The breasts are very delicate and whenever we feel anything out of the norm it should put us on high alert. Itching and/or pain in the breasts are both very common symptoms but which can have different causes. However, regardless of the possible cause of the pain or itch in the breasts, it is very important to consult with your doctor to receive an adequate diagnosis and find out if there is a serious problem.
Pain and itching in the breasts can be something not to worry about, or it can become something very serious. For this reason it is important to have in mind the possible causes of this problem, to regularly do a breast self-exam and to see a doctor if you notice anything out of the ordinary.
Possible causes of breast pain
Breast pain can occur before or during your menstrual period, which is a response to the hormonal changes that are produced during this cycle. If this is the case, a good option is to relax the breasts with a massage, using essential oils of evening primrose, chasteberry, garden angelica (aka wild celery or wild parsnip), the Andean Maca or sage.
Pain or itching in the breasts can also be caused by mastitis, an infection which often occurs during breast-feeding. This problem is from inflammation of the breast tissue that is usually accompanied by other symptoms such as fever and fatigue. In these cases the normal treatment incudes some antibiotics, although it can also be treated naturally using an infusion of thyme, for example, which should be applied directly over the nipple.
Finally, a possible cause that we must not ignore is inflammatory breast cancer. This type of cancer is not common but when it occurs it is usually accompanied by symptoms such as itching, swelling and pain, and redness in the area because the breast becomes full of lymphatic fluid. If this is the case, a correct diagnosis can only be made by a specialist, as well as the appropriate treatment.
Possible causes of itching in the breasts
Itching in the breasts normally occurs as an allergic reaction to certain components in chemical products such as detergents, deodorants, perfumes o chemical agents derived from those products which have some type of contact with the skin. For this reason, it is very important to have in mind what type of products could be in contact with your skin and which may be causing an allergic reaction.
Lack of hydration in the skin of the breasts is another of the reasons why they may itch. It is important to hydrate this part of the skin using, for example, vegetable oil, hydrating cream or Shea butter.
Itching in the breasts is also one of the first signs of pregnancy. This symptom is usually accompanied with a slight pain that is caused by increased blood supply to the area, especially in the nipples. This symptom usually decreases as the body become accustomed. While waiting you can treat the symptoms with compress applications of Calendula (Marigold) infusions.
If the itching is only in one part or in only one of the breasts, the causes could be in the mammary gland or connective tissues of that breast. 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, since these could be signs of an infection in the breasts or fibroadenomas, benign cysts or breast tumors.
Finally, itching in the breasts could be due to a bra that is too tight or due to a bra that is made from some type of fabric that causes an allergic reaction in your skin. If your breasts itch and you have ruled out the previous possible causes, you should test whether the cause is your type of bra.
Treatment for breast pain and itching
The treatment for pain and itching in the breasts should be applied depending on the possible cause. If the problem stems from the skin, it may be enough to provide it with proper hydration to reduce these symptoms. If the symptoms are due to an infection or a more serious problem, it is important to see your doctor since it is most likely you will need drug treatments and/or professional medical examinations.