I've found cords fall off quicker when not treated with anything at all. I used to have clients put alcohol or peroxide on the cords and it would take up to 2 weeks for the cord to fall off. When I started having them do nothing, they would often fall off in 3 to 5 days. I would stop using both the peroxide and the goldenseal and see what happens as they can both be kind of irritating to the skin.
If the area is red, hot, swollen, or has a yellowish or smelly discharge, or if baby has a fever, see a ped as it might be an infection.
Also, does your baby's navel area look kind of wet and gooey, with a sort of raised pink bump in the middle? If so, she may have an umbilical granuloma. My son had one, and a little ordinary salt applied to it healed it up in 2 days. Here's an article:
CURATIVE EFFECT OF COMMON SALT ON UMBILICAL GRANULOMA
M. R. Derakhshan
Department of Pediatrics, Hamadan University of Medical Sciences and Health Services, Hamadan, I.R. Iran
ABSTRACT Umbilical granuloma (UG) is a common lesion in the first few weeks of life. Its traditional therapy is topical application of silver nitrate stick. In this article the curative effect of common salt on UG is reported. The parents of fifty-eight infants with UG, were given instruction to treat their infant at home. The treatment consisted of application of common salt on the lesion twice a day, washed half hour later and repeated for three days. Fifty-two out of 58 cases had perfect cure after the three-day course of treatment. Relapses or complications were none. Six of the patients were lost to follow up. It is concluded that treatment of UG with common salt is simple, cost-effective, curative and safe.
Irn J Med Sci 1998; 23(3&4):132-133
Keywords ? Umbilical granuloma ? common salt ? silver nitrate
In 1972 Schmitt,10 in a very short note, described the shrinking effect of common salt on umbilical granuloma (UG). This observation has rarely made an appearance in subsequent medical literature, perhaps because in developed countries more advanced methods, such as electrical and cryocauterization are readily accessible, thus, obviating alternative methods of therapy.11 Cauterization with silver nitrate, which is the conventional method of treatment,7,9 involves the use of the special silver nitrate stick which is not always available in remote areas in developing countries. This study addresses the successful treatment of UG with common salt.
Fifty-eight cases of UG were enrolled into this study. The parents (mostly mothers) were asked to treat their babies at home by applying a pinch of common salt over the lesion for half an hour. Thereafter, the lesion would be cleansed using a cotton ball soaked in boiled water. The procedure was repeated twice a day for three consecutive days.
In three cases, the procedure was only carried out for one day, and no evidence of UG was apparent on the third day.
Thirty-nine of the patients were visited again within 31 days after completion of the therapy. Healing was complete in all patients. The parents of 10 cases were communicated by telephone. They also reported complete cure of the lesion.
The most common observation described by parents was the discharge of a cherry black secretion from the lesion on the first day of therapy, after which, frank shrinkage and gradual healing of the lesion was apparent, so that many of the parents did not feel it necessary to complete the recommended three day course of treatment.
No relapse or any complication was observed in 41 patients who were followed for a period of 14-20 months. Totally, six patients were missed in follow up.
Schmitt recommended the use of salt after cleansing the umbilicus with alcohol. The author's experience showed that instillation of alcohol prior to application of salt caused irritation and erythema of the surrounding normal skin and can be omitted in the management.
UG should be differentiated from other less common conditions. These mostly include patent urachus, omphalomesenteric duct and umbilical polyps. These conditions are relatively rare and few cases have been reported in medical literature in recent decades.1-3,5,8
Differentiation of these rare lesions from UG should not deter the physician from treating a doubtful case as UG, since failing to obtain the expected result might serve as a guide to the right diagnosis.1,2,6 Applications of silver nitrate twice weekly for one month clears up most UGs.6,7,9 Needless to say, therapy with silver nitrate should be performed by the physician, which is time consuming and may involve several visits, and is not free of complication.4
The curative mechanism of salt when used in the treatment of UG is thought to be through its desiccant effect and other biologic properties; the high concentration of sodium ion in the area draws water out of the cells and results in shrinkage and necrosis of the wet granulomatous tissue. However, this effect is not so powerful as to cause damage to the normal surrounding
cornified tissue when applied for a short treatment duration.
I would like to thank Dr. M.Emadi and Dr. J. Sohailifar for referring some of the patients and also their encouraging and use of this method for treatment of their own patients.
1 Alessandrini P, Derlon S: [Congenital umbilica fistulas. A report of 12 cases]. Pediatric 1992;47:67-71.
2 Boothroyd AE, Cudmore RE: Ultrasound of the discharging umbilicus. Pediatr Radiol 1996;26:362-4.
3 Campbell J, BeAsley SW, McMullin N, et al: Clinical diagnosis of umbilical swelling and discharges in children. Med J Aust 1986;145:450-3.
4 Chamberlin JM, Gorman RL, Young GM: Silver nitrate burns following treatment for umbilical granuloma. Pediatr Emerg Care 1992;8:29-30.
5 Genieser NB, Becker MH, Grosfeld J, et al: Draining Umbilicus in Infants. NY State J Med 1974;74:1821-3.
6 Guzzeta PC, Anderson KD, Eichelberger MR, et al: In: Avery GB, Fletcher MA, MacDonald MJ, eds. Neonatology. 4th ed. Philadelphia: JB Lippincott, 1994:944.
7 Kliegman RM: The Umbilicus. In: Behrman RE, Kleigman RM, Arvin AM, editors. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 15th ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders, 1996:506.
8 McCallum DI, Hall GFM. Umbilical granulomata with particular reference to talc granuloma. Br J Derm 1970;83:151-6.
9 Rescorla FJ, Rink RC. Disorders of the umbilicus. In: Burg FD, Ingelfinger JR, Wald ER, Polin RA, eds. Gellis & Kagan's Current Pediatric Therapy. 15th ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders, 1996:774.
10 Schmitt BD: Tip of the Month. Consultant 1972; 12:91.
11 Steck WD: Diseases of the umbilicus. In: Demis DJ, ed. Clinical Dermatology. 18th ed. Philadelphia: JB Lippincott, 1991;(4)28-7:4.
12 Steck WD: Diseases of the umbilicus. In: Moschella SL, Hurley HJ, eds. Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders, 1992:2230.
Retired Ohio midwife. Mama to my boy E, born 7/05