More Causes of Itchy Breasts
Itchy breasts are so uncomfortable. if you have an itch on your arm, you can always scratch it. Same goes for your leg. But with breasts? You could scratch them but expect a side eye or two depending on your surroundings.
Women experience this normally. In fact, women usually mention itching around the nipples or under the breasts and they often have skin irritation and a burning sensation along with it. Without further ado, here are some common reasons why you have itchy breasts, plus when you should see a doctor about it.
You most likely have a go-to bra or two that you more often wear than you’d care to admit, washing them close to never. Unfortunately, this can cause an itch. Unwashed clothes, undergarments, to be specific, can harbor bacteria that can irritate and even infect the skin.
The chest tends to be a place where bacteria may grow because sweat occurs in that area. Wash your bra more frequently if you sweat a lot or if it’s a sports bra. If you think your breasts itch because of a dirty bra, topical creams might help but you really just need to do your laundry.
The skin on your breast is sensitive and it can easily get burned, especially since it’s not typically exposed to sunlight. Sunburn can cause intense itching but it can be soothed with a moisturizer, cool baths or showers, and aloe vera-based moisturizers too.
Along those same lines, getting a heat rash on the chest can cause intense itching. When breasts get overheated and start to perspire. the skin becomes red and itchy. Heat rash occurs when sweat gets trapped under the skin, blocking the pores.
To prevent that from happening, wear lightweight bras and organic undergarments as the fabrics used are gentle on the skin and do not contain chemicals or dyes. They will help keep the skin of the breasts cool.
Contact dermatitis happens when the skin is exposed to something that it does not like. If you wash your bras with regular detergent and dry them with dryer sheets, it’s possible that when you wear them, your breasts will get itchy. Same goes with towels, and using body wash. Fragrances in particular are suspect which is why doctors recommend switching to fragrance-free products once a reaction occurs.
Eczema is a chronic skin condition that causes the skin to get dry, inflamed, and itchy. If you have had itchy breasts for a while and you cannot pinpoint why, eczema could be the cause. Over-the-counter topical steroid cream should help but if it does not relieve itching, call or see your doctor to be given proper medications.
Psoriasis is a condition that causes the skin cells to build up and form scales that are itchy. Unfortunately, just like eczema, it can show up under the breasts.
Bras are usually made with different types of fabric and some cheap versions can be seriously irritating to your breasts. Polyester and latex are some of the top potential irritants. Switching to organic cotton clothing can help soothe the itch.
Yeast infections are commonly associated with the vagina, but they’re actually common under the breasts too. Moisture gets trapped under the breasts, creating an environment that yeasts love to grow in to, resulting to itchy breasts. Keep the area dry and use topical anti-yeast medication.
Dry skin could be the reason why your breasts itch. If you are prone to dry skin, keep your breasts moisturized. Moisturizers, topical steroids, extra virgin coconut oil, petroleum jelly, can help relieve itch.
PREGNANCY AND/OR BREASTFEEDING
Breasts double or triple in size when breastfeeding. Stretch marks, which are normal, may occur and cause itching. Women who are breastfeeding may experience dry and irritated nipples. To soothe dry skin because of stretch marks, use moisturizers or lanolin creams.
Women who have hypothyroidism may experience dry skin, which can lead to itchy breasts. Hypothyroidism happens when the thyroid gland does not make enough hormones to keep the body functioning smoothly.
According to Medical News Today, an underactive thyroid affects the skin in various ways and can cause symptoms, such as:
- dry, coarse skin
- thin, scaly skin
Consult your doctor if you think you might be experiencing thyroid problems based on your symptoms; they can, if necessary, refer you to an endocrinologist.
MEDICATIONS THAT CAUSE DRY SKIN
It can be that certain medications you’re taking could have side effects, and itchy skin can be one of them. These medications can include acne medications, diuretics, some cholesterol and blood pressure medications too.
If you think your medication is causing your itchy skin, check with your doctor so he or she can adjust the dosage or switch up the medication.
If you have itchy breasts, it is much more likely that it is due to one of the above reasons, and not breast cancer. That said, there is a small chance that it can be inflammatory breast cancer, a rare type aggressive form that invades the dermis, creating an inflammatory response.
Other symptoms include rashes, orange-peel skin and inflamed skin that’s hot to the touch. It could also be Paget disease of the breast, where in cancer cells go through milk ducts and collect in or around the nipple causing flaky skin or bloody nipple discharge.
Radiation received during breast cancer treatment can cause the skin to completely dry out and burn the skin of the affected breast, which can result in itching.
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