HOME

TheInfoList




The navel (clinically known as the umbilicus, commonly known as the belly button) is a protruding, flat, or hollowed area on the
abdomen The abdomen (colloquially called the belly, tummy, midriff or stomach) is the part of the body between the thorax (chest) and pelvis, in humans and in other vertebrates. The abdomen is the front part of the abdominal segment of the Trunk (anatomy) ...

abdomen
at the attachment site of the
umbilical cord In placental Placentalia is one of the three extant subdivisions of the class of animals Mammalia Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European l ...
. All
placental The infraclass In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, Molecular biology, mole ...

placental
mammal Mammals (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be i ...
s have a navel.


Structure

The umbilicus is used to visually separate the abdomen into quadrants. The umbilicus is a prominent
scar A scar is an area of fibrosis, fibrous tissue that replaces normal skin after an injury. Scars result from the biological process of wound repair in the skin, as well as in other Organ (anatomy), organs, and biological tissue, tissues of the b ...

scar
on the abdomen, with its position being relatively consistent among humans. The skin around the waist at the level of the umbilicus is supplied by the tenth thoracic
spinal nerve A spinal nerve is a mixed nerve, which carries motor, sensory, and autonomic signals between the spinal cord and the body. In the human body there are 31 pairs of spinal nerves, one on each side of the vertebral column. These are grouped into the ...

spinal nerve
(T10 dermatome). The umbilicus itself typically lies at a vertical level corresponding to the junction between the L3 and L4
vertebrae In the vertebrate spinal column The vertebral column, also known as the backbone or spine, is part of the axial skeleton. The vertebral column is the defining characteristic of a vertebrate in which the notochord (a flexible rod of uniform c ...

vertebrae
, with a normal variation among people between the L3 and L5 vertebrae. Parts of the adult navel include the "umbilical cord remnant" or "umbilical tip", which is the often protruding scar left by the detachment of the umbilical cord. This is located in the center of the navel, sometimes described as the ''belly button''. Around the cord remnant, is the "umbilical collar", formed by the dense fibrous
umbilical ring The umbilical ring is a dense fibrous ring surrounding the Navel, umbilicus at birth. At about the sixth week of embryological development, the midgut herniates through the umbilical ring; six weeks later it returns to the abdominal cavity and rota ...
. Surrounding the umbilical collar is the periumbilical skin. Directly behind the navel is a thick fibrous cord formed from the umbilical cord, called the
urachus The urachus is a fibrous remnant of the allantois The allantois (plural ''allantoides'' or ''allantoises'') is a hollow sac-like structure filled with clear fluid that forms part of a developing amniote's conceptus (which consists of all embryon ...
, which originates from the bladder.


Forms

The navel is unique to each individual due to its being a scar, and various general forms have been classified by medical practitioners. *Outie: A navel consisting of the umbilical tip protruding past the periumbilical skin is an outie. Essentially any navel which is not concave. **Swirly/Spiral: A rare form in which the umbilical cord scar literally forms a swirl shape. **Split: The protruding umbilical cord scar extends outwards, but is cleft in two by a fissure which extends part or all the way through the umbilical cord scar. This form is similar in appearance to a coffee bean. **Protrusion: The umbilical cord remnant is completely divulged, exposing the full umbilical scar. **Circlet: Although the entirety of the umbilical cord remnant sits out with the umbilical collar, the centre of the knot is inset by a deep fissure. Unlike a split outie, in this form the fissure is contained centrally and does not extend past the umbilical cord remnant in any direction, much akin to a 'donut' shape. *Innie: A navel in which the umbilical tip does not protrude past the periumbilical skin. Any navel which is concave. **Round shaped: Round navels are completely circular with no hooding. **Vertical shaped: Some navels present in the form of a more elongate hollow parallel with the linea alba. **Oval: This form consists of three variants; superior hooding, inferior hooding, no hooding. **T-shaped: As the name states, the scar is in the shape of a T, and may have superior hooding to various extent. **Horizontal: The scar is least visible as the natural lines of the tendinous intersection fold over the scar. *Distorted: Any navel which does not fit well into any of the other categories. File:Swirly Outie Belly Button.jpg, A swirly outie belly button File:Carlson Twins.jpg, Both
Carlson twins Kyle and Lane Carlson (born December 24, 1978) are identical twin brothers known as the Carlson Twins. The Carlson twins work together as Model (person), male fashion models. Biography The twins were born in Stillwater, Minnesota, United States, ...

