Itching in the breasts is a symptom that many women experience at some point in their lives and before their condition, it is normal for them to wonder what this symptom is due to and why it appears. The skin of this area of the female body is very sensitive and most of the time you can feel itchy in it due to rubbing with some type of tissue or coming into contact with some irritating hygiene product. However, itching in the breasts can also be associated with hormonal changes, pregnancy, skin conditions and other types of diseases, so it will always be convenient to take into account all the symptoms that accompany this itching. In the following article, we answer the question of why my breasts itch and show all the causes.
Breast itching: pregnancy symptom?
There are many women who ask themselves the following question: do my breasts itch, will I be pregnant? The truth is that although this symptom is not always a sign of pregnancy, it can be one of the first symptoms that a pregnant woman experiences, in addition to other signs as we will explain below.
In this case, the itching in the breasts in pregnancy is due to the hormonal changes that occur in the female body. The breasts are one of the parts of the body that change the most in pregnancy, because little by little they are preparing to feed the baby. The main changes that a woman may experience in her breasts during pregnancy are those listed below:
- Tingling, tenderness or discomfort to the touch and swelling due to increased female hormones and fat accumulation that takes place during the first few weeks of pregnancy.
- Skin of the nipple and darker areola.
- Itching in the breasts and stretch marks: the breasts grow and the skin stretches causing the appearance of stretch marks and itching in the area.
- Bluish veins most noticeable for the increase in blood supply to the breasts.
- Secretions around weeks 12 to 14 of gestation: Colostrum is secreted which is the fluid that will nourish the baby just after delivery and before the breasts begin to produce breast milk.
To relieve itchy breasts during pregnancy, measures such as the following can be implemented:
- Moisturize the skin of the breasts and nipples very well by applying moisturizers. It is best to buy a lotion at the pharmacy, creams containing shea butter, vitamin E, almond oil, etc. are good options.
- Use bras made of natural and breathable fabrics.
- Avoid using soaps and gels that are irritating or can cause dry skin.
In the following article, you can see other early symptoms of pregnancy.
Why Breasts Itch in Adolescence
During the puberty stage, teenage girls may also feel itchy breasts due to breast development and growth and breast tissues extending to their new size. Therefore, it is normal to experience a certain sensation of itching in the breasts during their growth, because the skin although it is elastic requires a period of time to adapt to the new changes that the body is suffering.
Usually, these itching tend to disappear after about 1 year. In the event that they are accompanied by other symptoms such as redness or rash, it is advisable to go to the doctor, as it could be an indication of an allergy.
Itching on a single nipple from breast cancer
Among the causes of itching in the breasts of greater severity, we can find some types of breast cancer such as the so-called Paget's disease of the breast, although it is important to note that it is a rare cancer. This usually affects the skin of the nipple and areola and most patients who suffer from it usually also have one or two tumors inside the affected chest.
The main symptoms of Paget breast disease are as follows:
- Itching or tingling in the nipple or areola.
- Skin with scales, scabs, or thicker on or around the nipple.
- Flattened nipple.
- Nipple secretions, which are usually yellow or bloody.
Itching on the nipple before the period
Many women reports feeling itchy nipples and breasts before the arrival of their menstruation, which can happen due to the hormonal changes that the female body experiences during the menstrual cycle. In addition, itching is usually accompanied by pain, inflammation and great sensitivity. These symptoms usually appear when estrogen and progesterone levels are higher, which is usually towards the middle of the cycle, and tend to disappear with the arrival of the period.
Some of the tips that can help relieve breast pain and itching before your period are:
- Apply warm water compresses to the breasts for about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Massage the breasts by applying a little evening primrose oil.
- Soak some gauze with apple cider vinegar and place it on the breasts for about 15 minutes.
- Wear a bra made of natural fabrics and the right size.
- Take a soothing and anti-inflammatory infusion such as rosemary, dong quay or thyme.
Itchy breasts from skin conditions
Some skin conditions or diseases can also answer the question of why my breasts itch. Some of the most frequent are the following:
- Contact dermatitis: when the skin comes into contact with certain components of chemicals or some types of tissues, an allergic reaction can be suffered and symptoms such as itchy breasts, redness, irritation and rash may appear. This could be triggered by the frequent use of laundry detergents, soaps, gels, perfumes, deodorants, synthetic bra fibers, etc. It is important to identify what is causing the allergy to prevent it from coming into contact with the skin of the breasts.
- Atopic dermatitis: chronic condition that causes a rash or the presence of blisters in the affected area, which can ooze fluid and form a crust. Other symptoms are intense itching, inflammation, dry skin and redness. It is not very common for it to manifest in the breasts, but in this case, it is necessary to consult with a professional dermatologist and start the treatment you indicate.
- Psoriasis: A disease that affects the skin and occurs when there is a problem in the immune system, which attacks healthy tissues by mistake. When an outbreak of psoriasis is experienced, red and scaly spots appear on the affected area, in addition to itching, dryness and thicker skin. In the following article, we explain in detail how to treat psoriasis.
- Dry skin: when the skin of the breasts is excessively dry and suffers from a lack of hydration, it is possible that itching appears in them, in addition to possible irritations and skin rashes. It is important to keep the skin of the whole body well hydrated both internally and externally, so we must apply moisturizers after the shower and try to drink between 1.5 and 2 liters of water a day.
Itchy breasts during breastfeeding
During breastfeeding, another possible cause of itchy breasts is puerperal mastitis, which is inflammation of the mammary gland due to a clogged milk duct. In addition, an infection can occur if germs from the tissues of the inflamed area are activated and proliferate.
Mastitis usually causes symptoms such as pain, itchy breasts, redness, swelling and sensitivity to touch. There may also be cases in which the patient presents with fever and fatigue. It is necessary to start an antibiotic treatment to cure mastitis and this should be prescribed by a specialist doctor. To try to relieve the symptoms, you can do gentle massages on the affected breast or apply gauze soaked with some anti-inflammatory and antibacterial infusion such as thyme. In the following article, we show other effective home remedies to treat mastitis.