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Breast Health

Mastitis – Symptoms and Treatment

Mastitis – Symptoms and Treatment

Mastitis – Causes, Signs, Symptoms and Treatment

Mastitis is an inflammation of the breast tissue which when left untreated may lead to an infection of the breast.

The most common causes of inflammation are:

  • Damage of the nipple
  • Long breaks between breastfeeds
  • Full breasts
  • Blocked milk ducts
  • Stopping breastfeeding too quickly
  • Wearing tight bras, etc.

However, the most common cause of inflammation is lactation. Mastitis which results from breastfeeding usually occurs within the first 6-12 weeks after childbirth.

Mastitis Risk Factors

Risk factors that can lead to mastitis include:

  • Stress and tiredness
  • Poor nutrition
  • An inflammation of the breasts (Mastitis) in the past
  • Sore or cracked nipples (Read also:Nipple Pain Causes)
  • Using only one position to breastfeed. A wrong position while breastfeeding will not allow the breasts to drain completely.

Signs and symptoms of Mastitis vary from mild, moderate to severe. Usually flu – like symptoms present in the beginning with temperature, fever, chills and joints pain while redness and soreness of an area on the breast show up later.

Mastitis Treatment, Brooklyn

Treatment should be started as soon as disease is diagnosed. Heat packs or warm clothes should be put on top of the sore area before breastfeeding in order to help the milk flow. If you are having no problems with the milk flow, that warm packs or warm clothes are not needed. Keep in mind that breast milk is safe for your baby, so keep breastfeeding even though you have mastitis. Gently massage your breasts, especially any breast lumps toward the nipples when breastfeeding your child or when having a shower or bath. In cases when you experience a lot of pain, Ibuprofen might help to relieve it. Also cool packs put on the breasts after breastfeeding might help you reduce the discomfort. Rest as much as possible, try to sleep as much as you can, eat well and drink plenty of water during the day.

If after all these things, you still continue to feel sick and your condition is getting worse, you should go and see a doctor as soon as you can. In some cases antibiotics are necessary to treat Mastitis.

If this disease is not treated correctly and on time it can lead to a collection of puss inside of the breast tissue and formation of an abscess. Abscesses usually require surgical drainage.

How to Prevent Mastitis?

There are some little things you can do for your breasts in order to prevent disease. Specially, you should take care of your breasts while breastfeeding. In order to prevent a possible mastitis, you should breastfeed your baby at least 8-12 times a day (this is for the newborns, but as the baby grows the period between breastfeeding gets longer). You should not miss a breastfeed. Don’t let your breasts to get full of milk. Instead wake up your baby and feed. Feed your baby with both of your breasts. If the baby only feeds from one breast, offer the other one during the next feed. If your breasts still feel full after breastfeeding, you should express the over amount of milk until your breasts feel comfortable. Avoid wearing tight bras and other tight clothes. Avoid pressure on your breasts with fingers while breastfeeding. Try to get as much rest as you can during breastfeeding.


Nipple Pain Causes | Brooklyn Gynecology Services

Nipple Pain Causes | Brooklyn Gynecology Services

Nipple Pain Causes | Brooklyn Gynecology Services

Nipples are considered as the most erogenous zones of the female body. These high sensitive areas are easily stimulated, but also easily irritated. There are many different causes of nipple pain.

Nipple problems are often in women. Many nipple problems are not related to breast cancer, but they could indicate a serious underlying condition.


Nipple Pain Causes

  • Wearing tight underwear and non-fitting bras
  • Vigorous sexual activity
  • Repeated friction while jogging
  • Infections of the breast – often occur in cases when the nipple was firstly traumatized. Nipple pain in these cases is often accompanied with high fever. Antibiotics and a proper personal hygiene are always recommended in these cases.
  • Paget’s disease – occurs in cases when the breast cancer invades and spreads to the nipple and areola. The areola and nipple are often swollen, red in color and painful. This is all due to a blockage of the small lymphatic channels which drain the fluid from the areola. The blocking of the small lymphatic channels is caused by a rapid proliferation of the cancer cells.
  • Breastfeeding – could cause pain in the nipples. The pain is usually due to nipple vasospasm or any trauma of the nipple during breastfeeding. Changes in the saliva during teething of the baby could result in nipple pain.
  • Allergies
  • Hormonal changes – which are normal every month in a female’s organism can cause nipple pain or even breast pain.

Possible Breast Diseases

Other possible signs and symptoms that can accompany the pain in the nipple area, and that can suggest any possible disease that affect the breast, include:

  • Bleeding from the nipple
  • Nipple discharge
  • Breast lump
  • Breast tenderness
  • Change in the size, shape or appearance of the breast
  • Hardened area within the breast
  • Rash or sore on the breast or nipple
  • Redness, warmth or swelling
  • Retracted nipple
  • Skin discoloration, etc.

If you notice any difference in the nipples or in the breast area you should consult with your physician immediately. It can be something harmless, but there is always the possibility for something more serious, like breast cancer. Consult your physician immediately in cases when a nipple discharge is present. The nipple discharge could be brownish, bloody or it could be even pus.


Nipple Pain and Nipple Discharge Treatment Options

The treatment of the nipple pain depends from its cause.

Abrasive trauma to the nipples should heel on its own in a few days.

In cases with infection of the nipple antibiotics, antifungal and any other appropriate medication are necessary.

In cases with small noncancerous tumors, regular check-ups are necessary. Usually these types of tumors are not removed.

In cases with Paget’s disease of the breast and nipple the treatment will depend on how much the tumor has spread into the breast or into the other surrounding areas. If no other tumors are found, treatment includes surgery to remove the nipple and areola. After surgery a series of radiation treatments are usually necessary. In cases when other tumors are found, a mastectomy (removal of the entire breast) is performed.


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This website contains general information about medical conditions and treatments. The information is not medical advice.

If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your doctor or other professional healthcare provider.