Itchy breasts can be such an emergency. Of course, one of the universal truths of having skin is that it will itch at some point . And that's usually not a big deal – if you have an itch on your arm, scratch it. The same goes for your leg. But when it comes to itchy breasts? Sure, you could scratch them, but depending on the environment, you might get one or two side eyes.
Itchy breasts are normal and they itch to the point where you would go to see a doctor, not too unheard of. "I see a few patients with this complaint every month," says Gary Goldenberg (1
At this point you probably wonder: why do my breasts itch in the chest? first place? While the regular scratching of your breasts (or, well, the itching) is probably not a concern, this could be a sign that something is wrong. Here are some common reasons why you have itchy breasts and when you need to discuss the problem with your doctor.
. 1 You last washed your bra … um … you really can not remember exactly.
You probably have a bra or two that you wear more often than you'd like to admit, and you'll probably never wash them nearby. Unfortunately, this can cause problems with your breasts. "Dirty clothes, including underwear, often contain bacteria that can infect and irritate the skin," Dr. Goldberg.
Bacteria may accumulate in your breast due to sweating that may occur in the area, so you should really wash your bra at least once a week, Dr. Goldberg. (This number increases if you sweat a lot or if it is a sports bra. – you should wash after each wearing.) If you think that your itchy breasts are due to a dirty bra To use a topical antibiotic like Neosporin may help with the irritation, but you really should just do a load of laundry.
. 2 You have a sunburn.
Homeless sunbathing on your weekend trip to Miami may have sounded like a good idea back then, and hopefully you've crashed [sunscreen with an SPF of 50 or higher] (https://www.self.com/story/9-thinking-you-make pretty much every time you go out) before flogging your swimsuit top. Nevertheless, your breast skin is sensitive and can easily get sunburned, especially as it is not normally exposed to sunlight. In addition to delightful side effects such as exfoliation, sunburns can cause intense itching due to skin irritation. You can soothe your itchy breasts with a moisturizer like Aquaphor, Dr. Goldberg. The American Academy of Dermatology also recommends cool baths or showers and moisturizers based on aloe vera.
. 3 You have a heat rash.
In this sense, a heat rash on your chest can also cause itchy breasts. Sherry A. Ross MD, an expert in women's health and author of ] She-ology: The Definitive Guide to Intimate Women's Health. Period. ] (https://www.amazon.com/She-ology-Definitive-Intimate-Health-Period/dp/1682612406), tells SELF. "When breasts overheat and sweat, the skin of the breasts can be irritated, reddened and itchy," she explains. In fact, a heat rash typically occurs when sweat gets trapped under your skin and clogs your pores, according to the Mayo Clinic . How can you prevent this? Wear light bras and underwear that keep the skin of the breasts cool, suggests Ross.
. 4 Your soap, detergent or drying wipes do not match you.
Contact dermatitis is a [allergic reaction] (https://www.self.com/health-conditions/allergic-reactions) that can occur if your skin is exposed to something that it does not like and that is itching one of the main problems. If you wash your bras with a regular cleanser or dry with a dryer, your breasts may become restless and itchy. (The same applies to towels, sheets, if you are sleeping naked, and basically anything else that may come into contact with your chest, including your body wash.) Perfumes are particularly suspicious, so Dr. Goldenberg recommends switching to perfume-free products when reactions occur.
. 5 You have eczema.
Atopic dermatitis is a chronic skin disease that causes a dry, itchy inflammation that can manifest itself in a red rash. If you've had itchy breasts for some time and are not sure why, eczema could be the cause, Jack Jacoub, MD, a medical oncologist and medical director of the MemorialCare Cancer Institute at the Orange Coast Medical Center, Fountain Valley, California. says SELF. An over-the-counter topical steroid cream should, according to Help Goldenberg (and avoid potentially irritating fragrances in your products). If not, ask your doctor for something stronger.
. 6 They have psoriasis.
