Every woman has experienced itching breasts at one point in her life. Does this indicate a serious problem? Could it be a sign of breast cancer? These are just but a few concerns that all women share.
There are numerous factors that may lead to itchy boobs. It may be a temporary condition that will disappear without any treatment.
As much as it is normal may also be normal to end up with an itchy left or right breast, on one breast, itchy areola, nipples that might be accompanied with some soreness. However, it can also be a signal that something is not right.
Unless it has been persistent for a while, this itchiness shouldn’t cause much panic. However, it should not be ignored all the same. While some it might be a passing cloud, it might also signify a serious breast condition. Understanding the causes, as well as the available remedies is quite important for every woman.
When is itching breast not a serious issue?
You should understand one thing; your boobs, and especially the nipples, are very sensitive. Their shape also exposes them to a lot of irritation. They always rub against your bra and clothes. This may cause irritation to them, thus desire to scratch the affected area.
Can it be breast cancer? According to Cancerresearchuk.org, itching is rarely a sign of breast cancer. However, mammography is necessary to get rid of any doubts. In some cases, inflammatory breast cancer can manifest itself in the form of some itchiness.
Most conditions that cause itchy boobs are minor and easy to treat. They are conditions that one can treat at home. However, you should see a physician in case it persists.
11 common itchy breast causes
Understanding the causes of itchy breasts is the primary step towards preventing and healing the condition. This condition is attributed to the following risk factors:
It could be eczema
Any skin condition such as eczema may cause this issue in the area where it is found. Commonly, it could be one boob or both. Sore itchy breasts are, in most cases, associated with eczema.
If it is due to eczema skin condition, the skin around the breast becomes red, dry, inflamed and itchy.
Eczema isn’t a serious skin condition. It has nothing to do with cancer. You can reduce its symptoms with some home-based remedies and over-the-counter ointments. Eczema is differentiated from other causes since it comes along with a red rash.
Itching under breasts due to yeast infection
Yeast infections mainly target areas that have little or no exposure to sunlight. It also targets areas that always dump. One of these areas is under your boobs. It would be naïve to assume that yeast infections only target the groin region.
If itching is because of yeast infection, you are likely to note the following symptoms:
- Irritation under breast
- Burning sensation on the nipples
- Your boobs may become tender and sore
However, yeast infections are easy to treat. Drying under your boobs thoroughly after a shower is vital in treating such infections. Moreover, you can use anti-yeast ointments and oral medications.
Psoriasis – red and itchy
If you note some redness and scales alongside itching, then you could be suffering from psoriasis. Psoriasis causes the skin to rapidly form new cells. As cells build up on the breast region, the skin looks scaly.
Please check these symptoms that come along with the urge to scratch your boobs which include:
- Your boob area becomes dry and cracked
- The area around your boobs develop red scaly patches
- Both or one boob become sore with a heightened desire to scratch the affected area
Psoriasis may come and then disappear within days. However, it is recurrent. Stress, obesity, smoking and viral infections are thought to be the leading risk factors. Oral antibiotics and topical ointments are used in healing this and providing relief to itching.
Irritation from clothes and bra
As earlier noted, breasts, especially the nipples, are very sensitive. According to self.com itchiness might be a sign of irritation. Different fabrics react differently with our skin. For example, synthetic fabrics don’t go well with nipples.
What does this tell you? Try to change your bra and inner clothes that encounter the breasts. Additionally, avoid cheap bras and inner clothes. If a change of bra doesn’t work, consider doing away with them all the same. Also, avoid tight tops and vests that might cause irritations.
Allergic reactions – soreness and rashes
Given that breasts are very sensitive, it is expected for them to have allergic reactions to some soaps, body lotions, sprays, and detergents. This is known as contact dermatitis. Because of these products, the skin around your boobs becomes severely itchy.
In addition, you may have other symptoms such as:
- Red rashes
- Dry, scaly skin under breasts
- The breasts swell and become tender
Keeping the area around your boobs moisturized is essential in fighting contact dermatitis. Additionally, identify the irritants and avoid them. In some cases, barrier creams are applied to prevent allergic reactions.
Prolonged exposure to the sun causes sunburns. This is possible especially if you are basking while your chest is loosely covered. The UV rays can penetrate the light clothes. Consequently, you develop sunburn.
When you are having sunburns, the DNA content of your skin is damaged. As a result, the skin turns red, painful and itchy. You can, however, prevent sunburns by applying sunscreen every time you are going out. You can also reduce the sunburn side effects by regularly moisturizing your skin. This may temporarily stop breast itching.
Poor personal hygiene
Itching is a sign that your overall hygiene is compromised. For example, after a hot sweaty day, you may have some irritations, especially if you fail to take shower. When was the last time you changed your bra, top, and other inner wears?
The area between the breasts undergoes a lot of sweating. Therefore, this area must be cleaned daily and thoroughly dried. If not so, this area will harbor bacteria, fungi, and yeast. Consequently, you experience some itching.
This is rare but possible. According to livestrong.com, this cancer can be one of the causes of itchiness. However, 99 % of the causes are benign. In this case, don’t panic. It might be one of the causes identified above in this article.
Failing to completely dry your boobs after shower creates a lot of friction. This may cause intertrigo. It is the main cause of itching under the breast. Intertrigo is common in skin folds. Because of friction, there is friction burn that is characterized with severe itching.
Intertrigo is associated with the following risk factors:
- Increased friction
- High temperatures
- Yeast Infections
Keeping the breast skin dry is vital in preventing intertrigo. It is commonly treated with creams and ointments.
Extremely dry weather
Dry weather is a risk factor for itchiness not only on the breasts but also in other body parts. Dry weather causes dehydration. Dehydration causes chafing, especially on the nipples. This results to that sensation to want to scratch your boobs.
You can use a humidifier to increase the room’s moisture content. Furthermore, you can hydrate your body by taking a lot of fluids. Creams and lotions can also significantly help in preventing chafing.
Itchy nipples can be an indication of hormonal changes. This is mainly experienced during pregnancy. According to medicalnewstoday.com, it may come along with other symptoms such as breast:
- Bigger boobs (enlarged)
- Highly sensitive nipples