Belly buttons come in all shapes and sizes and everyone has one, but they are mostly categorized by either being an ‘innie’ or an ‘outie.’ There are many myths surrounding why some people have a prominent belly button while others do not, but the reason is quite simple.
Innie belly buttons are significantly more common than outies, they are said to make up ninety percent of the navel population. However, why the remaining ten percent have outie belly buttons has been somewhat of a medical mystery for most.
Belly buttons are the result of the umbilical cord, which was used to transport nutrients from the mother to baby during pregnancy, being severed soon after the delivery.
When you were born, the doctor tied off or clamped the umbilical cord, so that it could be cut off where it attached to your belly. Over the first few weeks of your life, what was left of the umbilical cord slowly dried up and fell off. What was left? Your belly button!
Whether you end up with an innie or an outie is usually a matter of chance. Most people end up with innies, but some people have outies. Outies usually occur when more of the umbilical cord is left when it’s cut, leading to more skin left over once it dries out.
In some rare cases, outies are caused by a condition known as an umbilical hernia. An umbilical hernia occurs when a part of the intestine pokes through the muscles in your belly and pops out through the belly button. This condition often goes away on its own within the first year of life. If it does not, however, surgery is sometimes needed to fix the condition.
Whether you have an innie or an outie belly button, there are no health differences.