Skin problems on and around the umbilicus

Author: Dr Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, October 2015.

Links to pages about skin conditions that favour the umbilicus.

Congenital malformations

Congenital malformations are not usually primarily cutaneous.

  • Malformations of the omphalomesenteric duct
  • Urachal malformations
  • Abdominal wall defects
  • Hernia
  • Granulation tissue after cord separation
  • Supernumerary nipple

Acquired malformations

Skin diseases


Benign tumours

Malignant tumours

Signs of systemic disease

  • Red umbilicus in babies with cow's milk protein intolerance
  • Red umbilicus associated with gangrenous bowel or peritonitis
  • Umbilical ecchymosis (Cullen sign) in haemorrhagic pancreatitis, ruptured ectopic pregnancy or any cause of retroperitoneal bleeding
  • Primary systemic amyloidosis
  • Crohn disease
  • Radial dilation of veins due to portal hypertension

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