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Why Do Breasts Itch? Top 8 Causes You Need to Know

Nothing that happens within our body is without a cause and these experiences can be caused due to different reasons which can vary from simple rashes to major diseases.

And similar is the case of breasts and the nipple area. Itchy breasts and nipples can be irksome and frustrating at times, and even more tragic and helpless when it’s in public.

We all have experienced itchy skin, and sometimes even embarrassingly handled it in public. Be it itching of hair, neck, or any body part including our private parts, each of those sensations means a different thing according to your body.

If you have experienced itchy breasts, worry not, it’s not just you. They are experienced by the majority of women and in some cases men as well!

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by: jankopriva/ unsplash copyright 2022

1. Dry Skin

Skin textures vary from soft, dry, oily, scaly skin, sensitive, and more. Dry skin or xerosis is often the result of dehydration, cold weather, the use of harsh soaps and other products, and in some cases naturally by birth. The water in the skin gets drained and the skin texture thus appears dry.

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by: natimelnychuk/Unsplash copyright 2022

This behaviour of the skin, especially in breast areas, can cause itching. so if you have dry skin, the itching can also be considered as the result of your skin texture in general.

Lotions, moisturizers, and other products can also be of help in keeping the skin moisturized and comparatively soft. skin products, as advised by the doctor, or reputed products like Vaseline intensive care lotion and others, help in getting rid of scaly and flaky skin issues.

2. Growing Breasts

Most women are prone to experience itchiness in their breasts during puberty. Puberty is a period in our growth when our bodies tend to undergo several important changes. and in the case of women, they undergo changes which include the growth and development of parts like their breasts.

Now this is formed as a result of the growth of breast muscles. The breasts undergo a stretch due to this growth, the skin stretches and creates tightness and an unpleasant feeling which causes itchiness.

This aspect of growth in breasts doesn’t just occur during puberty but during other occasions like pregnancy and weight gain. The same phenomenon of the growth of breast muscles takes place when we gain weight which naturally results in a change in the size of breasts.

As we gain weight, our skin stretches resulting in the formation of stretch marks. These stretch marks often cause irritation and itchiness in your skin. With the perks of having perky breasts, there’s a lot of itching and discomfort that tags along.

Another reason for the itchiness can be because of pregnancy. The immediate growth of boobs during the pregnancy period for the convenience of breastfeeding can cause itching since it creates a stretch in breast muscles. Breastfeeding is naturally a part of pregnancy and hormones such as estrogen and progesterone aid in the swelling of breast tissues to facilitate the process of breastfeeding.

When breastfeeding the skin texture tends to be more dry in nature, proceeding to cause itchy breasts. However, it is advised to be extremely vigilant about these scenarios related to breasts and nipples during breastfeeding since there is a slight chance of lanolin allergy.

Lanolin is a substance made from sheep’s wool that is used in several cosmetics including lip balms, nipple creams, and other products. This can cause an allergic reaction in many women. A tear or rupture in the nipples can result in the forming of bacteria in milk ducts and induce more grave complications that include the baby’s health.

All these growth conditions of breasts can be sometimes the answer to the uncomfortable itchiness you feel.

3. Allergic Reaction

Allergic reactions are common and persistent in the case of many. These reactions can be skin-related, food-related, some product-related, or others. however, as an allergic reaction to a certain substance, your skin starts to develop a response that can be in the form of an uncomfortable itchy feeling sometimes.

This can be the result of contact dermatitis to perhaps soaps, laundry detergent, or deodorants, as an allergic reaction. Usage of normal soap, body wash or dryer sheets, towels, and even unwashed bras can cause itchy breasts. One should regularly wash their bra at least once a week.

Hygienic undergarments are an extremely important part of a healthy life. Possibility of the chest sweat accumulating is high and even the material of the bra can cause irritation and discomfort. It can either cause extreme discomfort redness, rashes, or both.

4. Yeast Infections

Yeast infections are infections caused by the formation of yeast in our body parts. It can differ in its form depending on the body part. in the case of the breast area, they will appear as fungal infections formed under the breast. yeast infections also known as candidiasis will cause rashes, irritation, and itchiness.

As a remedy for this, it will be helpful to wear a lightweight breast swaddle to reduce yeast growth. The atmosphere below the breast where moisture can be easily trapped and housed, is an optimal condition for the growth of yeast infection. Hence, avoid having situations that provide chances of absorbing sweat or moisture in the skin, especially under your breasts.

5. Heat Rash

Extreme heat is always unpleasant to deal with. Summer seasons are also the season when skin-related issues like sunburn and rashes make it to the news.

The unhealthy amount of sweat and moisture formed during the season results in an unfavourable amount of people with skin-related issues. Consequently, the breast itchiness you’re worried about might as well be a heat rash.

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by: nurianavarro/ pexels copyright 2022

They are notoriously known to form as a result of excessive heat exposure to hot surfaces, heavy clothing, and sweating. In most cases, the red rash doesn’t require treatment as such. Using cold water, and applying cold and wet clothes to the rash can help with getting rid of the discomfort.

