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Causes of Itchy Skin Rashes Under the Breast

Causes of Itchy Skin Rashes Under the Breast Causes of Itchy Skin Rashes Under the Breast

Interigo is a medical term for a rash that occurs in skin folds. The condition is more common in people who are overweight or diabetic, and in women with large pendulous breasts, but anyone can develop interigo. Rashes beneath the breasts are said to be submammary. Redness and itching in this area can be extremely uncomfortable and embarrassing, with several possible causes.

Prickly Heat

Prickly heat, also known as milaria rubra, is common in young babies but can affect adults exposed to humid and hot weather. Milaria, not to be confused with the mosquito-borne disease malaria, produces red, itchy bumps under the breasts or in other skin folds where sweat glands can become blocked. The rash may begin with tiny blisters and progress to firm bumps, but most cases clear up in a few days. Keeping the area cool and dry aids healing.

Fungus

Cutaneous candidiasis is a fungal yeast organism that can overgrow in warm, moist areas of the skin. Fungus causes the skin to become bright red, and in some cases to weep and peel. Yeast overgrowth can be accelerated by glucose in perspiration, making those with poorly controlled diabetes more susceptible. Powders made with cornstarch can also worsen a Candida infection. Home remedies include elimination of starches and sugar from the diet, washing with a boric acid solution, and taking enzyme and probiotic supplements. Several over-the-counter antifungal preparations are available. However, some yeast organisms are resistant. If symptoms persist, a doctor can provide prescription medication that may help.

Allergy

Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter James McCarty wrote on May 2, 2009 of a woman's troubles with itching and red welts that she blamed on $42 satin bras sold by Victoria's Secret. The company denied any wrongdoing, but attorneys for the plaintiff were pursuing possible class action; approximately 2,000 women had come forward. Common allergens include adhesive, rubber or latex, dyes, preservatives, medications and fragrances.

Scabies

The scabies mite is a parasite that causes a persistent, itchy rash as it burrows into the top skin layer. Groups of small red bumps with fine, wavy lines are characteristic of this condition, spread primarily by skin-to-skin contact. Although scabies can affect skin under the breast, they more commonly are found in the armpits, groin, between fingers and toes, or on the nipples. Treatment with medicated lotions may involve all family members and include careful laundering of linens and clothes.

Bacteria

Scratching submammary interigo can set the stage for a secondary bacterial infection, usually caused by Staphylococcus aureus, which is normally present on skin. The result of this opportunistic pathogen is pus-filled blisters, redness and itching. Bacterial infections can spread easily to surrounding skin. They should be kept clean and may be treated with antibiotics.

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