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Cutis. 2010 Oct;86(4):199-202.

Omphalith-associated relapsing umbilical cellulitis: recurrent omphalitis secondary to a hair-containing belly button bezoar.

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  • 1University of Houston Health Center, Texas, USA.


We report an 18-year-old man with recurrent cellulitis of his umbilicus and surrounding skin. Thorough investigation revealed a foreign body as the source of his relapsing infection, a compact collection of terminal hair shafts. Spontaneously occurring stonelike foreign bodies resulting from the accumulation and concretion of keratinous and amorphous sebaceous material within the umbilicus are referred to as omphaliths. However, because the composition of our patient's foreign body is pilar in origin, we propose that the foreign body be designated as either an omphalotrich or trichomphalith. Alternatively, because the umbilicus and epithelium of the gastrointestinal tract are embryologically related, we suggest that our patient's hair-containing foreign body be referred to as a trichobezoar, which is used to describe exogenous foreign bodies composed of ingested hair in the gastrointestinal tract. The patient's cellulitis resolved without any subsequent episodes following the removal of his belly button bezoar.

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