Dermatologists Finally Explained What Belly Button Lint Is Made Of, & It's Actually NBD

Have you ever wondered wtf is in your belly button? Maybe your belly button is sparkly and shiny clean, but for some of us, we look down and wonder how in the world that stuff got there. Well, it’s called belly button lint, or as ecology professor and environmental researcher Georg Steinhauser of Leibniz University calls it, “navel fluff.” After we finished laughing over “navel fluff,” we were still wondering what and how? Thanks to some info from Allure and a couple dermatologists, we have the answer.

Firstly, what is the stuff? According to Sejal Shah, dermatologist and founder of SmarterSkin Dermatology, says “Belly button lint is a combination of fibers from clothing, dead skin cells, residue [from] sweat and oil, and other debris.”

Secondly, how in the world does it get in our belly button? Soren White, NYC based derm, told Allure: “Navel fluff is typically only a problem for people who have innie belly buttons” because it’s easy for the diverse particles to get stuck in there. In addition, if you have a lot of hair that can impact how easily thing get wrapped up in there too. Because the purpose of body hair is to protect our bodies and catch things, they catch the particles that make up belly button lint. So if you’re hairy, you have a way better chance of getting a lil’ ball of lint in your lil’ belly button.

Want to get rid of it? Don’t worry, it’s easy. Make sure you’re preventing it first! Clean your belly button regularly. Every time you’re in the shower or changing your clothes give it a little clean. Furthermore, Soren White says that cotton shirts, especially new ones, are more likely to lose particles so before you start wearing a new shirt, wash it a couple times. Also try wearing shirts made of different materials like nylon and polyester. Finally, if it’s really bad or bothering you, consider waxing or shaving the area – and if that’s just too much upkeep, try laser hair removal!

At the end of the day, a little bit of navel fluff isn’t going to kill you (or even harm you in any way), so relax and keep that belly button clean!