By Medicover Hospitals / 18 Jan 2021
Rashes, inflammation, and redness, or other discoloration of the skin are all signs of a rash. For a rash on the breasts, it is important to find out the cause related to a general skin condition or if it is a sign of a more serious disease like breast cancer.
- What is breast rash?
- When to visit a Doctor?
- Home remedies
What is breast rash?
- The rash is a symptom that causes the affected area of skin to turn red and blotchy and swell. The rash may cause bumpy, scaly, scaly, or pus-filled spots. Rashes can vary in location, shape, and extent and can occur in any area of the body. A breast rash can have a variety of causes and may indicate something happening in the breast itself or suggest a systemic condition.
- Inflammation of the skin is caused by an adverse reaction, something that touches the skin, including chemicals found in detergent, soap, or perfume. For example, you can develop a rash on your chest by wearing a shirt that has been washed with a particular detergent or treated with a chemical. Metal, such as a collar rubbing against your chest, can cause a breast rash. Other forms of contact dermatitis include exposure to certain herbs, such as oak or ivy, an animal bite, or an insect bite. Allergies to foods, such as peanuts, shellfish, strawberries, or avocados, can also cause a breast rash.
- The skin fold under the breast is a warm, shady, and humid area - an ideal environment for germs to grow. Fungal skin infections can develop there. A breast rash can also be caused by mastitis, an infection that occurs when bacteria enter the breast through a cracked nipple. It occurs in women who are breastfeeding and causes redness and swelling, usually confined to one side of the breast. Associated symptoms include fever, nausea, and vomiting. Inflammatory breast cancer is another serious condition that can cause a rash on the breast, as well as tenderness, swelling, and redness. It is fast-growing cancer that can spread to lymph nodes and adjacent tissues. Paget's disease of the breast can also mimic a rash on the breast. It is usually confined to the nipple but may suggest more invasive underlying cancer.
- Rashes can occur in skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and impetigo. Some of these are chronic skin conditions that can flare up for a while and then go away. Other causes of rashes include autoimmune diseases that occur when the body is attacked by its own immune system, which normally serves to protect it from foreign invaders. Many viruses that appear during the flu season or those associated with childhood illnesses can produce rashes.
- An allergic reaction to foods, medications, lotions, or detergents can cause a rash. These reactions can range from mild to life-threatening, especially with swelling and constricted breathing, which could indicate anaphylaxis. Seek immediate medical attention if a rash is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, including swelling of the face, swelling or constriction of the throat, difficulty breathing, fainting, change in level of consciousness or alertness, reckless, pale or purple skin.
Common breast rashes:
- Common breast rashes can include:
- Yeast infections
- Heat buttons
- Insect bites
- Poisonous sumac
- Allergic reactions
- The rashes listed above are not specifically associated with the breasts - they can appear virtually anywhere on the body, including the breasts.
- Viral conditions such as measles, chickenpox, or shingles can also produce rashes in the breast area. As with the conditions listed above, they are not due to a specific breast disorder. However, they can have serious health consequences and should be examined and treated as quickly as possible.
- Dermatitis or eczema of the nipple may occur in certain nursing women because the nipples are irritated by the baby's mouth, tight clothing, or trapped moisture. Eczema of the nipple and areola may also be observed in women who are not breastfeeding.
Inflammatory breast cancer(IBC):
Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is aggressive breast cancer that develops when cancer cells enter the lymphatic vessels draining the skin of the breast. When the vessels are blocked by cancer cells, symptoms start to appear. These include:
- Thickened skin
- Rash or irritation that looks like an infection
- Red, swollen, and hot chest
- Pitted skin on the chest, similar to that of an orange peel
Mastitis is a painful swelling of the breast that most often happens in breastfeeding women, usually within three months of delivery. An infection occurs when milk collects inside the breast due to a blocked duct or another factor that slows or prevents the flow of milk. It can also happen when breaks in the skin of the nipple allow bacteria to enter. Symptoms develop quickly and include:
It is also possible that women who are not breastfeeding suffer from mastitis, usually as a result of a cracked or sore nipple, or a nipple piercing that allows bacteria to enter the milk duct.
- Breast swelling
- Increased blood flow
- Red skin
- Skin warm to the touch
- Nipple discharge
- Flu-like symptoms
A breast abscess is a buildup of pus under the skin of the breast caused by a bacterial infection. A breast abscess is often associated with untreated mastitis and usually affects breastfeeding women. The most common cause of mastitis or breast abscess in non-breastfeeding women is duct ectasia, a condition where the ducts behind the nipple are enlarged and can harbor secretions containing bacteria.