Psoriasis is a disease in which skin cells build up and form dandruff and dry, itchy areas. Unfortunately, it can be similar to eczema on or under your breasts . You can also treat this itch with a topical steroid, says dr. Goldenberg, and avoid fragrances that can aggravate psoriasis.
. 7 Her breasts hate her bra.
Bras are made of different fabrics, and some cheaper versions can seriously irritate your breasts. "Synthetic fabrics are the biggest problem," says Dr. Goldenberg and cites polyester and latex as some of the key potential irritants. If you recently tried a new bra and developed itching, Dr. Goldenberg, to switch to a substance such as cotton.
. 8 You have a yeast infection under your breasts.
You probably associate yeast infections with your vagina, but in fact they also occur frequently under the breasts, Dr. Goldberg. Moisture can accumulate there and create an environment in which the yeast can grow optimally, which can lead to itchy breasts. To treat it, you must keep the area dry and use a topical anti-yeast medication.
. 9 You have dry skin.
Yes, good, old-fashioned dry skin may be the reason why you have itchy breasts. "Dry skin anywhere on the body can cause itching," notes Ross. If you are prone to dry skin, keep your breasts moist. "Moisturizing creams, topical steroids, extra virgin coconut oil, Vaseline, and Aveeno baths can treat itchy breasts," says Ross.
10th You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
"During pregnancy and breastfeeding, your breasts double or triple," says Ross. "Stretch marks that are genetic can occur and cause itching." If you breastfeed, your nipples can also become dry and irritated. To soothe dry, itchy skin due to stretch marks, Ross recommends the same products as for dry skin in general (moisturizers, topical steroids, extra virgin coconut oil, petrolatum and Aveeno baths). For dry nipples use lanolin cream.
. 11 You have a thyroid disorder.
"Women with hypothyroidism are prone to dry skin, which can lead to itchy breasts," says Ross. According to the Mayo Clinic hypothyroidism (also referred to as hypofunction of the thyroid) is the case when your thyroid does not produce enough hormones to ensure a smooth flow of your body. Again, you should provide your breasts with moisture to combat dryness and itching.
12th You take a medicine that causes itchy skin.
So many medicines have a long list of side effects – and itchy skin can be one of them. These may include things like acne medications, diuretics, and some cholesterol and blood pressure medicines, says Ross. If you believe that your medication causes itchy skin, you should consult your doctor, who can adjust your dosage or change the medication you are taking.
. 13 In very rare cases, itchy breasts can be a symptom of cancer.
If you have chest itch, it is more likely to be due to one of the above reasons and not breast cancer . Even so, there is little likelihood that it is inflammatory breast cancer, a rare but aggressive form of the disease that enters the dermis of your skin (the layer of skin that lies beneath your epidermis, the outer layer of skin) and causes an inflammatory reaction Explains Dr. Jacoub. Inflammatory breast cancer is usually associated with other symptoms, such as skin rash, orange peel, and reddened, inflamed skin that feels hot, as well as Dennis Holmes, MD, breast cancer surgeon and Margie Petersen Breast Center researcher and interim director at John The Wayne Cancer Institute Providence Saint John Health Center in Santa Monica, California, reports SELF.
It could also be Paget's disease of the breast, another rare form of breast cancer in which cancerous cells pass through the milk ducts and get into or collect around the nipple, says dr. Holmes. With Paget's disease, you may also have scaly or flaky skin around your nipple, a bloody nipple discharge or a newly inverted nipple according to the Mayo Clinic .)
14. You are currently receiving radiation therapy for breast cancer.
Irradiation is uncomfortable for many reasons – and itchy breasts are one of them. "The radiation received during breast cancer treatment completely dries out and burns the skin of the affected breast, which can cause itching," explains Ross. "If you hydrate the skin during treatment, you can reduce this side effect of breast radiation."
If you itch again and it's new, it's probably due to something quite harmless, like a bad cleanser. But if it persists, has other symptoms, or you can not think of a reason to itch, call your doctor in any case.