Often nipple problems and infections occur when nursing. What you may not know is that these same symptoms can occur in women during premenopausal or menopausal years. The intense soreness, itching, and hypersensitivity in the nipple and areola may be ignored for months before they are diagnosed by a physician. The problem with these symptoms is that they may be caused from several disorders from mild to life-threatening. If you have been experiencing these symptoms, you need to read this article.
Symptoms You May Experience: Nipple soreness and hypersensitivity; tingling; burning; nipple or areola redness; rash on areola or nipple; swelling of the nipple and areola; nipple or areola itching only; discharge; crusting; severe itching; and pain. The symptoms may just involve the nipple or the surrounding areola only. In some cases it may affect the whole breast area surrounding the nipple and areola or the whole breast.
Candidiasis: Fungal infection caused by the Candida albicans organism which can occur in the mouth, intestines, vagina, and on the nipple. It is usually only a problem on the nipples when nursing but can occur in the nipple even in older women. If you are subject to Candida infections, this should be checked out. Women who are large-breasted should take extra time to make sure the area under their breasts is kept clean and dry.
Bacterial Infection (Mastitis): Infection present in the breast or nipple. Most often a problem when nursing but can be present in older women. The whole breast may be red, swollen, or sore.
Fibrocystic breast changes: Breast tissue that develops fibrous tissue and cysts but is not cancerous. Can cause symptoms including lumps, pain, itching, and nipple discharge.
Mammary Duct Ectasia: Usually occurs in premenopause. It is basically Inflammation and blockage of the breast ducts under the nipple. These ducts get infected which can cause a thick, greenish discharge from the nipple.
Intraductal Papilloma: Growths in the breast ducts that are not cancerous. This causes a nipple discharge that may be bloody or sticky. A bloody discharge should always be checked out by your physician.
Contact Dermatitis: Your bra material, stiffness, or fit may cause irritation to the nipples and surrounding breast tissue. You should always take your bra off when sleeping. Women with very heavy, large breast may have more problems.
Soap Allergy: If your washer is not rinsing the soap out of your clothes adequately, you may experience skin rashes on the breast areas and other places as well. Harsh detergents can also be responsible for skin rashes.
Eczema: Chronic skin condition that can affect many areas of the body including the nipple and breast area.
Paget's disease of the Nipple: Rare form of breast cancer that occurs in or around the nipple. In more than 95% of the women with Paget's, there is also underlying breast cancer. Most often the underlying cancer is ductal carcinoma in situ (intraductal carcinoma). Abnormal cancer cells adhere to the lining of the milk ducts of the breast. If caught in the early stages, it is confined to the ducts rather than spreading through the lymph nodes and surrounding breast tissues. It usually occurs in women over 50 years of age, and can occur occasionally in younger women and men as well. It is most often diagnosed in women over 62 years of age. Early symptoms include redness, mild scaling and flaking of the skin on the nipples, and mild irritation. This stage may be ignored by most women and many doctors. As the disease progresses, you may experience tingling, itching, increased sensitivity, burning, and pain. There may be a clear or yellow discharge present. The areola surrounding the nipple may become red, swollen, and intensely itchy. Pagent's may infect the areola only in some cases. This may look like eczema but is not. It can occur in both breasts, but often is present in just one of them.
Paget's is diagnosed with a physical exam, then a biopsy to determine if Paget cells are present. If a discharge is present, a sample will be turned in for examination. A mammogram will also be taken because of the possibility of underlying breast cancer. After reading many articles on this disease, it was obvious that often the symptoms are ignored by both the patient and the doctor. Mayo Clinic states that often 6 to 8 months goes on before diagnosis. When the symptoms are mild, doctors tend to dismiss them as just dermatitis or a contact allergy problem. These symptoms may also get better or worse. It is advised to see a doctor if the condition persists over a month. If you have not had a breast exam recently, it would be wise to do so with those kinds of symptoms.
Disclaimer: The FDA and AMA have not approved the contents of this article. This article is for education only. It is not meant to be used to prevent, treat, or prescribe for any illness. Get the permission from your doctor for any supplement that you take. There are interactions between herbs and drugs so be aware of that.
Published by Kate Freer
Copyright: Kate Freer, the Herbladyisin; All rights are protected on this article. You do not have permission to use this article or its contents without my express permission.
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