Rash under Breast Causes: Itchy, Red, Heat, Cancer, Treatment

Another name for rash under breast is intertrigo. This condition usually occurs when the skin folds rub together causing friction and trapping moisture. You may see this condition as a red or reddish-brown rash, raw, itchy or weeping skin with or without a smell and cracked skin.
Intertrigo can form anywhere on the body where skin rubs against each other, for example, between the thighs, on the underside of the belly or the armpits. A warm moist environment encourages infection by yeast, fungus or bacteria.

In most cases, rashes that develop under your breasts have an underlying cause from fungus infection. It does not imply an infection of the deeper breast tissue. Fungal skin infections are common and the most affected sites are the feet and groin although skin anywhere on the body can be affected.
The area under the breast is particularly prone to rash from fungal infections in women for a number of reasons that makes this region ideal for fungi to thrive.

How to identify rash under your breast:

  1. Touch your breast

Women are encouraged to examine their breast twice every month to check there are changes by running their hand over their breast to check any presence of growth of tumor. They should make a routine especially before they experience menstruation cycle while those who have reached menopause should identify an appropriate time to do so.

  1. Nipple discharge

If a lady experiences unusual discharge either clear or bloody is encouraged to see a doctor since these are symptoms of a rash under breast from cancer.

  1. Changes in the size and shape of the breast

If the breast undergoes changes in size or shape at different times of the month apart from during menstruation period, it is a clear symptom of breast cancer and an individual is therefore required to seek for medication.

  1. Inverted nipple

In case the nipple changes in its appearance from its normal state, a lady should not ignore this but instead visit a doctor to check on this.

  1. Peeling, scaling, or flaking skin

Don’t ignore in case you notice shedding of skin around the breast or on the nipple forming a red spot on breast instead visit a specialist to conduct tests for cancer and any other diseases.

  1. Skin rash on the breasts

This condition in most cases is not associated with breast cancer but in case it is inflammatory then making the breast swollen, warm and red in appearance.

  1. Pitting breast skin

In case there is appearance of dimples on breast skin, which then becomes orange in appearance by peeling due to inflammation thus it is a clear indication to seek for medication.

What Causes Rash under Breast

Rash that develop under the breast usually can be as a result of many issues that take advantage of the moist area on your breast. However, the causes of this rash can be categorized into four groups including: infections, allergies, autoimmune disorders, and cancer.

  1. Infections

This is the leading cause of the rash under your breast. The warm, moist skin under breasts is an ideal breeding ground for bacterial, fungal, and yeast infections.

  • Candidiasis

This is a condition resulting from yeast, or fungi, that cause vaginal yeast infections, oral thrush infections, and diaper rash. These fungal infections are often seen in babies, people with illnesses that affect their immune system, and in people who are taking antibiotics. This yeast is said to be naturally appearing in our bodies but in harmless state. It only causes infection when there are chances of compromised immune system or presence of necessary conditions to provoke it.
On your breasts, candida yeast thrives in the moist, warm environment like under the breasts mostly for breast feeding mothers. They cause a rash under breast that often develops uncomfortable blisters and small cracks. Like many other rashes, candidiasis can be very itchy.

  • Ringworm

Ringworm condition does not originate from worms. It is just one of several types of fungal infections called tinea. Fungi are microscopic, single-cell organisms that are in the air, soil, water, animals, and people. The types of fungi that cause ringworm and related skin conditions such as athlete’s foot and jock itch are parasites that feed on dead keratin, the protein that makes up your skin, nails, and hair. Ringworm appears as round, red patches of skin with a distinctive red ring.
Ringworm is highly contagious and often spreads via shared towels, sheets, and showers. You can even get it from your pets.

  • Mastitis

This is an infection of the breast that is common to women who are breastfeeding, although women who aren’t breastfeeding can get it as well. Small cracks in the nipple can be an entry point for bacteria. Clogged milk ducts can also become infected. If it is untreated, it can lead to the formation of painful, pus-filled abscesses in your breast, so it’s important to contact your doctor.

  1. Allergies

A rash under your breasts can be an allergic response to a range of substances, including: foods, medications, insect stings, pollen and plants. This can be seen as hives which are red or, more rarely, skin-colored bumps that can itch violently. If you press on hives, they will blanch, turning white. Hives can occur on any part of your body.
Hives are usually treated with antihistamines. These drugs block histamines, the natural chemical in your skin that causes the hives. You may also use cold compresses and topical preparations such as cortisone creams or calamine lotion.

  1. Autoimmune disorders

There are a few different autoimmune disorders that may cause a rash under your breast. Autoimmune disorders are chronic conditions that cannot be cured, but you can treat the symptoms.

