the umbilicus after a tummy tuck

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Best not to use alcohol or peroxide on this area also avoid ointments.  Let it dry out.  If it does not improve then you will need to contact your surgeon.  It is possible that this is due to an infected buried suture.  

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Red belly button

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Isolated redness around the belly button after surgery is certainly concerning. I would stop using the alcohol as that may cause redness and revist the clinic so that it can be evaluated. 

David Mathes, MD
Aurora Plastic Surgeon

Advice re tummy tuck

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hi and thank you for your is important that if you have concerns regarding your wings you make an early appointment to see your own surgeon for you seek help from your local medical clinic and the particular signs to look out for on redness pain swelling generally feeling unwell with a fever. these will constitute signs of acute infectionoh you should seek medical attention. good luck

Sultan Hassan, MD, FRCS(Plast)
London Plastic Surgeon

Redness After Surgery Abroad

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Thank you for your question and photos. You may be experiencing a reaction to the alcohol and antibiotic ointment or an infection. You should seek medical care to distinguish between the two.  It is not appropriate to give you medical advice on the internet. This is a hidden cost to medical tourism.  You have to account for postop care once you get home.  Best wishes on your recovery.

Red bellybutton

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Thank you for your pictures. This looks like a contact dermatitis. Try to find a plastic surgeon in your local area to evaluate your situation.

My Belly Button is really red. Is it infected?! What should I do?

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Appears as a infected umbilicus. Options Fly back to Columbia for post operative complication care. Or pay for care for by the over 80+ boarded Plastic Surgeons in South Florida, fees would be in the few hundreds$$$ range. But you need care! 

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.