Chances are, you don’t often look at what’s going on underneath your breasts until a problem crops up. As much as you may want to keep what’s out of sight out of mind, it’s worth grabbing a mirror and taking a peek to find out if one of these common skin conditions has set up shop below your breasts, especially if you have a fuller bust.
Why you have it: It’s very common to develop a rash under the breasts, especially in the hot, humid weather. “Friction and moisture in this area compromise the skin barrier and can lead to a secondary infection with yeast,” explained Lotika Singh, MD, a dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group in New York City. “Sweating or yeast trapped under the breasts can lead to rashes.”
How to get rid of it: Sprinkle powder on the affected area while getting ready in the morning and if needed, throughout the day to help absorb moisture and keep the area dry. Dr. Singh recommends using over-the-counter Zeasorb AF antifungal powder, but in some cases, your dermatologist may need to give you an additional prescription-strength cream to knock out the skin irritation.
Why you have it: Blame that hot, sweat-inducing weather for bringing on this common rash, also known as miliaria. “This is caused by sweat getting trapped in the ducts, leading to red, often itchy bumps,” said Singh.
How to get rid of it: The most effective treatment is to seek a cool environment. You can also apply calamine lotion to soothe the itching, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Why you have it: Another common growth under the breasts is seborrheic keratosis. “These are benign, wart-like growths that can sometimes become irritated and itchy,” said Singh.
How to get rid of it: These growths aren’t harmful so treatment isn’t typically necessary. But if the growth bothers you because it’s unsightly or rubs you the wrong way, you can have it removed by a dermatologist via freezing, burning it off, or having it cut out.
Why you have it: “Often women develop skin tags at this site due to the friction from bras or just skin rubbing on skin,” explained Singh.
How to get rid of it: Skin tags can often be removed using surgical scissors in the dermatologist’s office. Since insurance companies don’t pay for this, there’s often a cosmetic fee.
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