Innie vs. Outie; How Does It Effect Our Health?

Bellybuttons are one of the weirdest parts of our bodies. As a child, no one really knew the use of it, and entering college, I was under the impression that the purpose was just to collect lint. Ends up that there is a biological point for the bellybutton to exist. According to, the belly button’s biological purpose is to provide nutrients to the child of a new born baby. Through the umbilical cord in the mother’s stomach, it connects to the fetus’ bellybutton, and through this is provided with all the nutrients it needs to survive. 188bx8epz0gj2jpg

This isn’t where the talk about bellybuttons ends, unfortunately. The age old debate is not over its purpose, rather it is over the purpose of an innie or an outie. Is there a difference in our health between the two? How does one get an innie compared to an outie? We can start with the easiest question, how one obtains an innie or an outie. According to Daniel McGee, M.D. of DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, an outie belly button is not caused by the common belief of a difference in how the umbilical cord was cut. Rather it deals with scar tissue. The outie is caused by the overlaying of extra scar tissue. This will either disappear quickly with time, or it will stay there for life (Parenting).

Having an outie is as rare as one may think too. According to a study done by North Carolina State University, out of the 500 participants in their study, only about 4% of them had outie belly buttons (Amy Capetta). This is just as most would expect, as to many, an innie always seemed to be the “normal”.

But when it comes down to it, does an innie or an outie make a difference for our health? Well, to start, there is no true affect on our health based off of our belly button. No matter what shape, or size, the belly button won’t cause too many complications in one’s life. But there is a difference in the hygienic state between an innie and an outie. Based off the nature of the shape of an innie, it is more prone to collect dirt and lint within it. North Carolina State University performed a study in which they collected lint from 60 belly buttons. Within these 60 belly buttons, they found over 2,300 forms of bacteria; 1,458 of which may be new forms to the science world (Shannon Fischer). That is a lot of dirt. Though this may seem like this is a problem spot to clean in the shower, that is not the case. All that you have to do clean it is just take a shower, and it should do the trick!

After all this research we can now say one thing for certain, innies, based off the nature of their shape, are worse for your hygiene, as they collect much more dirt and lint then an outie. Though this does not seem to be the healthiest of scenarios, there isn’t much to worry about, as your belly button as a whole has virtually zero effect on one’s health. But there is an upside to an innie! If you are lucky enough to have a “small, vertical, T-shaped navel with a little flap of overlying skin”, you posses the most attractive belly button out there (Capetta)!

Works Cited

Capetta, Amy. “How Normal Is Your Navel? Belly Button Facts and Figures You Probably Didn’t Know.” N.p., 21 Apr. 2011. Web. 02 Dec. 2015. <>.


“The Cause of “Outie” Belly Buttons.” Parenting. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Dec. 2015. <>.


Fischer, Shannon. “What Lives in Your Belly Button? Study Finds “Rain Forest” of Species.” National Geographic. National Geographic Society, 14 Nov. 2012. Web. 02 Dec. 2015. <>.


Binns, Corey. “Why Do We Have Belly Buttons?” LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 07 Feb. 2013. Web. 02 Dec. 2015. <>.


Morrissey, Tracie. “Do You Know What’s Living in Your Belly Button?” Jezebel. N.p., 14 Dec. 2012. Web. 02 Dec. 2015. <>.


4 thoughts on “Innie vs. Outie; How Does It Effect Our Health?

  1. Kelsey Donehower

    The title of this post caught my attention because I never thought about how our belly buttons could affect our health. I always thought that innie and outie belly buttons were determined by the umbilical chord and not scar tissue. I also was surprised by the 4% of outie belly buttons because I would think half of the population would be innie and half would be outie. I’m glad though that belly buttons aren’t really related to our internal health because since it’s so open I feel like it would get germ very quickly. Even though most of this stuff isn’t true because its BuzzFeed, I found a really interesting and entertaining article about the 11 of the horrifying things you never knew about belly buttons. I really liked this post!

  2. azb5768

    I never knew only 4% have outies. That’s crazy! i thought the amount would be much higher than that. I also never knew that so much bacteria can build up and live in a place where no one things could be a problem. Im curious to know if all of this bacteria building up in the belly button is harmful to us in any way? I noticed you said the innie has one downside but in a post i read online, an outie can cause some problems in infants. If an outie is caused by a umbilical hernia then there is a small risk that abdominal matter could get stuck in the hernia sack which leads to surgery to remove it. Now this isn’t very common but could get annoying to the parent and the baby.

  3. Julia Hall

    The one thing that really caught my eye is that only 4% of the group have outtie belly buttons. It makes sense that people with innie belly buttons collect more dirt and bacteria. I dont think that this would ever cause some one to become sick thought. Your belly button is closed off so there is no real way to get sick or anything like that from your belly button unless there was other contact.

  4. Sarah Rose Peterson

    I never knew “outie” belly buttons were so uncommon. When I researched this topic, I found that 90% of people have innies. I also found that sometimes women with innie belly buttons can have outie belly buttons when they become pregnant. On this topic of belly buttons, are people with innie belly buttons more likely to get sick because of the increase in bacteria?

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