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The What and Why of Breast Pimples

Dr. Samina Fayyaz

2 min read

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Save for the bottoms of our hands and feet, our entire body is covered with sebaceous (oil) glands, meaning that pimples can appear in the strangest of places, including the breast; and with the steadily rising cases of breast cancer, a sudden breast pimple can cause serious concern. If you think you are dealing with any of these problems then make sure to contact the best breast surgeon in Islamabad as soon as possibe. However, not all such pimples are ill omens, as the following guide may help explain:

1- Excess Exercise:

While regular exercise is highly recommended by doctors for overall health purposes, fitness addicts are often more prone to breast pimples and acne due to excess chest sweat and friction, both of which contribute to the overproduction of skin oil. Therefore, showering and applying a gentle, non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging) cleanser immediately after exercising is recommended. Moreover, pimples under or around the breast accompanied by a red and itchy rash are often signs of a yeast infection.

2- Dehydration:

Frequent  dehydration forces the body to increase oil production in attempts to rehydrate the skin. An increase in oil production can cause skin clogging with excess oils. With a large number of pores being clogged with oil and flakes of dead skin cells in the process, this leads to pimple formation.

3- Oily Moisturizers:

Moisturizers used by dry-skinned individuals to keep their skin hydrated are often oil based, which when combined with the already present dermal oil, dirt, and bacteria  block pores and form pimples. Try using non-comedogenic moisturizers to prevent this issue

4- Medication:

While steroids and hypothyroid medications increase sebaceous gland production, medication used for treating autoimmune conditions such as AIDS can also impair the immune system’s defense mechanism against acne inflammations. So, you might spot a few pimples appearing around your breasts.In addition,  medication-induced acne is also visible on other parts of the body aside from the breasts.

5- Milk Blisters:

Overproduction of milk, improper sucking action by the baby, or a yeast infection in breastfeeding women may trap milk in the skin ducts, leading to the formation of small fluid-filled bumps on the nipple. However, it can be treated by frequent breastfeeding, and prevented by fully emptying the breasts, feeding from both sides, moisturizing the nipples, and wiping the area after nursing.

6- Montgomery/Areolar Glands:

Common in all women in varying sizes and numbers, these tiny bumps with a goosebump-like appearance are present on the areola and secrete oil (resembling pus in some cases) for breast lubrication. However, these glands swell only during pregnancy and lactation (breastfeeding), and should not be squeezed in order to avoid infection and inflammation.

7- Internal Malfunctions:

The skin may become overburdened due to performing additional body toxin clearing as a consequence of reduced kidney and liver function, leading to excess sebum (oil) production, and resultantly, breast pimples. Low hydrochloric acid in the stomach can also contribute to acne formation via improper digestion and toxin elevation. Moreover, organ malfunction can disrupt the adrenal and thyroid glands’ functioning, leading to hormonal imbalance-a potential precursor  for acne.

8- Subareolar Abscesses:

The appearance of painful, swollen, discoloured, and pus-filled lumps under the areola (the dark ring surrounding the nipple) may indicate subareolar abscesses, i.e. pus deposits in the breast tissue. While common in breastfeeding women with mastitis (breast inflammation due to nipple damage), which are usually treated via pus drainage, antibiotics and surgical removal of the affected gland in case of reinfection, abscesses in non-breastfeeding women may indicate breast cancer.

9- Breast Cancer:

The likelihood of a pimple being a breast cancer symptom is extremely rare. However, there may be cause for concern if a previously small and itchy bump increases to a boil or large pimple and discharges blood or pus, or evolves into a large, hard and dark bump from a white spot; while continuing to reappear despite treatment.

While breast cancer ratios are much lower in men due to less breast tissue, any strange bumps or lumps warrant immediate medical consultation. You can also book an appointment with a top Dermatologist in Islamabad, Karachi and Multan through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your dermal concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Samina Fayyaz - Author Dr. Samina Fayyaz is a leading gynecologist based in Lahore. She offers services like infertility treatment, contraceptive advice, obesity management, hysteroscopy, and genetic testing. You can seek an appointment with her through oladoc.
Hameed Latif Hospital in Lahore

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