Yeast infections of the skin, also called cutaneous candida, often occur under the breasts as well as other areas of the body. Yeast normally lives on skin tissue and grows readily in moist, warm environments. Skin beneath the breasts is the perfect host for yeast overgrowth if perspiration or other moisture is allowed to remain on the breast folds. Other conditions can prompt yeast infections to form beneath breasts as well.
Large Breasts or Obesity
Both men and women with large breasts may have more trouble with yeast infections. Breasts that lie against the upper body create a warm, moist space for yeast to grow. Additionally, those who are overweight or obese may have additional folds of skin beneath the breasts. These folds can retain moisture and be more difficult to keep dry, resulting in yeast infections. Cleansing beneath the breasts and drying skin thoroughly may help decrease the risk of yeast growth.
Medline Plus, a division of the National Institutes of Health, recommends using antifungal powder beneath the breasts, if appropriate, to control moisture and inhibit yeast growth. Women may find wearing a cotton bra helpful, as cotton allows for better air circulation and drying of skin.
Diabetes is a medical condition that causes an imbalance of blood sugar and insulin in the body. Diabetes affects nearly every system in the body, according to the American Diabetes Association, including the skin, which can make yeast infections more common in people with the disease. A diabetic may develop yeast infections under the breasts and other body areas as well, including the groin, feet and vagina. Maintaining proper blood sugar control and paying close attention to diabetes management can reduce the amount and severity of yeast infections.
The body normally hosts yeast that does not cause infection but simply lives on skin. The University of Maryland Medical Center advises that using certain medications can allow overgrowth of yeast and increase the risk of yeast infections. These medications include antibiotics, corticosteroids and some birth control pills. A person with a yeast infection under her breasts may want to check with her physician to see if medication use is the culprit.