Itchy Breast: When to Worry?

May 28, 2024

Today we address a very common issue that can be worrisome: itchy breasts.

In this article, we understand the causes of itchy breasts, what to use to relieve itchy nipples, what are the symptoms of breast candida, and when to worry.

Causes of itchy breasts

When you experience itchy breasts, it can be a signal from the body that something is wrong.

There can be many causes, ranging from simple skin irritations to more serious medical conditions.

Common causes include eczema, dermatitis, fungal infections (such as candida), but also allergic reactions to certain tissues or detergents.

Here are some of the main causes of itchy breasts:

  • Dry skin
  • Friction: Nipple irritation and itching can result from rubbing against rough tissues
  • Allergic reaction
  • Eczema: About 20% of itchy, rashy nipples are due to underlying eczema.
  • Yeast infection: during breastfeeding, itchy or cracked nipples accompanied by deep, sharp pain may indicate a yeast infection.
  • Hormonal fluctuations: hormonal changes during various life stages such as premenstrual syndrome, premenopause, menopause, or use of the birth control pill may contribute to itchy nipples.
  • Dermatological problems: skin conditions such as red patches or boils on the breasts can cause itching.
  • Paget’s disease: a rare form of breast cancer known as Paget’s disease can manifest as eczema-like lesions on the nipple and areola, causing itching.
  • It is important to pay attention to all symptoms on the breast, which is a very delicate part of the body, such as hard and sore or hypersensitive nipples.
itchy breast

What to use for itchy nipples?

To relieve itching, it is important to keep the area dry and clean.

Anti-fungal powders or moisturizing creams specifically for sensitive skin can be used; it is best to talk to your doctor about their application.

Another effective remedy is the application of cortisone creams, which can reduce inflammation and itching.

However, it is always advisable to consult a doctor before using any treatment, particularly if symptoms persist or worsen.

Why does it always itch in the same spot?

Recurrent itching in the same spot could be a sign of a chronic condition such as eczema or psoriasis.

These skin diseases cause inflammation that can cause intense, localized itching.

A scar or old wound can also make the skin more sensitive and prone to itching.

In some cases, persistent itching in a specific spot could be a sign of a more serious problem, such as the presence of a lump or tumor.

Therefore, it is important not to underestimate a symptom that might seem harmless.

How to tell if you have breast candida?

Breast candida is a fungal infection that can cause intense itching, redness and burning.

It is more common in breastfeeding women, as the fungus can easily be transmitted from the infant’s oral cavity to the mother’s breast.

Other symptoms include pain during breastfeeding, cracked skin and the presence of small white lesions.

To diagnose breast candida, a medical examination is required, which may include collection of a sample for laboratory analysis.

Treatment involves the use of antifungal creams and, in some cases, oral medications. It is also important to treat the infant at the same time to avoid continued reinfection.

Breast itching when to worry?

If there are many lighter conditions, some symptoms can and should keep our attention high.

Especially keep an eye out for the following signs that something may be wrong:

  • Persistence and intensity of itching
  • Signs of Infection: If itchy nipples are accompanied by signs of possible infection such as rashes, discharge, scab formation or fever, you should consult a doctor.
  • Deformities, Nodules or Lumps
  • Unusual or Persistent Symptoms: If breast itching does not go away and occurs along with unusual symptoms such as red spots, it is important to consult a physician to rule out more serious conditions such as breast cancer or Paget’s disease.

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At Parentalife, we are with you throughout the parenting journey, from the childbearing period, to childbirth, to life with children.

We support you with our guides, classes, and personalized counseling.

Remember, you will never be alone; we are with you.

SOURCES

Pourmoussa AJ, Mautner SK, Nasseri-Nik N, Lampen-Sachar K. Invasive Paget’s Disease of the Breast: Rash or Recurrence? Cureus. 2021 Nov 2;13(11):e19216. doi: 10.7759/cureus.19216. PMID: 34877199; PMCID: PMC8642140.

About the Author

Severino Cirillo

Health, Wellness and Education Expert. With a degree in Community Health, he is the CEO of Informed Parent and is responsible for validating the blog's scientific information and coordinating the editorial team of experts, consisting of gynecologists, midwives, psychotherapists, and others in pregnancy, perinatal, and parenting wellness and health.