Rash Under the Breast or Intertrigo

Intertrigo is a yeast infection caused by  candida, which is found over our body surfaces.

It affects places that are warm and sweaty, that is , poorly ventilated. Moisture gets trapped in places where skin folds over itself. This serves as an excellent breeding ground for the growth of fungus.

Commonly Affected Places

  • Skin folds under the breast
  • Armpits
  • Skin folds under the stomach in obese
  • Genital area/ Groin
  • Crease of the neck in infants
  • Between the butts
  • Between the toes

How Is Intertrigo Caused?

The places mentioned above have skin folding over itself. For example, as the breast hangs down, its undersurface of the organ touches the skin beneath. So, two skin surfaces are constantly in touch with each other.

In sweaty weather conditions or in situations when you workout or sweat a lot, this area becomes wet. Moisture stays trapped there due to lack of aeration.

Tight brasseries also contribute to the condition. In fact, this may be the prime factor in many cases.

Trapped sweat, along with dead cells and tissue debris lying there, serves as an excellent ground for the growth of candida, an opportunistic fungus which looks for chance to grow whenever it gets favorable conditions.

Symptoms

The under surface of the breast and the skin in touch with it may show a red or reddish brown rash.

This rash may be mildly or very itchy. It may be smelly, if the fungal infestation is too much.

Sometimes, the areas appears to be dry and scaly or flaky.

In untreated individuals, infection spreads to give a full blown fungus infested area, which is red, itchy and irritated. Fluid may be oozing out.

Areas that come in touch with this fluid may further become infected with candida.

Intertrigo may get complicated by secondary infections. There are many bacteria and other type of fungus living over the skin surfaces.

When candida affects the undersurface of the breast, the skin becomes irritated and raw. This gives a chance for bacteria present there to proliferate and infect the region secondarily.

After this onslaught, the picture is even more painful. The region start getting macerated with infective fluid oozing from there. It may soon become painful as the infection spread to give a picture of cellulitis.

Diagnosing Intertrigo

Diagnosis is made by examination. The appearance of the lesion is characteristic and the itch is typical in intertrigo.

Conditions like psoriasis, which may give a similar appearance, need to be ruled out.

To confirm the diagnosis, KOH test is sometimes performed to show the presence of candida.

Preventive Steps

  • Wash your body daily to wash away the daily load of fungus, bacteria and other bugs residing over the skin.
  • Try to keep the skin dry and cool. You may use talcum powders during sweaty months to absorb excess of sweat.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothes. Let the clothes be breathable, allowing ventilation.
  • Wear a bra that fits you properly. Tight bras are bad. They may sometimes be the sole cause of getting intertrigo.
  • Avoid wearing tight shoes. During sweaty months, open footwear, like sandals, are preferred to let your toes breathe.
  • If you are over weight and have many skin folds touching each other, consider loosing weight.

Treatment

  • The area is washed and dried everyday.
  • It is kept well ventilated and dry.
  • Only loose cotton brasseries are to be worn till treatment goes on.
  • Apply an antifungal cream, like clotrimazole or miconazole, over the affected area. This has to be applied thrice daily for 4 to 5 days.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “Rash Under the Breast That May Be Red and Itchy

  1. Brittany

    Hi. I am a lot over weight and get these on my boobs and under my tummy. At times I get blood boils and we pop them but they still come back. I also get pimples. I wash under there everyday & I dry very well. But it still is like that. Red, Blood boils, & Pimples. Sometimes it’s purple underneath. Doctor what do I do?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      If they are not painful or itchy, that is, not bothering you, you may leave them as such. Do not try to squeeze or pop it. This would infect and complicate them.

      They may be due to temporary distension of blood vessels in these areas, may be due to excess fat.

      Reply
      1. Brittany

        If I were to see a doctor about this would they say the same thing? Just leave it alone. Because they get pretty bad. My mom popped one underneath my tummy and blood just poured out for about a good half hour. Since then that one spot that was big does come back as a small one though. I pop them before I shower every time. I keep it washed. But every once in a while it starts getting super red and itchy. Should I see a doctor for that or just leave it alone like you said.

        Reply
  2. Warda

    Hi, I am 37years and i am almost 90kg i have these red very itchy bumps under my breasts and now are coming dowm below mytummy,kindly advise what i should do

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      This is very likely to be a fungal infection. Wash the area daily with ample water. Dry dab and apply an anti fungal ointment over it thrice daily. You may use canesten/ candid creams.

      Avoid waring any brasseries for some time. Wear lose dresses whenever possible.

      Reply