Carlson twins
have swirly navels File:T-shaped navel.jpg, A t-shaped navel File:Navel 2 - Picture by Giovanni Dall'Orto, July 25 2010.jpg, One of many variations of an outie File:Belly Button.jpg, An innie navel


Clinical significance


Disorders

Outies are sometimes mistaken for
umbilical hernia An umbilical hernia is a health condition where the abdominal wall behind the navel is damaged. It may cause the navel to bulge outwards—the bulge consisting of abdominal fat from the greater omentum or occasionally parts of the small intestine. ...
s; however, they are a completely different shape with no health concern, unlike an umbilical hernia. The navel (specifically abdominal wall) would be considered an umbilical hernia if the protrusion were 5
centimeter A centimetre (international spelling) or centimeter (American spelling) (SI symbol cm) is a Units of measurement, unit of length in the metric system, equal to one hundredth of a metre, ''centi'' being the SI prefix for a factor of . The centim ...
s or more. The diameter of an umbilical hernia is usually 1/2-inch or more. Navels that are concave are nicknamed "innies". While the shape of the human navel may be affected by longterm changes to diet and exercise, unexpected change in shape may be the result of
ascites Ascites is the abnormal build-up of fluid in the abdomen. Technically, it is more than 25 ml of fluid in the peritoneal cavity, although volumes greater than one liter may occur. Symptoms may include increased abdominal size, increased weight, abd ...
. In addition to change in shape being a possible side effect from
ascites Ascites is the abnormal build-up of fluid in the abdomen. Technically, it is more than 25 ml of fluid in the peritoneal cavity, although volumes greater than one liter may occur. Symptoms may include increased abdominal size, increased weight, abd ...
and
umbilical hernia An umbilical hernia is a health condition where the abdominal wall behind the navel is damaged. It may cause the navel to bulge outwards—the bulge consisting of abdominal fat from the greater omentum or occasionally parts of the small intestine. ...
s, the navel can be involved in umbilical sinus or fistula, which in rare cases can lead to menstrual or fecal discharge from the navel. Menstrual discharge from the umbilicus is a rare disorder associated with umbilical
endometriosis Endometriosis is a disease of the female reproductive system in which cells Cell most often refers to: * Cell (biology), the functional basic unit of life Cell may also refer to: Closed spaces * Monastic cell, a small room, hut, or cave in ...

endometriosis
.


Other disorders

* Omphalitis, an inflammatory condition of the umbilicus in the
newborn An infant (from the Latin word ''infans'', meaning 'unable to speak' or 'speechless') is the more formal or specialised synonym for the common term ''baby'', meaning the of . The term may also be used to refer to of other organisms. A n ...
, usually caused by a bacterial infection. * Omphalophobia is the fear of belly buttons. People suffering from Omphalophobia are terrified of belly buttons—their own or, in some cases, those of others. They do not like touching their belly buttons (or even other people touching it). Sometimes just seeing a belly button is enough to make them feel disgusted or terrified.


Surgery

To minimize scarring, the navel is a recommended site of incision for various surgeries, including transgastric appendicectomy,
gall bladder In vertebrate Vertebrates () comprise all species of animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotrop ...
surgery, and the umbilicoplasty procedure itself.


Fashion, society and culture

The public exposure of the male and female
midriff In fashion Fashion is a form of self-expression and autonomy at a particular period and place and in a specific context, of clothing, footwear, Lifestyle (sociology), lifestyle, Fashion accessory, accessories, makeup, hairstyle, and body posture ...
and bare navel was considered
taboo A taboo is an implicit prohibition on something (usually against an utterance or behavior) based on a cultural sense that it is excessively repulsive or, perhaps, too sacred for ordinary people.''Encyclopædia Britannica Online''.Taboo. Encyclop ...

taboo
at times in the past in
Western culture Western culture, also known as Western civilization, Occidental culture, or Western society, is the heritage Heritage may refer to: History and society * In history History (from Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired ...
s, being considered immodest or
indecent Inappropriateness refers to standards or ethics that are typically viewed as being negative in society. It differs from things that are illicit in that inappropriate behavior does not necessarily have any accompanying legal ramifications. Compe ...
. Female navel exposure was banned in some jurisdictions, but community perceptions have changed to this now being acceptable. The
crop top A crop top (also half shirt, midriff top or cutoff shirt) is a top that exposes the waist, navel, or abdomen The abdomen (colloquially called the belly, tummy, midriff or stomach) is the part of the body between the thorax (chest) and pelvis, ...
is a shirt that often exposes the belly button and has become more common among young men and women. Exposure of the male navel has rarely been stigmatised and has become particularly popular in recent years, due to the strong resurgence of the male crop top and male
navel piercing A navel piercing (also referred to as a belly button piercing or an umbilical dip piercing) is a type of body piercing, piercing located through, in, or around, the navel. It may heal quickly and with no irritations, like an ear piercing, or may h ...

