Want to play a game of name that rash? Of course not, no singular soul accepts that unappetizing challenge, but many of us will end up unwilling participants in the unfair competition. Millions of people around the globe fall prey to the thousands of rashes and skin conditions out there.
Even more unlucky are the warriors faced with a rash uprising on their own breasts. The area is tender to begin with and constantly rubbing against the torture devices they call brassieres. We don’t wish that on our worst enemies, but we know some of the readers right now are wondering what is happening under their t-shirts.
Let us lift your spirits with some detailed information you can carry with you to the doctor.
Can You Get Shingles Under your Breast?
The shingles rash prefers the torso to other parts of the body and demonstrates its threat with a strip around the middle (often referred to as a belt due to its appearance). So yes, you can get shingles under your breast which makes life uncomfortable. A downside to the rash is hypersensitivity to touch. Bras and tight clothing can be unbearable during an outbreak.
Shingles on the Breast: Symptoms to Watch For
Be prepared to watch for certain signals that confirm you are dealing with an HSV breakout versus a variant skin condition.
Shingles on the breast symptoms follow a certain progression that assists the diagnosis process:
- Sensitive skin, often in unison with unexplained pain or numbness
- After a handful of days (1-5) a red rash develops
- Rash morphs into blisters filled with liquid
- Blisters erupt to form crusty, scabbed over sores
- After 1-2 weeks, blisters heal
- Nerve pain can continue beyond blisters for up to one year
If the signs don’t match with your ordeal, the rash could be contributed to something more unconventional. The skin is the outside and last line of defense, so turmoil on the interior can expose itself with surface level disruption. For example, can shingles cause breast cancer?
Can Shingles Cause Breast Cancer?
The shingles virus has never been connected to cancer, but it has the potential to be confused with rashes that are linked with cancerous cells. Two rashes have been studied with malignant histories:
Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC). IBC is extremely rare and only accounts for 1% to 5% of breast cancer cases in the U.S. It strikes the lymph nodes and blocks lymph vessels in breast tissue and skin. It derives its name by inflaming the breasts so that they look swollen and red with what is called erythema. A key diagnostic is that the erythema covers at least 1/3 of the breast.
Skin can appear reddish, blueish, or purplish (some describe the aesthetic as bruised) which is why it can be confused with a rash. A preponderance amount of IBC originates in the cells of the milk ducts making them invasive ductal carcinomas. It is one of the most aggressive forms of cancer often advancing in a matter of a few weeks. Occasionally, a tumor is present with the inflammation, but it is not a qualifier for IBC. However, breasts can grow in size and weight noticeably.
Paget’s Disease of the Breast (not to be confused with the unrelated Paget’s disease of the bone). Another anomalous cancer, Paget’s affects the nipple and areola. It is regularly mistaken for dermatitis but is distinct because of the partnering lump in the breast. Characteristics include itchy/flaky skin around the nipple, crusty/oozing skin, tingling, burning, nipple discharge (straw-colored or bloody), inverted nipple, and thickening skin in the boob.
The C-word is nothing to joke around about. Instead, anytime you find unusual rashes on your bosom, seek medical attention immediately to rule out serious illness or initiate early treatment. One in eight American women will hear a breast cancer diagnosis in their lifetime, for around 12% of women. Breastcancer.org predicts that nearly 300,000 new cases of invasive breast cancer will be found in 2019 alone.
The good news is that death rates for breast cancer have been in decline since 1989. It has one of the higher survival rates of any cancer, if caught early. We want you to be on the bright side of the statistics, so get regular screenings!
Pictures of Shingles Rash Under Breast
As described previously, making the determination between shingles and life-threatening conditions is imperative.
Next up are pictures of shingles rash under the breast to show you the difference. Not suitable for work or children as the pictures can be graphic.
Treating a Herpes Zoster Rash
With anything potentially contagious, you want to start counteracting quickly and energetically to prevent widespread distribution of the condition. Treating a herpes zoster rash starts with first aid of the spots and continues with anti-viral medications and rest.
On the chest, the first course of action is removing undergarments and wearing loose-fitting clothing. Anything that could be a potential irritant should be halted until the rash clears. Topical antibacterials, anti-itch, and protectant emollients will provide additional relief from pain and itching. Skip strenuous workouts as excessive sweating and friction can augment irritation. Gentle movements like yoga are generally acceptable as long as you can perform without pain.
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