Causes of itchy breasts other than breast cancer

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From time to time, girls and women experience itchy breasts. Although itchy breasts are usually caused by relatively harmless causes, such as dry skin or mastitis, it is important to know the more serious causes, namely inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) and Paget's disease, two rare forms of breast cancer.

The symptoms of the causes on both ends of this spectrum are different, which helps to make a diagnosis. Remember, though, that even fewer anxiety conditions are worth considering, as preventative approaches or treatments can help reduce the sensation of itchiness and prevent complications.

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Benign (harmless) causes of itchy breasts

Although cancer is a possible cause of itchy breasts, in most cases it is not the cause. Your healthcare provider may consider many options first. However, itchy breasts can be a sign of a health problem, can cause persistent discomfort, and can be effectively treated.

Some of the more common causes of itchy breasts include:

Mastitis

Mastitis is a breast infection that most often affects women who are breastfeeding, but women who do not breastfeed can develop it as well. It can cause fever, chest pain, redness, warmth, and itching. If you have mastitis, you may also experience a general feeling of nausea.

It is treated with antibiotics, and if your symptoms do not begin to improve within a week, additional tests may be done to look for another cause.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is very common and can result from dehydration, cold weather, or just a tendency to dry skin. Usually when dry skin causes itchy breasts, the skin on various parts of the body becomes dry or itchy .

Dermatitis

Dermatitis is a rash due to inflammation of the skin. It can be caused by an allergic reaction to something your skin has been exposed to, or it can occur without a trigger. The common culprits are new clothes, detergents, perfumes, lotions, and shampoos.

You can prevent dermatitis by using products designed for sensitive skin, which generally do not contain irritants such as perfumes or dyes. Although rare, nickel underwire bras can cause allergic reactions in some women.

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema , is a type of dermatitis that usually occurs without a trigger. It is often associated with asthma or hay fever .

Yeast infections

The skin under the breasts and sides can become moist, causing an overgrowth of yeast that can cause itching.

Over-the-counter antifungal creams can help, or your healthcare provider can prescribe prescription antifungal medications.

To prevent yeast growth under the breast, it is recommended to wear bras made of breathable fabric, such as cotton. Wearing a comfortable supportive bra, even while you sleep, can prevent sweat and moisture from entering the folds of your skin.

After showering, make sure the underbust area is completely dry before putting on your bra. If you exercise, be sure to choose a sports bra made of fabric that protects your skin from sweat and moisture, and change it immediately after your workout.

Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a skin disorder in which scales appear on the skin. It can occur anywhere on the body, including the chest, although the chest is not the most common site of skin lesions. Psoriasis can be treated with phototherapy or topical medications.

Rash

Heat rash can result from excessive exposure to heat, very heavy or tight clothing, and sweating. Some people can develop a heat rash that affects the whole body and can go away on its own, or it can be treated with drying powders.

Hormonal changes

Hormonal changes that cause breast enlargement, such as puberty, pregnancy, lactation, and weaning, can cause sore or itchy breasts. Usually this problem lasts for several days or several weeks and should not be associated with a rash or discoloration of the breasts.

Postoperative reaction

If you recently had breast surgery, itching may be a normal part of your recovery. Itching can be caused, in particular, by breast augmentation surgery . The skin of the breast stretches to accommodate the implant, resulting in this symptom.

Most women find that the itching goes away a few months after surgery. If the itching is persistent and unbearable, you should consult your surgeon or healthcare professional.

When itchy breasts may indicate cancer

Lumps are not the only potential symptoms of breast cancer. Itching, as well as other skin changes, can indicate two specific types of breast cancer: inflammatory breast cancer (IMC) and Paget's disease .

IBC accounts for 1 to 5 percent of breast cancer cases in the United States; it can spread rapidly and is often not recognized until it reaches an advanced stage. The symptoms of Paget's disease, which account for 1 to 4 percent of breast cancers, are easily mistaken for eczema or skin irritation.

If you develop itchy breasts that lasts for more than a few weeks and is accompanied by any of the following symptoms of IBC or Paget, make an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible.

IBC symptoms

  • Redness of the skin

  • Dimples or dimples in the skin

  • Chest pain

  • Swelling, thickening, or sudden growth not associated with puberty or weight gain.

  • Chest heat

  • One breast is heavier than the other.

  • Swelling in the armpit (may indicate lymph node metastases)

Symptoms of Paget's disease

  • Red, thick, or crusted, eczema-like lumps on the nipple.

  • Pain and / or tingling in the nipple or areola.

  • Changes or deformities of the nipples, such as retraction or inversion.

  • Yellow or bloody nipple discharge

Frequently asked questions

Why do pregnant women have itchy breasts?

Pregnancy-induced eczema is the most common cause of itchy breasts and other parts of the body during pregnancy. Up to 80% of women who experience eczema while anticipating pregnancy had no symptoms prior to pregnancy. You can treat itching with emollient-rich moisturizers .

Why do my nipples itch after breastfeeding?

Itching or pain often occurs during the first few weeks of breastfeeding as your body gets used to the baby's suction and flow of milk. If these symptoms come back later, it could be a sign of thrush , a fungal infection that affects the nipples. Your baby may also have signs of yeast infection, which can appear as white patches in the mouth. You and your child will need treatment to prevent the infection from coming back.

Get the word of drug information

Having itchy breasts, even if caused by a harmless cause, is a good reminder that you are aware of early detection strategies like mammography and how to behave and behave that can lower your risk of breast cancer later in life. how to quit smoking.

While itchy breasts certainly doesn't mean you have breast cancer, it's important to see your doctor for a proper evaluation. Itching can be a symptom of unusual breast cancers, such as inflammatory breast cancer and Paget's disease, although additional symptoms are often present.

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