The first thing that comes to your mind when you notice red spots on your boobs is ‘breast cancer’. This switches you to panic mode and you start thinking about the excruciating chemotherapy. Suddenly you start seeing images of people who have succumbed to cancer and the idea that you may also follow their way may even be enough to kill you before the real thing.
But you should understand that the breasts are very delicate and sensitive parts of the human body. This means that getting red spots on your boobs could be anything ranging from a mere scratch, insect bite to the deadlier breast cancer. But just having the small red spots alone is not a sign of cancer.
In this article, I will discuss the causes of red spots on breasts and treatment. Let us begin by looking at the causes:
A red mark on your breast could just be a mosquito bite or a sting inflicted by a bee or the other stinging insects. There is nothing to worry about this because many bites will always clear within a day. Even though it is difficult to know which insect bit you unless you saw it. The Female mosquito causes Malaria.
A wasp sting may cause an allergic reaction to some people like breathing problems which may need medical attention.
Stings can be itchy, accompanied by swellings among other symptoms.
A red blotch under your breasts is a sign of candidiasis. Candidiasis is a yeast infection caused by a yeast called candida which also cause vaginal infection. Candida can cause a yeast infection under the breast. This will be in form of painful and uncomfortable blisters and small cracks.
Contact dermatitis is a condition which makes skin red and inflamed when it comes in contact with an irritant or allergen. This can happen if you wear the bra made from a material that you are allergic to or using a new type of skin care product.
The signs of contact dermatitis include a red blotch on breasts, a burning sensation, extreme itching and oozing blisters. You should keep a record of all the products you are using on your skin if you want to know which one is exactly causing the irritation. In most cases, the red spots and itchiness will go away on its own after some time.
Red spots on breasts due to breastfeeding
Redness and swelling of the breasts during breastfeeding is a very common problem. In fact, almost all lactating mothers have had to deal with this condition. This is a condition is Known as Mastitis and it is caused by an infection of the breast tissue after cracking.
Mastitis can also affect women who are not lactating and causes discomfort when wearing a bra. This type of mastitis is called non-lactating mastitis.
If you are experiencing red spots on your breasts with no pain, then you could have Cherry angiomas. These are small, round and smooth spots which appear on the skin especially as we age i.e. on old people usually in their 30s.
They are harmless growths, meaning they are not a threat to your health, made up of blood capillaries. They may also be the reason why some people develop these spots during pregnancy.
You may notice cherry angiomas on your trunk, neck, face, arms, and legs. You don’t need to treat them unless it is for cosmetic reasons.
Eczema is an autoimmune disorder characterized by patches of itchy red spots on the skin. Symptoms of eczema on breasts may include the area being swollen and red, itchy and cracked patches of skin. A very dry and scaly breast is also a sign this eczema.
This condition may be caused by cosmetics, allergens and disposable breast pads. It is a painful and stubborn condition that requires finding the cause before treatment.
Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC)
A red itchy rash on your breast could be an early sign of Inflammatory Breast Cancer (IBC). IBC is a very rare but aggressive type of cancer because it grows and spreads more quickly than normal cancer. It does not always cause a breast lump and it might not even show up on a mammogram making it hard to be diagnosed.
It is a condition that develops due to overgrowth of malignant tissue that affects the lymphatic system on the tissue of the breast.
Some of the signs and symptoms of IBC may include;
- An inverted nipple
- Nipple discharge
- Thickening of the skin on the affected area
- Redness involving more than a third of the breast
- One boob feeling warmer and heavier than the other
- Itching, tender, and painful breast
- One boob looking larger than the other one because of swelling.
[adapted from www.cancer.org]
Even though the exact cause of IBC is not known, African-American women and women who are overweight or obese are said to be at a greater risk of contracting it.
Paget’s disease of the breast is a rare type of cancer involving the skin of the nipple and areola. It mostly affects one breast. The disease was named after Sir James Paget, the doctor who noted a relationship between changes in the nipple and this cancer.
The symptoms of Paget’s disease include
- Redness, itching, and tingling of the nipple or areola.
- Flaking, crusty or thickened skin around the nipple.
- Yellowish or bloody discharge from the nipple.
- A flattened nipple.
[adapted from www.cancer.gov]
Treatment and advice
As you have seen above, there are several causes of this condition. You, therefore, need to visit a doctor or dermatologist to ascertain the exact cause of the red spots and advise you accordingly on the treatment. Periodic cancer screening can also help you identify IBC and deal with it before it moves to advanced stages.