Itchy or Painful Breasts: Treatment and Possible Causes

October 14, 2018
The causes of itchy or painful breasts can range from wearing an ill-fitting bra to developing infections such as mastitis. This is why seeing a doctor and identifying the cause of your discomfort is so important.

Breasts are a very delicate part of the body. So, if you believe something is amiss with your breasts, you should definitely pay close attention. Itchy or painful breasts are both very common symptoms but can have different causes.

Regardless of the possibilities, however, it’s very important that you consult with your doctor. This way, you can get an adequate diagnosis and find out if there’s a serious problem.

Itchy or painful breasts can be a minor issue, but they can also be an indicator of something more serious. This is precisely why it’s so important for women to know the possible causes of these symptoms.

Regularly performing breast self-exams and seeing a doctor upon noticing anything out of the ordinary are also crucial.

Possible Causes of Itchy or Painful Breasts

Painful Breasts

Breast pain can occur before or during your menstrual period. It occurs as a response to the hormonal changes produced during the cycle. This being the case, a good option for relaxing your breasts is massaging them.

You can do this with essential oils such as evening primrose or chaste berry. Garden Angelica (also known as wild celery or wild parsnip), Andean Maca and sage are also great choices.

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Itchy or painful breasts can also be caused by mastitis, which is an infection that often occurs during breastfeeding. This problem occurs due to inflammation of the breast tissue. It’s usually accompanied by other symptoms such as fever and fatigue.

The common treatment method for mastitis includes taking antibiotics. However, it can also be treated naturally by using an infusion of thyme, for example. This should be applied directly onto the nipple.

Nude woman covering her nipple

Last but not least, another possible cause that we need to discuss is inflammatory breast cancer. This type of cancer is not common. When it does occur, though, it’s usually accompanied by symptoms.

These include itching, swelling, pain, and redness because the breast becomes full of lymphatic fluid.

If this is the case, a specialist is the only one who can make an accurate diagnosis and suggest the most appropriate treatment method.

Itchy Breasts

The cause of itchy breasts is usually an allergic reaction to certain components in chemical products. This includes detergents, deodorants, perfumes, or chemical agents derived from products that have come in contact with a person’s skin.

It’s very important to be aware of the types of products with which you come in contact. This makes it a lot easier to narrow down what could be causing the allergic reaction.

Dry skin around the breasts is another reason why they may itch. That’s why it’s crucial that women hydrate this part of their bodies with things like vegetable oil, hydrating cream or Shea butter.

Shea butter for itchy or painful breasts

Itchy breasts are also one of the first signs of pregnancy. This symptom is usually accompanied by slight pain. This occurs due to the increased blood supply to the area, and especially to the nipples.

The pain usually decreases as the body becomes accustomed. However, you can treat itchy or painful breasts by applying compresses soaked in an infusion of calendula (marigold).

If itching is only occurring on one part or on only one of the breasts, the causes could be related to the mammary gland or connective tissues of that breast.

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It is very important to be aware of any other symptoms such as pain, tumors or nodules, changes in the shape of the breast, or secretion of liquid from the nipple. These could be signs of an infection in the breasts or fibroadenomas, benign cysts or breast tumors.

Finally, itchy breasts could be due to wearing a bra that is ill-fitting or too tight. Or, a bra that is made out of some type of fabric that causes an allergic reaction.

If your breasts itch and you have ruled out the previous possible causes, you should consider whether your bra may be the problem.

Treatment for Itchy or Painful Breasts

Treatment for itchy or painful breasts will depend on what is causing the problem. If the problem is stemming from the skin, properly moisturizing the area may be enough to reduce these symptoms.

However, if you suspect the symptoms are due to an infection or a more serious problem, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

Depending on the cause of your discomfort, you may need medication, treatments and/or professional medical examinations.