why do my nipples itch so much
Monday, February 6, 2012
WhatБs Making My Nipple Itch Like Crazy, and What Should I Do? By БDriving me crazy! Б БI want to tear my nipple off! Б These are just a couple ways our readers have of a nipple itch. Both women and men have written to WebMD about this frustrating condition, most often with vivid descriptions of their itching agony. Yet rarely is there a documented diagnosis and treatment. The causes can include one breast and numerous skin conditions. To give you the best overview I have decided to cover the most worrisome and most common causes first, to be followed by some of the other origins of an itchy nipple. PagetБs Disease (PD) is a rare form of breast cancer that can involve both the nipple and the aerola (colored area that encircles the raised nipple). While itБs the common cause of nipple symptoms, it is the most worrisome. So letБs discuss it first. An itching or burning sensation of the nipple or aerola is a common initial symptom; it is often accompanied by a crusted appearance. Persisting soreness/itching with a scaly, eczema-like rash that does not improve despite prescription treatment is highly suspicious for. One may also have a yellow- or blood-tinged nipple discharge from the affected side. In later stages there can be an ulcer or mass in the areola. Most often, PD involves only one breast. Thus it is not usually linked to bilateral nipple itching or rashes. PD is typically found in women between the ages of 50 and 60. PD is diagnosed with a clinical breast exam, thorough patient history, mammogram, and an ultrasound if indicated. If there is still a suspicion, despite a normal exam and mammogram, a MRI can be utilized to identify PD. A breast biopsy of the nipple will provide tissue to be sent to pathology for a microscopic examination and conclusive diagnosis. Any coexisting lumps would be biopsied as well. Even though you have an itchy, crusted nipple with a discharge there is a benign (non-cancerous) condition which can mimic PD. One can have a benign tumor of the breast duct tissue called Бerosive adenomatosis of the nippleБ. This is why a surgical biopsy is the Бgold standardБ for conclusively diagnosing PD. Treatment for PagetБs disease is breast surgery, either mastectomy or a cone-shaped excision of the nipple. One study from Sweden followed women for 12 years to see if mastectomy was necessary for all women with PD. Those who just had PagetБs of the nipple (not invasive breast cancer) were selected for the cone-shaped excision.
Those select patients with the breast conserving surgery had survival rates similar to those who were treated with mastectomy. Atopic Dermatitis common cause of itchy nipple (PagetsБs Disease), letБs move to the other end of the spectrum and discuss one of the common causes. That would be (AD), also known as eczema. With this condition itching is almost always present and can be severe. Itching may even precede the development of an overt rash. The rash can include small blisters with oozing or crusting. Further scratching could open the skin to bacterial infections or create thickened areas from constant inflammation and irritation. Atopic Dermatitis can appear in persons of all ages. Since AD is thought to be due to a hypersensitivity reaction, persons may be more prone to develop AD if there is a personal or family history of allergies (e. g. , asthma, hay fever). Environmental allergens such as cleaning products, wool, foam Atopic Dermatis is usually diagnosed by physical exam and a thorough history. If needed a skin biopsy can be done to rule out other causes of the itching and rash. When itching is severe and/or there is a known allergic trigger, antihistamine pills can be helpful. These would include both the sedating type (e. g. , Benedrylб), or the non-sedating type (e. g. , Clartinб or Zyrtecб). The majority of AD remedies are topical treatments. One might be prescribed a steroid cream or ointment. A newer class of medications includes the topical immune modulators (e. g. , tacrolimus or pimecrolimus). There are also self-care and preventative strategies, which can decrease AD symptoms. Avoiding known triggers is foremost, but keeping natural moisture in the skin is an important goal. This can be achieved by decreasing use of drying soaps and prolonged hot baths. Once out of the bath or shower, a bland ointment or cream can be used to seal moisture in. Interestingly, a number of our readers suggested treatments which fit this description. NipStickб, designed for joggersБ nipples, contains shea butter, jojoba oil, and beeswax. Another reader successfully used Kiss My Face Lip Balmб containing canola oil, beeswax, lecithin, coconut oil, and other emollients on her itchy nipples. Even Eucerin Aquaphor was found to be helpful by a reader. At some point in their lives, most men and women will experience itchy nipples.
