A rash under your breasts can be itchy, uncomfortable and even painful.

The culprit is often intertrigo, a non-serious skin condition that can happen anywhere on the body that skin rubs against skin.


What Causes a Rash Under the Breast?

The main causes of intertrigo include:

  • Heat: Usually when you’re hot, you sweat. But if a sweat pore is blocked or inflamed beneath the skin’s surface, sweat gets trapped instead of evaporating, irritating the skin.
  • Friction: Prolonged rubbing on the skin can cause stinging or burning and eventually develop into a rash.
  • Moisture, like sweat: When moisture gets trapped in the skin folds, there’s increased friction, which leads to skin damage and inflammation.
  • Lack of air circulation: No air circulation creates the perfect setting for trapped moisture and/or heat.

Symptoms of Intertrigo

If you’re experiencing any combination of these symptoms, you might have intertrigo:

  • A red or reddish-brown rash
  • Cracked, raw, itchy or weeping skin (with or without a smell)
  • Pain or tenderness
  • A prickling sensation
  • Swelling, sores or blisters

Note that intertrigo can only be diagnosed by a medical professional.

Rash Under Breast Treatment

Many over-the-counter remedies can clear up your under-breast rash, such as:

  • Calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream
  • Anti-fungal cream or powder
  • Antiseptic wash

If your skin is weeping, change your bra every day or use cotton dressings.

When Should I Consult a Doctor?

See your doctor as soon as possible if the rash:

  • Persists
  • Worsens
  • Keeps coming back
  • Is accompanied by pain or a fever

How to Prevent Intertrigo

  1. Wash under your breast every morning and night with gentle soap. Dry thoroughly.
  2. Don’t share towels and wash them regularly.
  3. Wear a properly fitted, supportive bra that elevates the lower part of your breast above your rib cage. Choose a bra made from a natural material like cotton; man-made materials like nylon can trap moisture.
  4. Make sure your bras are washed, rinsed and dried thoroughly. Detergent that’s left on clothing can irritate your skin.
  5. Use antiperspirant under your breasts to minimize moisture.
  6. Apply barrier creams with zinc oxide, like Aquaphor or Desitin.
  7. Make sure you’re using soaps and creams that don’t irritate your skin. Some rashes are caused by allergic reactions to cosmetic or hygiene products.

Need Treatment for Under-Breast Rashes?

Looking for a doctor in the Southgate and Brownstown areas of southeast Michigan? You can trust the team at Northline Women’s Health Center for complete care.

Schedule your appointment today.

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Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax