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Most breast rashes are no reason for alarm and stem from common skin conditions such as eczema, scabies, or psoriasis. An allergic reaction or a type of breast infection known as mastitis may also cause a rash to develop on one or both breasts. Occasionally, the development of abnormal or unexplained breast rashes may be an indicator of various forms of cancer. Any specific questions or concerns about breast rashes should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
Eczema is one of the most common causes of breast rashes. These rashes often appear dry or scaly and may appear red and inflamed. A rash associated with eczema usually itches and may ooze a thin liquid. A gentle moisturizer that does not contain alcohol may help to get rid of an eczema rash. Prescription ointments may be needed for stubborn eczema outbreaks.
Scabies is a type of parasitic infection caused by an almost microscopic mite and may be responsible for some breast rashes. The small mite that causes scabies travels from one person to another and is considered highly contagious. Prescription medications can be used to kill these mites, but all clothing, linens, and towels must be washed carefully to avoid reinfestation.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin disorder that causes thickened areas of skin that may itch or cause pain. Breast rashes associated with this condition are usually treated with oral or topical medications. Ultraviolet light therapy may sometimes be used, although some doctors are hesitant to use this form of treatment on the breasts.
Mastitis is a medical term used to describe inflammation of the breast, usually due to an infection. This condition is especially common among breastfeeding women and can often be treated conservatively by using warm compresses and continuing to breastfeed in spite of the pain. If an infection is present or suspected, antibiotics are typically prescribed.
Some forms of cancer can sometimes be responsible for the development of breast rashes. If the rash is on the nipple or if a lump is felt underneath the skin, a doctor should be consulted immediately for further evaluation. Cancer is among the least likely causes for breast rashes, but when it does occur, early detection is crucial. Surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation treatments are possible treatment options for those with cancer. The supervising physician can work with the patient to determine the best course of action for the individual situation.