  • Eczema

Patches of inflamed red or reddish-gray skin that itch severely are signs of eczema, or atopic dermatitis. Eczema can develop small, fluid-filled bumps that ooze and crust over. Over time, your skin can dry out and be prone to irritation and itching before it flares up again.
Eczema can be found anywhere on your body in form of a rash. There’s no cure for eczema. It can be controlled by keeping your skin moisturized with fragrance-free moisturizers and by using cortisone creams or gels to control the itching. Eczema symptoms may be made worse by:

  • harsh soaps and detergents
  • wool
  • sweat
  • stress
  • Inverse psoriasis

This is a less common form of psoriasis, a chronic disease of the immune system. It’s characterized by smooth, rash under breast or in skin in the folds of the body. The condition is often seen under the breasts, the armpits, and the groin area. Inverse psoriasis doesn’t usually have the flaky skin plaques associated with other types of psoriasis.

  • Hyperhidrosis

On average, a person has between two and four million sweat glands and sweats up to a quart of fluid per day. Hyperhidrosis is a condition in which your body’s sweat glands produce more sweat than is needed to cool the body. All that perspiration is a welcome mat for germs that cause infections. The cause of hyperhidrosis is unknown, but it tends to run in families.
Antiperspirants may be used under the breasts. In fact, there are also body antiperspirants made for this purpose and some are even available in powder form. If they don’t do the job, your doctor may prescribe a more powerful antiperspirant. Botox injections and the removal of sweat glands via laser or traditional surgery are options for severe cases.

  • Hailey-Hailey disease

Although I have never heard of it before, research has revealed this is a rare inherited disorder. It is characterized by a persistent blistering rash under breasts. Can also be found:

  • on the neck
  • between the buttocks
  • in the arm pits and groin

The rash tends to come and go spontaneously. Over time, the skin can become tough and dry, and may develop painful cracks.
Hailey-Hailey disease is often treated with corticosteroid cream or ointment, and antibiotics. More stubborn cases may be treated with oral corticosteroids or antibiotics, photodynamic light therapy, or laser therapy. If you have Hailey-Hailey disease, your doctor will advise you to avoid situations that make you sweat, such as not wearing heavy clothing that doesn’t breathe and not exerting yourself too much in hot weather.

  1. Cancer

You can as well develop a rash on your breast nipple, under the breast or on top of the breast from inflammatory cancer. Cancer of the breast is normally dangerous as it may lead you to lose your entire breast. However it is not that common to have it but in case your rash appears with symptoms that are not common, you should see your doctor for examination.

Reasons for an Itchy Rash under Breast

Itchy rash under your breast is more as a result of bacterial and fungal infections. Warm, moist areas are more prone to these skin rashes. If you have a persistent rash under the breasts, see your doctor. Keeping skin clean and dry, looking out for possible allergic triggers, and seeing a dermatologist when necessary can prevent rashes from coming back.

  1. Fungal Infections

These are a common cause of an itchy rash under the breast. As we discussed above, a type of yeast known as Candida is the most frequent offender. Candida-related skin rashes are typically red, but white, scaly areas may form as well. Uncontrolled diabetes, antibiotic use, chronic steroid use, obesity and HIV are risk factors for Candida skin infections. Keeping the area dry by sprinkling antifungal powder, under the breasts.

  1. Bacterial Infection

Itchy rashes under the breast can be caused by bacteria, especially Staphylococcus and Streptococcus bacteria. As with Candida infections, diabetes and immune system disorders are risk factors. However, minor skin trauma can allow bacteria to invade the skin and cause an infection in someone without risk factors. Bacterial skin rashes are usually bright red may be slightly raised and are often warm to the touch.

  1. Allergic Dermatitis

Skin allergies as well are results of itchy rashes under the breast. A skin rash due to an allergy is known as allergic dermatitis. Allergic dermatitis is commonly red and very itchy. People with a history of asthma, seasonal allergies or eczema, dry, flaky, inflamed skin on other parts of the body are at increased risk for allergic dermatitis. Allergic triggers vary from person to person, but laundry detergents, perfumes and lotions are often to blame.

What does Red Rash on Breast not Itchy mean

As well said above, rash under breast usually develops when the lower breast rests against the skin below. The rash formed under the breasts can either be so itchy or with no itch according to what caused it. Trapped moisture, perspiration and friction between the skin of the breast and chest wall causes an inflammatory rash called intertrigo. The affected skin can become secondarily infected with yeast, bacteria, or both.
To keep the area dry during the day, especially in hot weather, you might try placing a piece of soft, absorbent fabric below each breast. Some products are available over the counter that can be used for this purpose, such as ABD pads and silver-infused fabric. Avoid paper products — such as paper towels, or facial or toilet tissue — which can further irritate the inflamed skin. Fabric or pads used to absorb perspiration must be changed when they become moist.

Heat Rash on Breast

Heat rash, properly called miliaria, occurs when your sweat glands become blocked and sweat can’t be excreted through the pores. Instead, the sweat pools under your skin, causing inflammation and a rash. Heat rash under breast may be so painful especially if infection at the area has taken advantage.
The best treatment is to cool off. Heat rash happens mainly when you sweat more than normal because of heat and humidity. Heat rash usually clears up without treatment.

