What does breast eczema look like?

A part of the body on the chest called breast is usually associated with women as the main function of it is to feed the offspring. It is also regarded as an external identification of femininity or part of sexual attractiveness. Surprisingly, men also have breasts but it is usually not that visible and not functional like in women. Just like any other body parts, the breast is also susceptible to getting affected by disease. One of the conditions known as breast eczema may stir some worries. Getting regular health screening can help you understand what is normal and what is not with the breast. In this article, we will learn more about breast eczema.

Breast eczema is the inflammation of the skin of the breast. This condition can appear on the breast or around the nipples. In most cases, breast eczema occurs in those who already have eczema on other parts of the body. Even so, some people may only have breast eczema without any eczema elsewhere. Eczema is also known as dermatitis. In general, eczema is the inflammation of the skin with the most common one is atopic eczema. Thus, breast eczema is a form of dermatitis.

Breast eczema typically affects teenagers but it may also affect any age including infants, children and older adults. There are risk factors that make a person more susceptible to this condition. This includes nursing mothers with a history of eczema, those with allergic reaction or constant irritation to the breast such as from clothing.

Symptoms of breast eczema vary according to its severity. Common ones are dry skin, red patches on the skin, thick patches of skin, itchy skin and scaly skin. Some may even feel painful eczema and bleeding from scratching it. Some may even have blisters and ooze. Most common area affected by breast eczema is the pigments or coloured part which is the nipple but eczema can also be under or in between the breast. Eczema can occur on one or both nipples.

Now that you have some images or clues on how breast eczema looks like, knowing that you may have any of the symptoms should help you understand what to do to ease the symptoms. The ideal way of treating it is to get checked by doctors. Doctors can recommend low-potency topical steroid cream to be used on eczema. Examples of the creams or ointments are hydrocortisone and betamethasone. It is important to ensure to only use topical steroid cream prescribed by the doctor as using the wrong one can cause other skin problems. Furthermore, these steroid creams need to be used within certain time frames only with the right potency and frequency.

Similar to many other kinds of eczema, the best way to treat breast eczema is to avoid irritants and triggers. This can be from bath or shower products to clothes worn. Avoid using soap, bubble baths and shower gels with fragrance or harsh ingredients as it can dry out skin and cause more irritation. It is best to shower or bath with products that contain emollients or moisturisers. After a shower or bath, pat the skin dry and not rub it. Apply emollient onto the skin to help moisturise the skin. Best to avoid moisturiser with perfumes and colourants. Even when skin looks normal, do continue using the moisturiser to prevent eczema from coming back.

Besides the shower and bath advice, try to keep nails short so that you would not scratch the eczema with a sharp nail that can cause more bleeding and prone to skin infection. You may also want to wear cotton clothes that are soft for the skin. When washing clothes, ensure that all washing powder and fabric conditioners used are well clean from the clothes. Doing an extra rinse cycle can ensure no residues of these products stuck onto the clothes and triggers eczema. You may also want to avoid being in extreme hot or cold places. Knowing how to manage stress can help tone down the immune system from triggering eczema.

Even though it is true that breast eczema is considered a harmless condition, you need to know that there is a serious condition known as Paget’s disease that may cause similar symptoms to breast eczema. Paget’s disease is rare breast cancer. Due to the fact that it is a dangerous disease, it is best to get checked by a doctor when the suspected breast eczema gets worse over time even after getting treatment for the eczema.

In essence, breast eczema is a form of eczema. Eczema is the inflammation of the skin. Those who already have eczema elsewhere have high chances to develop breast eczema. Breast eczema may not pose serious problems but because it can be similar to Paget’s disease, suspicion towards breast cancer should be raised when treatment of eczema does not heal the symptoms.