Itchy skin on the breasts can be irritating and painful. There are many causes, some of them serious, therefore it is important to check with a doctor if you are unable to find relief on your own or symptoms are prolonged. There are many treatment options available for mild cases of itchy skin on the breast, many of which can be done in your own home.
Itchy skin in general is often caused by dry skin, allergic reactions or rashes. It can also be caused by an internal disease such as liver disease, celiac disease, kidney failure, anemia, thyroid problems or a reaction to medication. Itchy skin on the breast may be caused by menopause, pregnancy or an infection. Infections such as a yeast infection can occur on the breast when it is exposed to heat and sweating, or if you are breast-feeding.
Itching on the breast can lead to can lead to rashes, redness, rough skin, bumps, blisters or brown skin patches. If you scratch, the itch it will intensify and the skin could become infected.
For minor breast skin irritation, apply an over-the-counter anti-itch cream or lotion and avoid scratching the area, recommends AgingSkinNet. Applying a cold, wet compress or take a cool bath with baking soda and colloidal oatmeal may also provide relief. Wear a smooth-textured, cotton bra and make sure to wash it with mild, unscented detergent. Bathe daily with unscented soap and pat dry with a soft towel before moisturizing the area.
If home methods of treatment do not provide relief or you think you have a more serious condition, see a doctor. To prepare for your appointment, put together a list of all your symptoms and track when the itching occurs. Also list all the medications, vitamins and herbs you take. Write down any questions you have for the doctor so that you don't forget.
Your doctor may prescribe a medication such as an oral antihistamine or a corticosteroid cream, wet dressings, which involve applying a medicated cream and then a damp cotton material to the breast, or phototherapy, which involves applying ultraviolet light to the area.
Itchy breasts can be a sign of Paget's disease or inflammatory breast cancer, says MayoClinic.com. Other symptoms of these breast cancers include flaky or scaly skin on nipples, crusty or oozing skin, redness, a tingling or burning sensation, nipple discharge, enlarged breast, unusual warmth of breast, enlarged lymph nodes under the arm or around the collarbone, flattening or turning inward of the nipple, a lump on the breast and thickened skin on the breast. If you are suffering from these symptoms, see a doctor.