- Red and inflamed skin
- Skin warm to the touch
- Localized swelling
Mammary duct ectasia:
Mammary duct ectasia is a non-cancerous condition that occurs when the milk duct of the breast enlarges and its walls thicken. As a result, the conduit becomes blocked and leads to a buildup of fluid. Many times this condition will not cause any symptoms and is only found during a biopsy for another breast condition. If symptoms do appear, they can include:
An ultrasound or mammogram may be done to get a clear picture of the condition of the breast. If a lump is present, a biopsy may be done to make sure that no cancer is present.
- Discharge of a thick white toothpaste-like material from the nipple
- Redness and tenderness of the nipple and surrounding breast tissue
- Inverted nipple
- Scar tissue around the affected milk duct causes a visible lump that can be mistaken for cancer
Paget's breast disease:
- Paget's disease of the breast is a rare form of breast cancer that affects the skin of the nipple and may spread over the areola (dark-colored skin around the nipple). Most people suffering from this disease also have one or more tumors in the same breast, the most common tumors being either ductal carcinoma in situ or invasive breast cancer.
- In Paget's disease of the breast, cancer cells are found in the top layer of the skin of the nipple and areola. These cells are identified when they are examined under a microscope after a tissue biopsy. It is not yet known whether cancer cells form tumors inside the breast travel through the milk duct and land on the nipple, or whether cancer can grow separately in the nipple only.
- Symptoms of the disease include:
- Itching, tingling, or redness in the nipple area
- Scaly, crusty, or thickened skin
- A flattened nipple
- Yellow or bloody discharge from the skin of the nipple
Keeping the skin clean, cool, and dry can help treat most causes of rashes on or between the breasts. Here are some examples of treatment to take:
If you think your breast symptoms are due to an infection, see your doctor. You may need topical or oral antibiotics to make the rash go away.
- Gently cleanse the affected area with antibacterial soap and warm water. Dry the area when finished.
- Apply an unscented moisturizer, antibiotic ointment, or antifungal cream as recommended by your doctor.
- Avoid scratching the skin.
- Avoid using highly scented soaps, lotions, or perfumes around the breasts.
- Wear soft, comfortable clothing made from breathable fabrics, such as cotton.
- Consider placing a special soft cloth with antimicrobial materials, like InterDry, between the breasts to reduce itching and rubbing.
- Change sweaty clothes as soon as possible after exercising or being outside in the heat.
When to visit a Doctor?
- Breast rashes or changes usually don't mean a person has breast cancer.
- However, inflammatory breast cancer (IBC) is aggressive and dangerous, and Paget's disease can involve an invasive type of breast cancer. Therefore, any new rash or skin changes on the breast should be examined by a doctor.
Here are some of the best home remedies to get rid of breast rashes naturally and prevent them from recurring:
Tea tree oil:
This powerful oil is known to be one of the most effective home remedy ingredients for treating a wide range of skin conditions and problems like acne, pimples, eczema, and more. You can also use tea tree oil to get rid of rashes. Its antifungal properties prevent the growth of fungi as well as infections. If you are looking for a powerful natural remedy to treat breast rashes, tea tree oil is one of the best options.
The citrus scent of lemons helps ward off bacteria, which is why lemon juice is a great natural remedy for breast rashes. Lemon juice also works well for this problem, as it helps prevent fungal infections and speeds up the healing process so that the unpleasant rash is gone in no time.
Corn starch is another very effective home remedy for rashes on the breasts. It relieves burning sensation and itching caused by breast rashes. It absorbs the sweat and moisture present in the affected area, thus keeping the skin dry. However, you should keep in mind that if you have a fungal infection, you should use talcum powder instead as the fungi feed on cornstarch which will make the breast rash worse.
Recognized for their therapeutic properties, basil leaves are another very efficient remedy for the treatment of breast rashes. They contain antimicrobial compounds that help prevent the development of infections in the affected area. Basil leaves also have a cooling effect that instantly relieves the tingling sensation that accompanies rashes on the breasts.
When it comes to home remedies to treat skin problems, aloe vera is one of the most popular ingredients, and rightly so! It has antifungal and antibacterial properties which can treat rashes under the breasts. Aloe vera also has a calming effect, which makes it ideal for irritated and inflamed skin. Fresh aloe vera gel has healing properties that make it the best natural treatment for rashes on the breasts and other skin issues.
Frequently Asked Questions:
You can't associate breast cancer with redness or rash on the breast, but with inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), a rash is an early symptom. It is an aggressive form of breast cancer that affects the skin and lymph vessels in the breast.
Although red spots or a red rash on the breast are usually symptoms of a non-cancerous condition, sometimes they can be an early sign of breast cancer and a person should watch them closely. Red patches are a typical characteristic of inflammatory breast cancer, or IBC, which is a rare yet aggressive form of breast cancer.
Bacteria and yeast-like comfortable, moist places like the underside of the breasts. If these microorganisms build up on your bra, you may notice irritation and redness, or a full rash or infection that requires medical attention.