Is a Rash on the Breast a Sign of Cancer

Inflammatory breast cancer is a very rare form of rapidly spreading cancer. Symptoms include:

  • Pink or red skin discoloration
  • pitted skin often described as looking like an orange peel
  • Pimple-like rash
  • An inverted nipple that points inward rather than outward

Although this type of breast cancer is rare, it’s important to see your doctor promptly if you have these symptoms. A combination of chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy is the standard treatment for inflammatory breast cancer.

How to Treat Rash under Breast

For you to effectively heal your rash under the breast, you must know the underlying condition that caused it. Here are some of the ways you can treat your condition.

  1. Benzoyl Peroxide

It is a cream that assists in fighting the bacteria that cause acne and also, take off dead cells of the epidermis hence removing the dark spots and other black spots around the chest area.

  1. surgery

Seek medical advice from a dermatologist if the dark spots on the breast are suspected to a malignant mole then remove rather than undergoing surgery that could leave bad scars.

  1. Laser Therapy

This is procedural treatments that require an individual to attend several sessions in order to kill all cells that lead to growth of rash.

  1. Cryotherapy

This liquid nitrogen can be helpful to kill rash under breast by applying at least daily on the affected area.

Best Home Remedies for Rash under the Breasts

  1. Calamine Lotion

Anyone who got poison oak as a kid knows what a relief calamine lotion is to rashes that are itchy and irritating. It acts as a wonderful agent to provide relief from itching and should be put on twice a day with a cotton ball for the best results. This remedy will pretty much provide instant relief to the itchy, uncomfortable feeling that having a rash gives.

  1. Cold Compress

Rashes can be caused by a build-up of too much heat underneath the breast. A cold compress will take away the heat and provide excellent relief. Ice that’s been wrapped in a thin cloth and placed under the breast on the rash for about ten minutes a day should help to greatly reduce your symptoms. To avoid getting a rash under the breast in hot and humid conditions, always be sure to keep the pores open by taking only cool baths or showers.

  1. Corn Starch

Corn starch is truly one of the best natural remedies to get rid of a rash under breast. It seriously helps in reducing the itchy, burning sensation that is often experienced with breast rash. To use this remedy, make sure the affected area is freshly washed and dried completely. You must make sure your skin is completely dry to avoid the risk of a fungal infection.
When you’re sure there is no moisture whatsoever on your skin, sprinkle corn starch on the rash and leave it to sit about ten minutes. Rinse with warm water and pat all the way dry. Repeat this remedy once or twice a day until the rash goes away. You should see fairly quick results using cornstarch for rash under the breast.

  1. Lemon Juice

Apply lemon juice directly to the affected areas and leave for about 30 minutes due to its  property of bleaching, it can assist get rid of red spots on the skin and maintain soft, clear and pretty skin

  1. Buttermilk

To get rid of rash under breasts and red spots, an individual is encouraged to apply buttermilk to the affected areas and wait for few minutes twice daily. Since the buttermilk contain lactic acid which assist to exfoliate the skin to remove the red spots without drying out the skin.

  1. Castor Oil

Apply the castor oil around the affected area twice per day by use of cotton wool due the healing feature of castor oil, it assist to get rid of this red spots on the skin.

  1. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is an efficient way to get rid of number of skin problems such as red spot on breast and other spots on skin. This is done by following the procedure below: Dilute apple cider with same amount of water then add honey finally apply the solution on the red spots on the skin and washed it off with clean water daily until a positive result is achieved.

  1. Aloe Vera

Due to the healing properties of aloe vera gel, the following steps are important to follow when using the plant to heal the rash under breasts: Gently rub fresh aloe vera gel on the spots the leave it on for about 45 minutes before washing the affected area with clean cold water twice daily until a positive result is achieved.
Alternatively, buy aloe vera juice the supermarket and follow the above steps.

  1. Sandalwood

This is anti- aging agent and an antiseptic that assists to decrease hyperpigmentation thus getting rid of red spots on the skin.it is prepared using the following ways:
By making homemade pack with one tablespoon of sandalwood powder, one teaspoons of rose water and half teaspoon each of glycerin and lemon juice then apply the pack on the affected area and allow it to dry slowly finally use clean cold water to wash it off. Repeat a few times a week until the red spots on the skin disappear.
More references

  1. why there is a rash under your breast: http://www.healthline.com/health/skin-disorders/rash-under-breast#overview1
  2. Intertrigo: https://www.breastcancercare.org.uk/intertrigo
  3. Causes of itchy skin rashes under the breast: http://www.livestrong.com/article/135195-causes-itchy-skin-rashes-under-breast/
  4. Breast rashes: https://www.healthcentral.com/article/breast-rashes-when-to-go-to-the-doctor