Q. I feel as if the skin over my belly button is firm. Is it hernia?

Answered by
Dr. Dalia Mostafa Nayel
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 12, 2017 and last reviewed on: Sep 12, 2020

Hello doctor,

The top of my belly button, that is, the skin of my belly button is hard and firm, and the rest of my belly button is not. I feel as if there is something under the surface. I changed my diet, so I lost some weight. I was 168 lbs, and now I am 135 lbs. If I place two fingers over my belly button and do wide circles, I feel like there is something hard underneath. Is this a hernia or where my umbilical cord was? I do not have pain or symptoms, but I just feel it firm and hard. What is this?



Welcome to

  • This is completely normal, and there is no need to worry. This is due to different layers of connective tissues.

For further queries consult a family physician online -->

Hello doctor,

Thank you for the quick reply. Is my belly button firm because of a hernia? How can we differentiate between an umbilical hernia and hardening due to connective tissues? 



Welcome back to

  • Here is an easy way to differentiate between an umbilical hernia and normal hardening of connective tissues. Place your fingers on the hardened part and then cough vigorously, if you feel a pulsation underneath your finger or if it gets bigger in size, then this is an umbilical hernia. If you felt no pulsation and it did not get bigger, then there is no need to worry.

For more information consult a family physician online -->

Hello doctor,

Thank you for replying. I do not feel any pulsations when I cough, so this is not a hernia, right? I was just a little bit worried because when I lean way back, the tip of my belly button lifts up a little. Thank you so much.



Welcome back to

  • Since nothing happens when you cough, then there is not a hernia. Your belly button tip may lift up due to some weakness of your abdominal muscles, so I suggest you do abdominal muscle strengthening exercises.

For further queries consult a family physician online -->

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