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A persistent itching on your breasts could be caused by any number of things. In many cases (such as skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis), the itching will be accompanied by a rash.
Itching on or under your breast with no rash, however, is common and should be relatively easy to treat at home.
Here’s a guide to some of the causes of itchy breasts, how you can treat them at home, and when to see a doctor.
Important information about breast cancer
Sometimes itching on the breast can be an early sign of inflammatory breast cancer or Paget’s disease of the breast. However, these conditions are somewhat rare, and the itching will usually be accompanied by a rash, swelling, redness, or tenderness in the area.
There are many possible causes of itching on, under, or between your breasts. When there’s a rash or obvious, red irritation, you could be dealing with:
- Yeast infection. Yeast infections (candidiasis) in the breast area are fungal infections often formed in the warm, moist area under the breasts. They are usually red, irritated, and extremely itchy.
- Eczema. Atopic dermatitis (eczema) also results in an itchy red rash around the breast or other areas of the skin. It’s generally caused by the skin’s inability to hold onto moisture and to the good bacteria that helps protect it from irritants.
- Psoriasis. Psoriasis forms itchy red patches of dry, dead skin due to uncontrolled skin cell growth. It’s common to get irritated patches of psoriasis on or under the breasts.
Itching under, between, or on your left or right breast without a rash could be slightly harder to diagnose. More than likely it’s the result of:
- growing breasts that are stretching the skin
- allergic reaction
- dry skin
Breasts can grow in size for a variety of reasons such as pregnancy, weight gain, or puberty. This growing can cause the skin around your breasts to stretch. This tightness and discomfort can result in a persistent itching on or between your breasts.
If you’re going through puberty or have gained a significant amount of weight, it’s likely that your chest size has increased.
If you’re pregnant, hormones like estrogen and progesterone cause the breasts to swell to prepare for breastfeeding.
Any of these causes of breast growth can lead to itchy breasts.
Another possibility is that you may be prone to dry skin in your breast area. Your skin could be:
- naturally dry
- dried out from harsh skin care products that don’t agree with your skin type
- damaged by overexposure to the sun
Dry skin can cause itching on or under your breasts.
Skin can sometimes be irritated by products, including:
- laundry detergents
Allergic reactions on the skin will often have a rash or obvious redness, but not always. The itching from an allergic reaction can be intense and can sometimes feel like it’s coming from beneath the skin.
Heat and perspiration under the breasts can make the skin red, prickly, and itchy, with bumps or even blisters. Cooling cloths can relieve the itch, which usually resolves within a day. It’s possible to get an infection.
It’s possible in rare cases that itching on the breast without a rash could be a sign of distress in one of your body’s systems or organs other than skin, like kidney or liver disease.
If the itching on your breast is extremely intense, painful, or is joined by other physical symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor.
If your breast itches but doesn’t have a rash, it’s most likely caused by a simple allergic reaction, dry skin, or breast growth. Fortunately, itching from these causes should be easily treatable at home.
Topical creams and gels
Consider applying a simple itch-relieving cream or gel to your breasts. Over-the-counter (OTC) options usually include a numbing agent (local anesthetic) called pramoxine, which suppresses the itch at the skin level.
Topical applications of creams, gels, or lotions containing hydrocortisone are also available over the counter.
For allergic reactions or itching that feels like it’s coming from under the skin of your breast, consider trying an OTC antihistamine such as:
- cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- fexofenadine (Allegra)
- loratadine (Claritin)
Antihistamines work to reduce your body’s reaction to an allergen and decrease itching and irritation.
Prevention and hygiene
If the itching on your breast is being caused by dry skin, better skin care habits could help relieve it dramatically. It’s also important to take good care of the skin on and under your breasts to prevent more serious conditions such as yeast infections in the area.
- Wash and dry thoroughly. Use a mild soap to clean your skin and be sure to dry the area under the breasts well to prevent trapping moisture.
- Moisturize. A fragrance-free moisturizer can help prevent itching from dry skin on the breasts or any other area on your skin.
- Switch skin care products. If you use soaps, detergents, or other products that are heavily scented or contain sodium lauryl sulfate, they could be drying out and irritating your breasts. Look for products meant for sensitive skin.
Although the itching on your breast most likely stems from a simple cause like dry or expanding skin, it’s possible that there could be a more serious underlying problem. See your doctor or dermatologist about your itchy breasts if you experience any of the following:
- The itching persists for more than a few days or weeks.
- The itching is extremely intense.
- Your breasts are tender, swollen, or in pain.
- The itching doesn’t respond to treatment.
- A rash appears on, under, or between your breasts.
The Healthline FindCare tool can provide options in your area if you don’t already have a doctor.
An invisible itch on any part of your skin, including your breasts, can be difficult to diagnose.
Fortunately, it’s most likely coming from a simple irritation of the skin, dry skin, or discomfort from growing. Itching from these causes is likely not dangerous and should respond to home remedies like topical creams or antihistamines.
However, if the itching on your breasts causes you unusual discomfort or won’t respond to treatment, have a doctor or dermatologist give you a more thorough diagnosis.