Sunburn can also be a significant cause of itchy breasts if you go topless in the sun. Since the breast area is of extremely sensitive skin the chance of getting blisters when exposed to sunlight can result in the constant itchiness on the said area.

5. Breast Cancer

Despite the chances of survival getting advanced with the development of the medical field today, the fear regarding cancer is persistent as always. Cancer occurs when there is an uncontrollable multiplication of cells developing into cancer cells. Cancer treatment includes radiation therapy, drug treatment, surgery, and more. Breast cancer is considered to be one of the most common types of cancer in the UK.

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by: Angiola Harry/Unsplash copyright 2022

Although there is only a rare chance to be diagnosed with breast cancer due to the itchiness of the breast, it is also important to note how breast cancer cases and the treatment they require get delayed more often owing to the difficulty in identifying the lumps in breasts. The symptoms of breast cancer are as follows;

  • nipples being sunken into your breasts
  • rashes on nipples
  • discharge from nipples that can sometimes include the presence of blood in it.
  • lumps nearby armpits

There are two types of breast cancer, which includes:

5.1 Inflammatory Breast Cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer is a very rare form. This type of cancer directly affects the lymphatic system which helps in draining the waste products to the veins. However, when the lymph or the lymphatic system gets affected by the cancer cells, inflammation, red coloured reaction on the skin. symptoms of this very rare kind of cancer are

  • lymph nodes that are swollen
  • breast skin thickening and comparatively hot when made contact
  • breast tissue pain
  • lumps in the breast
  • inverted nippleTo diagnose it in the early stages scans such as MRI, breast ultrasound scan, biopsy, and mammogram are recommended.

5.2 Paget’s Disease of the Breast

The name of the disease specifically mentions ‘disease of breast or nipples’ because the same disease name is used for the condition for the bones, called Paget’s disease for bones.

This kind of cancer causes inflammation in the areolar area of the nipple, that is the darker area surrounding the nipple. It is possible that the area can bleed while it resembles the form of an ulcer of some sort. this can occur in both men and women according to studies, but predominantly in women. Other Paget’s disease symptoms are as follows;

  • itchy skin or a burning sensation
  • nipples with scaly skin
  • breast skin thickened and crusty-looking
  • redness
  • inverted nipples and lumps in the breast

Breast examination and enough awareness regarding the possibilities of cancer residing in your breasts are without a doubt necessary and of grave importance. Most people fail in recognizing the early signs of breast cancer causing it to advance into more complicated stages.

Awareness regarding breast cancer and campaigns are important in fighting this form of cancer and the role we all should play in it is pertinent. For those who are diagnosed and treated for cancer and have been struggling with itchy breasts, the primal cause of it would be the effect of radiation therapy. Radiation therapy effectively dries out the breast skin hence resulting in the itchiness of the skin.

6. Hormonal Changes

Hormonal changes or their imbalance can cause itchy breasts. How so, one might think. The answer lies in the fact that during these changes the size of your breasts undergoes certain modifications as well.

The shift in size usually occurs during pregnancy, puberty, breastfeeding, and weaning. All these results in the form of itchiness experienced in breasts and nipples due to the growth of their muscles.

Other sudden hormonal changes or shifts such as menopause, can become a reason for the same itchiness experienced on the breasts. The reason why menopause creates this discomfort in our boobs is because of the reduction of female hormones like estrogen and progesterone. When this happens the skin under the breast tends to be thin in their form. Thus the specific area of the skin becomes more prone to itchiness and discomfort.

7. Thyroid Issues

The thyroid facilitates and regulates several organ systems including the skin. As a result, when the thyroid hormone levels waver or experience a sudden decrease, it opens up a possibility for the skin to dry up.

The dry texture of the skin causes itchiness over areas including the breasts and nipples. Fatigue, mood swings, difficulty in sleeping, tiredness, hyperactivity, fluctuation in weight, and anxiety are other symptoms of thyroid issues.

8. Other Reasons

Other reasons for the itchy feeling you experience can be because of psoriasis, a disease that causes the skin to flake and become dry. Similar to eczema, they tend to appear below the boobs making it more painful and uncomfortable.

Other reasons may include the intake of medications like diabetes, and aspirin which trigger itchiness in the skin according to professional reports. Side effects from the medications we take come in different forms and your itchy breast might be related to that.

Recent surgeries on breasts can be another cause for the itchiness you feel on your breasts. In the healing process, it is considered that an agent called histamine is released which causes swelling stimulating the itchiness. Menstruation and PMS can also cause itchy breasts, though it differs from person to person. nevertheless, most women tend to experience PMS symptoms such as itchy nipples, breasts, mood swings, headaches, tender breasts, bloating, and others.

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by: Leeloo Thefirst/ Pexels copyright 2022

Like any other organ, breasts and the inconvenience we face regarding them are to be assessed and accordingly placed under medical attention. No amount of shame and stigma can match the possibilities of dangerous diseases and conditions including deadly forms of cancer.

Last Updated on December 25, 2023 by soubhik92@gmail.com