Why do I get rash near my bra area?

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While it is always best to consult a specialist when it comes to allergy related concerns, we have created this basic Q&A to guide you. In this post, we answer questions to some of the most common allergy concerns by women regarding bra rash.

What is a breast rash?

A breast rash is described as an irritation and/or redness that is usually found on the underside of the breasts. The rash may happen when a woman wears an ill-fitting bra or because of excessive sweating.

Other causes of the rash are the following:

  •         Bacteria or fungi
  •         Nipple dermatitis
  •         Breast abscess
  •         Mastitis
  •         Radiation dermatitis
  •         Inflammatory breast cancer
  •         Nipple piercings or any form of body art like tattoos
  •         Paget’s disease of the breast

The most usual culprit behind a breast rash is breast fungus which is the common term used for a fungal infection on this bodily part. However, this does not signify as an infection on the deep-seated part of the female mammary. Fungal infections are actually quite common and usually affects the feet and groin areas. The inframammary fold or the area underneath the breast is also prone to fungal infection since this area is where fungi can thrive.

Bacteria and fungi can actually thrive almost anywhere but they are more drawn to warm and moist areas such as the underside of the breasts. The presence of fungi as well as bacteria normally causes rashes around the bra area but there are also other reasons why this part can acquire an infection. In some cases, the rashes will disappear even without medication but there are instances wherein the infection will persist. If this is the case, then it is best to consult a doctor and avoid self-medication so as not to aggravate the situation.

What are probable causes of the itchy rash under the breast?

• Allergic Dermatitis

Allergic dermatitis can cause skin rashes when the person comes in contact with something that they are allergic to. The condition is generally very itchy and can flare up, causing red marks in the affected area. People with pre-existing medical conditions like asthma or eczema are also at risk for allergic dermatitis. The most common allergy triggers include lotions, perfumes, and laundry detergents. However, allergy triggers may vary from one person to another but it is best to stick to organic clothing like Cottonique and environment-friendly laundry materials to lessen the risk of contracting allergies.

• Bacterial Infections

The presence of bacteria such as Staphylococcus and Streptococcus can cause itchy rashes to appear around or under the breast area. Diabetes and disorders in the immune system connected to Candida infections can be considered as serious risk factors. Skin rashes that are caused by bacteria are characterized as bright red and are usually warm to the touch.

• Fungal Infections

Candida, a type of yeast can also be blamed for rashes around the breast area. Skin rashes that are caused by Candida can result to typically red but sometimes white that can also become scaly. Rashes that are due to Candida infection can be easily treated with the use of topical antifungal creams such as ketoconazole.

• Psoriasis

This skin condition that mostly affects the knees and elbows. However, inverse psoriasis which is a subtype of psoriasis can affect the under section of the breasts, groin area as well as under the arms. Inverse psoriasis is often misdiagnosed as Candida infection which is why it is always advisable to consult a doctor in case rashes appear in the affected area. Keep in mind that inverse psoriasis cannot be successfully treated with the use of topical antifungal creams.

 

Are there risk factors of breast fungus or rashes?

Women who wear ill-fitted bras or those with big breasts are more prone to breast rashes as well as those who live in humid areas or those who sweat a lot. Tight underwire bras can lead to chafing of the skin which can in turn result to infection or rashes. A woman who has large breasts is prone to experiencing fungus or rashes because the fungi can develop in a dark, moist and warm environment such as the folds or underside of the breasts. Women who experience rashes or fungal infection in other areas of the body can also transfer the fungi to their breast area when they scratch the affected part.  

Are there easy ways to get rid of breast rashes?

The most basic technique in eliminating breast rashes is by applying a cold compress to the affected area. This process can actually lessen the inflammation and itchiness. Just wrap ice in a towel or use a cold compress pack and apply it. Ice packs that are bought from a store should be wrapped in a towel and should not be applied directly to the skin.

Another solution is to use tea tree oil which can soothe the skin. Dilute the tea tree oil in olive oil before applying to the affected area. If symptoms persist, see a doctor right away so they can recommend medical treatment.

It is also recommended to avoid chemical’s of all sorts as much as possible.  Use chemical free detergents and softeners and avoid using perfumes and deodorant as these may be triggers to the allergy.  Latex can also be a major factor so consider wearing a latex-free bra.

 

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