Breast rashes are changes in the texture or colour of the skin of your breast. The rashes may come in the form of scales, patches or redness. It may also be on, under or around your breast. These skin changes could signify a general skin problem or point to a disease affecting your breast. The causes of breast rashes range from infections or heat to more severe things like cancer. Visit your healthcare provider if the rashes do not go away on their own after few days.
Common causes of breast rashes include:
- Breast infection. Infection can be caused by bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites and it commonly happens when you do not practice proper personal hygiene.
- Skin conditions such as eczema and dermatitis.
- Bites from insects such as bedbugs.
- Allergic reactions.
- Heat rashes, which are common in hot and humid weather.
- Other serious breast conditions such as mastitis, breast abscess and breast cancer.
If you notice the following symptoms alongside your breast rash, you should see your doctor as soon as possible:
- Breast lumps or discharge from your nipples.
- Dimpling of the skin or when your skin resembles an orange peel.
- Breast skin is warm to touch.
- Inversion of your nipple.
Preventing breast rash involves taking the following general precautions:
- Keep the breast area clean and dry.
- Avoid heat and the use of ointments around the breast area.
- Avoid injuries to the nipple and its surroundings, especially during breastfeeding.
- Ensure you empty each breast entirely during breastfeeding.
- Avoid triggers that cause you allergic reactions.
The following are things you can do at home to care for rashes on your breasts.
- Clean your breasts with mild soap and warm water. Pay attention to the area under the breasts, especially if you have bigger breasts.
- Ensure you dry the area under your breasts after shower or swimming. Do this by patting with a towel, do not rub.
- Avoid applying heat to the skin on your breasts.
- Stop using any harsh creams or soaps.
- Avoid things that trigger allergic reactions like certain clothes, creams or powders.
- Drink a lot of water. Water refreshes your skin and prevents wrinkles.
Management of a rash on the breast depends on the cause. The following are treatment options available for the most common causes:
- Antibiotics and antifungal agents can be used to treat infections.
- Antihistamines can be used to treat allergies.
- Breast abscesses require the use of antibiotics and drainage of pus by qualified healthcare personnel.
- Surgery to remove cancer or breast lumps.
- Chemotherapy and radiation can treat cancer by reducing the cancer cells or killing them.
Rashes on the breast can make you very worried because of the possibility of severe conditions and the accompanying discomfort. Another common source of concern is the appearance of the breasts. You can use cosmetics to help cover the rash on your breast. Ensure that you reach out to your healthcare provider once the rash does not go away in few days. Note down cosmetics, soaps or clothes that cause the rash so as to avoid using them in future.