navel piercing
. The navel and midriff are often also displayed in
bikini A bikini is a women's two-piece swimsuit A swimsuit is an item of clothing A kanga, worn throughout the African Great Lakes region Clothing (also known as clothes, apparel, and attire) are items worn on the body. Typically, clothin ...

bikini
s, or when low-rise pants are worn. While the West was relatively resistant to navel-baring clothing until the 1980s, it has long been a fashion with
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
n women,Banerjee, Mukulika & Miller, Daniel (2003) ''The Sari''. Oxford; New York: Berg often displayed with
Sari A sari (sometimes also shari or Hunterian transliteration, misspelled as saree)The name of the garment in various Languages of South Asia, regional languages include: * as, শাৰী, xārī, translit-std=ISO * bn, শাড়ি, śā ...

Sari
s or
Lehenga The ''lehenga'', ''lehnga'' or ''langa'' (also known as a ''ghagra'' or ''gagra'', ''chaniya'', ''pavadai'', or ''lacha'') is a form of ankle-length skirt that originated in India but is worn by women across the Indian subcontinent, particularly ...
s. The
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...
have long had a special regard for the navel. During the early
Jōmon period The is the time in Japanese prehistory Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_ ...
in northern Japan, three small balls indicating the breasts and navel were pasted onto flat clay objects to represent the female body. The navel was exaggerated in size, informed by the belief that the navel symbolized the center where life began. In Arabic-
Levant The Levant () is an term referring to a large area in the region of . In its narrowest sense, it is equivalent to the , which included present-day , , , , and most of southwest of the middle . In its widest historical sense, the Levant ...

Levant
ine culture,
belly dancing Belly dance; more correctly referred to as Raqs Sharqi ( ar, رقص شرقي, , Raqş sharqī, link=, literally: "oriental dancing") is an Arabic expressive dance that has its origins in Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the A ...
is a popular art form that consists of dance movements focused on the torso and navel.
Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, and ...

Buddhism
and
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, ...

Hinduism
refer to the
chakra Chakras (, ; sa , text=चक्र , translit=cakra , translit-std=IAST , lit=wheel, circle; pi, cakka) are various focal points used in a variety of ancient meditation Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique ...

chakra
of the navel as the
manipura Manipura ( sa, मणिपूर, IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation of Brahmic family, Indic scripts as employed by Sanskrit and related Indi ...

manipura
. In
qigong ''Qigong'' (), ''qi gong'', ''chi kung'', ''chi 'ung'', or ''chi gung'' () is a system of coordinated body-posture and movement, breathing, and meditation used for the purposes of health, spirituality, and martial-arts training. With roots in ...
, the navel is seen as the main energy centre, or
dantian Dantian, dan t'ian, dan tien or tan t'ien is loosely translated as "elixir field", "sea of qi", or simply "energy center". Dantian are the "qi focus flow centers", important focal points for meditative and exercise techniques such as qigong, Chi ...
. In
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, ...

Hinduism
, the
Kundalini energy In Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion and ''dharma'', or way of life. It is the Major religious groups, world's third-largest religion, with over 1.25 billion followers, or 15–16% of the global population, known as Hindus ...
is sometimes described as being located at the navel. File:Navel piercing.jpg, Two women with navel piercings File:Belly Dance (4252337733).jpg, Belly dancers File:Elia Markopoulos at an NECW event in Malden, MA 1-13-12.jpg, A man wearing a crop top File:Yosakoi Performers at Kochi Yosakoi 2006 17.jpg, Japanese women performing a traditional Japanese dance
Yosakoi Yosakoi () is a unique style of dance that originated in Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body ...
in navel-exposing attire in the Yosakoi Matsuri 2006 at Kōchi


See also

*
Navel fetishism Navel fetishism, belly button fetishism, or alvinophilia is a partialism Partialism is sexual interest with an exclusive focus on a specific part of the body other than genitals. Partialism is categorized as a fetishistic disorder in the DSM-5 ...
*
Alvinolagnia Alvinolagnia or belly fetish or stomach fetish is a partialism in which an individual is sexually attracted to the midriff, stomach or Abdomen, belly. Viewing Anthropologists and behaviorists have discovered substantial evidence that the waist-h ...
* Omphaloskepsis * Umbilical microbiome * Omphalos hypothesis


References


Further reading

* * * * * * {{Authority control Abdomen