Itching breasts are mostly normal and harmless, but recurrent itching demands supervision of doctor as it might be a manifestation of certain serious like breast cancer.
Itching breasts could be a mere sign of allergy, fungal infection or dry skin, but when itchy breasts are associated with swelling and pain, they could be the probable signs of breast cancer. Two types of breast cancer with itching symptoms include inflammatory breast cancer and Paget’s disease. Still, every itchy breast may not be malignant.
Important Causes Of Itchy Breasts
Women are prone to yeast infection more during summer season, when sweating occurs profoundly, leading to warm and moist areas that serve as the perfect breeding grounds for yeast growth.
Women may experience fungal infection underneath the breasts that get worsen with tight clothing and bra usage even at night. A red rash, itching and pain are the usual signs of yeast infection.
Breast tissue infection that majorily occurs during breastfeeding is called as mastitis. The symptoms of mastitis include swelling, redness, pain and increased breast temperature. Certain cases may also experience chills or fever and breast engorgement alongside the usual symptoms.
Inflammatory Breast Cancer
It is hard to diagnose inflammatory breast cancer as compared to other forms of breast cancer as lumps are not the symptom of this disease. Hence, identification of inflammatory breast cancer may be misinterpreted as a breast infection.
In addition to itchy breast, symptoms also include swelling, pain, a bruise, thick pink-red patches, nipple retraction, nipple discharge and swelling of lymph nodes under the arm or those present in the neck.
Paget’s Disease Of The Breast
Similar to inflammatory breast cancer, Paget’s disease may also be misdiagnosed as a breast infection. Paget’s disease is actually a rare kind of breast cancer that affects areola and the nipples. The nipple may look inverted or flat, and the skin of nipple or areola may turn hard and crusty.
Other Possible Causes
Certain skin diseases like contact dermatitis or eczema may indirectly lead to breast itching in women. At times, change in laundry detergent or bathing soap or certain cream may cause an itchy breast.
In case of persistence symptoms or symptoms accompanied by nipple discharge, one need to immediately seek medical advice.
Tips On Proper Care Of Breast To Avoid Itchy Breast
Management Of Skin Patches
Perform regular and careful monitoring of nipples and breasts to check for any skin patches. Certain dry patches usually appear surrounding the nipple areas that can be easily managed, by washing breasts using mild soap and a gentle sponge.
Always make use of clean and comfortable bra to avoid any possible bacterial or yeast growth that may result in an itchy breast. Let your breasts relax when at rest and sleep by removing off the bra.
Anti Itch Cream
On visualization of dry skin, one must apply anti-itch cream on the dried portion of the breast. The cream should contain camphor, analgesic and 1% menthol to be sure that it remains safe and mild on the breast skin.
For those women with itchy and cracked nipples, topical steroid need to be applied over the affected nipples to relieve itchiness. In case it is suspected to be caused by eczema, one need to consult the doctor as it could lead to something more serious like breast cancer.
In middle aged women, who experience burning sensation in the breasts, such possibilities remain high. Sometimes, itchiness of breast may be due to a condition called jogger’s nipple, which occurs due to friction from tight clothing, bra and intense activities like running and jogging. The itchiness usually gets relieved after application of gentle cream or petroleum jelly on the affected region.