Breast rash is a common condition that may be caused due to skin infection. In rare cases, breast rash can turn out to be a potentially dangerous health condition.
Development of a blister or rash, change in skin color, tenderness of the skin, and inflammation may indicate breast rash. Bacterial infections, allergies, dermatitis are some of the common causes of forming a breast rash. However, it is important to rule out the possibility of breast cancer.
What are the most common causes of developing a breast rash?
Many common causes can cause breast rash, such as,
- Dermatitis: A condition that causes inflammation of skin, dryness, blisters, and a red rash.
- Heat Rash: An exposure to excess heat may cause heat rash to develop on the breast.
- Yeast infections caused by candida fungus can cause a rash on the breast or even other body parts. Hot and humid weather in summer often causes perfect conditions for fungal infections.
- Insect bite: Rashes are commonly developed due to insect bites. The affected area may turn into a rash or crusty blister.
- Allergic reaction: Certain food allergies, irritants may cause body rashes. Certain dyes in clothes, beauty products may cause allergic reactions.
- Psoriasis: This condition can cause itchy, scaly patches on the skin. It commonly occurs on the elbows, scalp, and back.
- Cellulitis: Deep bacterial skin infection may cause oozing blisters and rashes on your body.
- Nipple eczema: Nipple eczema can cause rashes around nipples that are dry and scaly.
- Breast Abscess: Abscess is developed when a lump with pus is formed under the skin. It is painful and may drain pus from the affected area.
- Intertrigo: Excess sweat, friction, poor circulation, hot temperatures, and skin rubbing on cloth, may cause a red rash, especially around skin folds. Certain fungus strains are responsible for this condition.
- Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC): IBC is an hostile breast cancer that develops when the cancer cells get into your lymph vessels draining the skin of your breast. When the lymph vessels become blocked by cancer cells, symptoms start appearing. These include:
- Thickened skin
- Rash or irritation that look like an infection
- Red, warm and swollen breast
- Pitted skin on breast, resembling an orange peel
- Mastitis: It is a painful swelling of the breast that most often occurs in breastfeeding women, generally within three months of giving birth. The infection occurs when milk builds up inside your breast owing to a clogged duct or some other factor which slows or prevents milk flow.
- Mammary duct ectasia: This is a benign (non-cancerous) condition that occurs when a milk duct in your breast widens and its walls get thickened.
- Paget’s disease of breast: This is a rare form of breast cancer – 1 – 4 per cent of all cases of breast cancer. It involves the skin of the nipple and can extend onto the areola, the dark-colored skin around nipple.
What are the symptoms of breast rash?
Symptoms of breast rash include:
- Redness of skin
- Swelling and itching
- Formation of pus
Breast rash formed due to an infection may show symptoms such as fever, chills, pain. However, rashes from infections tend to get better as your body fights off infection.
In some cases, rashes do not get better with time and cause concerning symptoms like
- Persistent itching
- Rash that does not go away
- Swelling and enlargement of breasts
- Pitted orange peel on the skin.
- Bruised red or purple skin that does not get better
When to see a doctor?
If you experience fever, chills, and pus with persistent itching and swelling, it is best to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Timely diagnosis and treatment can help to avoid serious health complications.
How to take care of a breast rash?
Common causes of breast rashes are often infections and allergies. It is important to follow a care routine for faster healing.
- Avoid an urge to scratch to stop the spread of the infection.
- Keep the affected area clean.
- Identify irritants that may cause allergic rash. Avoid using chemicals or products that may cause allergy or irritation.
- Apply moisturizer to reduce dryness
- Use OTC ointments or creams to treat local infection and itching
- Use antibacterial soap or anti-fungal powders as per the doctor’s suggestion.
Common symptoms of breast rash can be easily treated. Mild symptoms of breast rash may go away on their own. However, severe rashes accompanied by other symptoms may need a diagnosis by an expert. The treatment for rashes may depend upon the exact cause.
Rarely a breast rash can be a sign of life-threatening breast cancer.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why is my breast rash not going away?
Allergens or infections can cause breast rash. Identify if your rash is developed due to exposure to the allergen. Stop using products that may cause allergies. Take antihistamine or allergy medication as suggested by the doctor.
Is breast rash a sign of inflammatory breast cancer?
Rarely breast rash is a sign of inflammatory breast cancer. Rashes are often caused by the most common factors like infections, allergies, or skin conditions like dermatitis. It is best to consult a doctor if you have persistent symptoms that do not go away.
How long does it take for rashes to disappear?
Most commonly caused rashes may heal within 7 days. Some severe infections may last up to 3 weeks.
Can dirty undergarments cause rashes on your breasts?
Over the period, microorganisms may grow in the pads of your undergarments. It is best to use clean undergarments.
What are the most effective home remedies for breast rashes?
It is believed that some home remedies may soothe your rashes and promote healing such as tea tree oil, oatmeal pack, warm or cold compresses, coconut oil etc