7 Causes of itchy breasts all women should know

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Do you often get naturally itchy breasts that feel uncomfortable, Mums? Here are some possible causes and how to prevent them.

Imagine this: You’re presenting at an important meeting. Suddenly, you’re seized by a horrible sensation — your breasts are itching! It’s agonising to say the least. While you can excuse yourself and rush out to scratch that itch, it’s certainly not going to look good. Your solution to making sure this never happens again then, is it learn about what causes itchy breasts and eliminate those causes. 

What causes itchy breasts: 8 common reasons

1.    Eczema and dry skin

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What causes itchy breasts? Common reasons can include dry skin and other skin conditions. | Image Source: Stock Photo

Eczema is a skin disease characterized by inflammation, swelling, redness and skin itchiness. Besides eczema, other skin diseases like Psoriasis can also cause red or white patches on the skin. It can also cause the entire breast to swell, coupled with itchiness.

This condition can cause the skin to feel dry and more itchy. Shari Lipner, MD, a dermatologist in New York, suggests bathing in cold or lukewarm water to reduce the itchiness. But if such skins conditions because unbearable, it’s best to see a dermatologist who can advise you of an appropriate solution. 

2. An allergic reaction towards soap or detergent

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What causes itchy breasts? Check your soaps products which you use to shower – are they suitable for your skin? | image Source: Stock Photo

If you have sensitive skin, your breasts can itch due to skin irritation from chemicals in the soap or detergent you use. According to Dr. Lipner, many people get rashes, which is accompanied with itchy skin due to excessive exposure to soap and detergent.

To be sure if it really is the soap or detergent that is the cause of your itch, check your other body parts. If they are itchy too, then it probably is the cause.

Replace your soap or detergent with alternatives made with gentler ingredients. You can also choose products that are more suited to your skin.

Having a persistent itch warrants a visit to the doctor.

3. Not taking a shower after exercising

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What causes itchy breasts? Improper hygiene – always remember to change your bras after exercising! | Image Source: Stock Photo

Using bras made of material that don’t absorb sweat can also cause itchiness. This is especially when they’re used while exercising and not replaced (without showering) afterwards. Not showering can also lead to rashes to flare on the skin around the breast.

In addition, sweat contains sodium, which can cause the skin to itch. Thus, we recommend women to immediately change their bra after exercising, and to choose a bra made from sweat-absorbent material.

4. Becoming pregnant

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What causes itchy breasts? Becoming pregnant could be one of the reasons. | Image Source: Stock Photo

Pregnancy causes hormonal changes in the mother. During pregnancy, the breasts will experience massive changes because the glands producing breastmilk are actively preparing to produce milk.

The skin stretching around the breasts often becomes itchy. Mums, to reduce excessive itching, considering applying anti-allergic lotion or cream to your breasts after taking a shower and drying them well. 

Usually, the itchiness caused by pregnancy vanishes after childbirth. 

5. Inflammatory breast cancer

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What causes itchy breasts? Inflammatory breast cancer, a rare type of breast cancer, can have causer itchy breasts. | Image Source: Stock Photo

Inflammatory breast cancer results from the entry of cancer cells through the skin and lymph nodes in the breast. Unlike normal breast cancer, which is often characterized by lumps, inflammatory breast cancer is characterized by itching, rashes, and clots on the skin that look like bite marks on the breast.

Inflammatory breast cancer, which generally occurs at an advanced stage, is also characterized by asymmetric nipples. If the itching continues and persists with treatment, so far as to even cause bleeding, do consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Even though inflammatory breast cancer is rare, it doesn’t hurt to stay cautious.

6. Breastfeeding

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What causes itchy breasts? Not properly cleaning your breasts before and after breastfeeding could cause your breast to itch.

When breastfeeding, droplets of breast milk which remain on the the breast and nipples can cause irritation if they aren’t cleaned properly. Just remember to wash your breasts while you shower, as a solution to this. You don’t need to use any special cleaning solution either. Just regular soap and water when you shower will do.

Mums, if the itchiness is accompanied by other symptoms like pain, swelling or scratches, do visit a doctor as soon possible. That way, doctors will know the exact cause of these issues and how to properly treat you.

7. Menstruation

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What causes itchy breasts? Your menstrual cycle can be responsible for hormonal fluctuations that can cause itchy breasts. | Image Source: Stock Photo

Women frequently feel that their breasts become more sensitive or soft just before menstruation. Itchy breasts can also be another pre-menstrual symptom. These symptoms happen due to hormonal changes in your menstrual cycle.

When hormones fluctuate, the breasts become more sensitive, and so they are prone to irritation and itching. In addition, during PMS the breasts enlarge, causing the skin around the breast to stretch and become itchy.

Keeping your breasts clean by showering daily and removing your bra before bedtime can prevent your breasts from becoming itchy. If the breast itchiness is accompanied with pain and swelling, do consult a doctor as soon as possible.

We hope this article on itchy breasts has been helpful, mums!

Reference: LiveStrong

Also Read:

Infographic: Changes in the breasts during the lactation period

Back to the basics of breastfeeding

14 tips on how to increase your breast milk supply

This article about what causes itchy breasts was translated by Kevin Wijaya Oey and republished with the permission of the theAsianparent Indonesia.

 

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