Breast Rash/Irritation

Definition: 
Red/reddish-brown rash or irritated skin under breasts. The area can become raw with open areas of oozing, the skin may be cracked or crusty, a bacterial or fungal (yeast) infection can develop in this warm, moist area. The medical term for this type of condition is Intertrigo.


Causes:

  • Women with naturally large breasts
  • Women who are pregnant or breast feeding
  • Tight or incorrect fitting bras
  • Allergic reaction to bra materials (latex or elastic bands)
  • Pre-existing conditions such as diabetes, eczema or psoriasis
  • Exposure to high heat/humidity or excessive sweating
  • Friction or chafing between the skin folds
  • Lack of air circulation
  • Fungal infections elsewhere in the body
  • Poor hygiene 
  • Malnutrition

 

When to Seek Medical Care:
It is recommended that you see your doctor for any redness that is new. Seek medical care especially if symptoms are worsening, if you have any open sores, severe pain, fever or if symptoms last more than one week. 

Your primary care provider can determine if this is just a minor skin irritation, dermatitis, or if there is any infection or yeast infection present and can advise you on what remedies are best for you.

 

General Tips for Relief:

  • Keep area clean and as dry as possible
  • Dry skin gently, but thoroughly after bathing
  • Change out of wet clothing as soon as possible
  • Avoid tight/chafing clothing; be fitted for correct size bra
  • Blow dry area on cool setting several times daily
  • Place a cotton or linen cloth between skin folds 
  • Use air conditioning in hot weather
  • Use baby powder or talc
  • Wear bras without rubberized elastic bands
  • Wear clothing that allows skin to breathe or that wicks away moisture:
    • Cotton, Silk, Fleece
    • 100% polyester or 50% cotton/polyester
    • Name brands: Dri-Release, Cool Max Clothing, Moisture-wick, etc.


Other Remedies:
*These remedies have been used by Breast Center patients. The Breast Center of Suburban Imaging does not endorse or recommend these products.

  • Medicated powders such as Desitin, Gold Bond, Ammens
  • Cortisone Cream (use only short-term: 7 days) 
  • Calamine lotion 
  • Miconazole, or clotrimazole
  • Cool compresses can be soothing to the skin
  • ½ skim milk and ½ water
  • Diluted vinegar (has some antibacterial action)
  • Wet tea bags 
  • Burow’s Solution (has some antibacterial action)
  • A new product that absorbs moisture: Persper-eez
  • Heavier creams are NOT recommended as they block the skin pores

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