Many factors that can cause the condition, most of which are not cause for concern. However, some symptoms should not be ignored. Itching nipples can be a sign that something more serious is going on. This article discusses some of the more common causes, treatment, and prevention of itchy nipples, and when you should see a doctor. There are many causes, including the following: Hormonal changes, breast expansion, and increased blood flow may cause a woman to experience itchy nipples during pregnancy. A woman may also experience nipple soreness, tingling, sensitivity, and breast-heaviness. Commonly, women can treat pregnancy-related nipple itching themselves with: A chemical-free lotion like vitamin E, cocoa butter or lanolin : Using additional petroleum jelly throughout the day may also be helpful in keeping moisture within the skin. Apply lotion or petroleum jelly to the nipples after showering, especially in the morning and evening. Mild, fragrance-free detergents : Using these kinds of products prevents harsh chemicals reaching the skin. Suitable bras : Wearing a good-fitting maternity bra that allows for air-flow to the breasts and that is not too tight can help reduce itching. There are several causes of nipple or areola dermatitis. These include and irritation or allergic dermatitis. Certain types of dermatitis can also cause eczema. Eczema is a common condition in breast-feeding women, especially those who have previously been affected by atopic dermatitis. Eczema is a skin condition that can affect any part of the body, including the breast. Some types of eczema may be caused by irritation from friction as a result of running, harsh clothing, water, soaps, and certain detergents. Some forms of eczema result from an allergic response or contact with products such as non-purified lanolin, chamomile ointment, and perfumes. itching, burning, and pain crusting or scaling skin, or plaque formation using antihistamines, such as hydroxyzine, as directed Treatment with may be necessary if an infection develops. People must ensure they take the medication as directed. At times, women may experience a fungal infection of the breast called breast yeast or thrush, which is commonly caused by the fungus, Candida albicans. However, thrush can develop from other unknown causes. It can occur during breastfeeding, in women with vaginal thrush, and during antibiotic use.
Thrush can also damage the nipple itself. Although uncommon, men can experience breast yeast. Symptoms of nipple yeast may include: breast or nipple pain that is commonly described as stabbing, shooting, or a deep aching sensation women may experience a burning sensation, often after breast-feeding nipple tenderness, burning, itching, or stinging dry, flaking areola During breast-feeding, an infant may develop thrush, experiencing symptoms such as a white coating in their mouth, tongue rash, or a red diaper rash. Infants who develop thrush may require treatment at the same time as their mother. using hot and soapy water to wash clothing, towels, bras, nursing pads and other garments; where possible, air dry these items outside sterilizing all pumping equipment and pacifiers in boiling water for 5 minutes or as directed; ideally, replace these items on a weekly basis. Also referred to as runner's nipple, jogger's nipple results from the irritation caused by clothing rubbing against the nipple during activities such as running, surfing, or weightlifting. Other activities that cause chafing in men and women can also cause jogger's nipple. avoiding the use of loose-fitting shirts, wearing a soft bra without a seam line or a binding sports bra, wearing a compression vest or Shimmel, or wearing a soft-fabric shirt applying a topical barrier ointment, such as an anti-chafing balm or petroleum jelly, before activity Paget's disease is a type of cancer found in the skin's outer layer, which is called the epidermis. However, other breast tumors may also be present in the affected breast. Although Paget's disease is more common in women, it can affect men. Those with Paget's disease may have symptoms other than nipple itching, including: tingling nipple or areola, redness, flaking or crusting skin Depending on the extent of disease present and other factors, those with Paget's disease may require surgery to remove the nipple, areola, or full breast. Also, lymph nodes may be removed to see if the cancer has spread. Treatment for Paget's disease may also consist of or certain hormonal therapies. When should I see a doctor? It is important to remember that anyone who experiences abnormal symptoms should visit their doctor for proper evaluation and treatment. It is important to do this because if doctors discover a more serious condition, the person can receive treatment immediately.
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