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    Breast rash

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    Definition of breast rash

    Breast rash describes redness and irritation of the skin on your breast. A breast rash can also be itchy, scaly, painful or blistered.

    Other terms used to describe a breast rash include dermatitis and hives.

    Causes of breast rash

    Most breast rashes have the same causes as rashes occurring elsewhere on the body. Some rashes occur only on the breast.

    Causes of rash that occur only on the breast may include:

    1. Breast abscess
    2. Inflammatory breast cancer
    3. Mammary duct ectasia
    4. Mastitis
    5. Nipple dermatitis
    6. Nipple piercings or other body art, such as tattooing
    7. Paget’s disease of the breast
    8. Radiation dermatitis

    General causes of rash that can affect any part of the body, including the breast, include:

    1. Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
    2. Candidiasis (especially under the breasts)
    3. Cellulitis (a skin infection)
    4. Dermatitis
    5. Hives and angioedema
    6. Psoriasis
    7. Scabies
    8. Seborrheic dermatitis

    When to see a doctor

    Make an appointment

    Breast rash is rarely an emergency. But make an appointment with your doctor if your breast rash doesn’t respond to self-care within a week or two, or if it is accompanied by:

    • Fever
    • Severe pain
    • Sores that won’t heal
    • Signs and symptoms that worsen or last longer than a week

    Self-care for breast rash

    In the meantime, you may find some relief from your breast rash with these measures:

    • Take a warm bath or place a warm washcloth over the rash for a few minutes.
    • Apply a fragrance-free moisturizer to the area.
    • Take care of your skin. Don’t scratch the rash.
    • Avoid extra stress, because stress can make a rash itchier or make you more likely to scratch.
    • Think about recent behaviors that may have caused your rash. Have you tried a new soap? Have you been wearing scratchy clothing? Stop using any new products that may have caused your rash.
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