There IS a link between a bleeding belly button and being obese. The situation needs prompt treatment by a doctor.

“Obesity itself does not cause a bleeding belly button, but it may contribute,” says Kathryn Boling, MD, a board certified family medicine practitioner with Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, MD.

Dr. Boling explains, “The most common reason for a bleeding belly button is a skin infection of some sort – bacterial or fungal.

“We all have bacteria and fungus, but usually the skin is an effective barrier. However, dry skin can crack and allow bacteria or fungus to penetrate and take hold.”

The Obesity Factor

“Because water loss is greater for obese persons (due to greater skin surface area), morbidly obese patients have significantly drier skin (and thus a less effective barrier) as well as impaired wound healing,” says Dr. Boling.

“All of this makes getting a skin infection of the belly button more likely. Also, obese patients have larger skin folds and tend to sweat more profusely due to thick layers of subcutaneous fat.

“This could cause wet skin folds to rub together and become inflamed, further breaking down the barrier function of skin.”

dr. boling

Dr. Boling diagnoses and treats a wide range of conditions from acute illnesses to chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.