Breasts are supposed to be a lot of things but not red, itchy and uncomfortable. If you have an under-boob rash, it may be time to seek help from a doctor. Yeast infections under the breast won't go away without proper treatment.
Under-Boob Rash or Candida?
If your boobs have been itching and you notice red patches beginning to develop, there's a good chance that rash is candida. MedlinePlus defines cutaneous candidiasis as a form of yeast infection on the skin. It occurs when two layers of skin rub against each other in a moist environment, meaning you can blame your under-boob sweat for this one.
Watch for Cutaneous Candidiasis Symptoms
Cutaneous candidiasis is not the only reason you might find a rash under your breasts. But it's one that requires medical attention. The MSD Manual explains that diagnosis requires the observations of a dermatologist. If you have the symptoms, your doctor will likely do a culture to check for candida growth.
A June 2018 article in the International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology says to look out for:
Red patches of skin that
Vary in size
Have smaller satellite patches* Skin turning scaly
Occasionally, hard bumps
You may want to try over-the-counter (OTC) medications before visiting a dermatologist. There are OTC creams that have been found to be effective, despite studies saying that treatment requires prescription creams. Of course, if you don't notice immediate improvement, you should make an appointment with your doctor.
How'd You Get the Rash?
If you have the symptoms of a yeast infection under the breast, the question is, how'd you get it?
An April 2014 study in American Family Physicians suggests that moist skin rubbing against itself causes the infection. Some populations are at a higher risk of cutaneous candidiasis. It's most common in the young, elderly, bedridden and overweight.
Other at-risk groups include those with:
- Excessive sweat
- A low immune system
- Large breasts
- People who wear moisture-trapping garments
- High sensitivity to yeast and pH balances
Treating Your Breast Yeast Infection
You can manage mitigation and prevention at home, but a candida infection requires a prescription. To treat cutaneous candidiasis, you must first seek medical assistance. Only a doctor can take care of this problem for you.
She will prescribe an antifungal cream, according to an American Journal of Clinical Dermatology August 2016 study. Use the cream as directed by your dermatologist and keep the area as dry and clean as possible.
Harvard Health Publishing notes that the cream works quickly. In some cases, it will work with as little as one dose. But either way, it should be a short road to recovery. In the meantime, the American Family Physicians study recommends sweat barriers and drying agents, like talcum powder to prevent further irritation.
Preventing Yeast Infection Under Breasts
Once you've gotten rid of the under-boob rash, you're probably wondering what you can do to prevent it.
The Harvard Health Publishing article recommends keeping the area dry and clean and emphasizes the importance of only taking prescribed antibiotics. An Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology July 2016 article recommends combining probiotics with antibiotics to avoid candida infections. That's because candida occurs from an imbalance of yeast and bacteria. You may also want to consider the candida diet to help regulate your bacteria-yeast balance.
Since the goal is to keep the skin under your boobs dry and clean, check out bras with sweat absorption protection. They often have breast pads for beneath the boobs that should keep the area dry. You may also consider using drying powders on days you need extra moisture control.
You Probably Don't Have Cancer
If you Googled "itchy under boob," you may have read that itchy breasts are a symptom of breast cancer. Don't be alarmed. The National Breast Cancer foundation notes itchy breasts as a sign of breast cancer, but the symptoms are different. Should it be a symptom of breast cancer, the red spots would be on the breasts, not under them.
Whatever the situation is, rest assured, your dermatologist will know the next step. Since you can't treat under-boob candida without going to the doctor, it should be your first step. That way, you can fix the problem and eliminate any unneeded fears.
- MedlinePlus: Candida Infection of the Skin
- International Journal of Immunopathology and Pharmacology: Cutaneous Candidiasis Caused by Candida Albicans in a Young Non-Immunosuppressed Patient: An Unusual Presentation
- MSD Manual: Professional Version: Candidiasis (Mucocutaneous)
- American Family Physicians: Intertrigo and Secondary Skin Infections
- American Journal of Clinical Dermatology: A Clinician’s Guide to the Diagnosis and Treatment of Candidiasis in Patients With Psoriasis
- Harvard Health Publishing: Candidiasis
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology: Probiotic Lactobacilli Inhibit Early Stages of Candida Albicans Biofilm Development by Reducing Their Growth, Cell Adhesion, and Filamentation
- National Breast Cancer Foundation: Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC)