A rash under the breast usually results when the lower part of the breasts rests against the skin below and traps moisture or perspiration. When moisture builds up between the two layers, they become breeding grounds for bacteria, fungus and other infections, explains Dr. Neal Schultz of DermTV.com. One of the most common causes of under-breast rashes is cutaneous candidiasis. It’s a yeast infection that can appear anywhere on your body, but it usually targets under the breast, states the Mayo Clinic. You’re more likely to suffer from these rashes under your breasts as you age, if you have larger breasts, your breasts sag or during pregnancy. Simple home remedies can help you to avoid the pain and discomfort of a rash under your breast.
Schultz recommends applying a deodorant to the skin under your breasts and your chest area where they rest. This will help to reduce sweating. He also recommends placing a thin piece of cotton between the lower breast and the skin underneath to absorb moisture.
You can also reduce sweating under your breasts by staying as cool as possible. Wear light clothing in hot weather, turn on a fan or air conditioner—preferably an eco-efficient model—or leave a window open to improve circulation in your home. A dehumidifier also helps to suck moisture out of the air.
Sometimes you may develop a rash as an allergic reaction to a cosmetic or hygiene product you’re using. In these cases, it’s either contact dermatitis or hives. Try switching soaps, creams or any other likely suspect that may be responsible for your breast rash.
In other cases, an improperly fitting bra may cause a rash under your breast. Try loosening it or replacing it with a more supportive bra that elevates the lower part of your breast from the area below.
Apply Cold Compresses
According to Schultz, a skim-milk and cold-water compress can provide relief from a breast rash. Use equal parts milk and water, and then soak a T-shirt in the mixture; apply for five minutes. The compress will help to soothe itching and reduce swelling. Because a breast rash can become infected, use a clean compress on the area.
It’s not just good for cooking—cornstarch is an effective treatment for itching, states the National Cancer Institute. Do not apply it to moist or wet skin if you want to get the best results. When combined with moisture, cornstarch will increase the risk of a fungal infection. Try to stay as cool as possible after applying it to avoid perspiration and let it work its magic.
Laundry detergents made from harsh chemicals may create residue on your clothes and act as irritants on your skin. Thoroughly rinse all your brassieres to get rid of any residue. Add vinegar to your laundry or use a natural laundry alternative, such as baking soda or borax, or some of the organic brands available in stores.
Head to the Medicine Cabinet
A few staples in your medicine chest can minimize the irritation and pain from a rash under your breasts. Calamine lotion provides soothing relief for itching and helps to heal skin. Apply it a few times a day. A hydrocortisone cream may also provide relief for contact dermatitis and itching, while antihistamine can relieve hives and itching.
If you experience symptoms such as severe pain or a fever or if your symptoms last longer than a week, consult your doctor as soon as possible.