Breast Eczema is a type of skin rash that presents red, itchy, and flaky skin of the breast and nipples. It can be a frustrating condition for some but there are multiple ways to manage the condition if it is diagnosed at the right time. There are various clinical research organizations in Michigan that conduct clinical trials to help people suffering from various skin conditions including eczema. Breast eczema is not in itself contagious, but there is a high chance one might develop breast eczema if there is a family history. Eczema causes dry, discolored patches on the skin and can be disturbing.
Continue reading the blog to learn more about breast eczema and how it impacts one’s life.
What Causes Breast Eczema?
There is no specific cause for breast eczema, however, certain factors that may contribute to breast eczema include:
- An overactive immune system
- Genetic predisposition
- Environmental triggers
Additionally, exposure to chemicals that are commonly used in households such as detergents, soap, shampoo and other cleansing agents may lead to eczema.
Who Does Breast Eczema Targets?
Breast eczema can affect anyone with breasts; however, it can target people with:
- A family history of breast eczema
- Allergies (environmental)
- Hay Fever
How Common Is Breast Eczema?
Breast eczema is common in over 31 million Americans.
Breast Eczema vs. Paget’s Disease: What is the Difference?
Paget’s disease is an infrequent form of breast cancer. Whereas eczema is the inflammation of the skin that can affect any part of the body. When it affects the nipples and surrounding skin it is called breast eczema.
Does Breast Eczema Have Something to Do with Hygiene?
No, breast eczema has nothing to do with hygiene. It is mainly a result of an overactive immune system. However, having a good skincare routine can significantly help in managing the symptoms of breast eczema.
How Does Breast Eczema Impact Life?
While breast eczema is limited to the nipples and surrounding skin, it can be bothersome and may affect an individual mentally, physically and emotionally. Here are some ways how breast’s eczema can impact life:
- Physical discomfort: Breast eczema causes dry patches and flaky skin which can be irritating at times. As a result, this physical discomfort impacts the day-to-day functioning of an individual as well.
- Sleep disturbances: The dryness of skin leads to constant itching which disturbs sleep at nighttime and results in low energy levels.
- Emotional distress: The persistent itchiness, flaky skin and dry patches can have a huge impact on one’s self esteem. It lowers their confidence and often is a cause of embarrassment.
- Social limitations: People with eczema feel conscious about their appearance and this leads to them isolating themselves and limiting their social interaction.
- Problems with breastfeeding: As breast eczema causes dryness and inflammation, it can interfere with breastfeeding and may hurt the mother. It is therefore important to maintain a good skincare routine and hygiene to avoid getting hurt.
- Restricted clothing choices: With eczema, people tend to be more cautious of their clothing choices for two reasons. One is to hide their flaws which they assume could impact their relationship with others. The other is to make sure their skin is not irritated due to the type of fabric.
Effects Of Breast Eczema on Self-Esteem
The appearance of dry, scaly patches on the skin can be a disturbing sight to experience. People affected with eczema are extremely concerned regarding their overall appearance and this shatters their confidence and self-esteem as well. They find it difficult to socialize and as a result shut themselves down in isolation. Some of the commons issues faced by people are:
- Concerns about appearance: The visual signs of breast eczema might make people feel self-conscious about their physical appearance. They may be concerned about how others see them and may feel uneasy or anxious about exposing the affected region.
- Negative body image: Breast eczema can interfere with the typical appearance of the skin, leading to negative body image problems. Individuals may feel unsatisfied or unhappy with their bodies and may avoid activities such as swimming or close interactions that entail exposing the affected area.
- Social interactions: Low self-esteem induced by breast eczema might have an impact on social interactions. People may be hesitant or anxious to participate in social gatherings or intimate relationships. They may also be concerned about being judged or stigmatized as a result of their appearance.
Additionally, practicing self-care, maintaining a positive outlook, and seeking emotional support from loved ones and people affected with similar conditions can all aid in the improvement of self-esteem confidence, and general well-being.
Diagnosis & Tests
The clinical examination and medical history provide the foundation of the diagnosis. The doctor will ask for your symptoms and family history to reach to the diagnosis of breast’s eczema. The tests that are commonly carried out to confirm diagnosis are:
- Allergy skin test
- Skin biopsy: helps to distinguish one type of eczema from another
- Blood tests: to look for causes not related to eczema
Treatment Options Available for Breast Eczema
There is no specific treatment for breast’s eczema. However, lifestyle modifications can greatly reduce the severity of the condition. Here are some handy techniques that might help.
- Cool or warm showers: Using cool or warm showers can be of great help. Whereas hot showers are not recommended since they cause drying of the skin.
- Unscented soaps and shampoos: Using unscented soaps and shampoos can help you keep yourself safe from allergens that could potentially damage the skin.
- Be gentle with your skin: Excessive rubbing of the skin when a person is affected with breast eczema is not a good technique. This may further worsen the skin and cause inflammation leading to scars.
- Minimize stress: Stress is one of the most obvious causes of skin conditions. It is therefore important to prioritize your mental health and work with mental health professionals to manage it.
They impact of breast eczema can vary from person to person. While some individuals may have mild symptoms that are easily managed, others may experience more severe symptoms that greatly affect their quality of life. If you or someone you know is dealing with breast’s eczema, it is important to seek guidance from a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and to discuss appropriate treatment options.