We worry about lumps in the breasts and breast cancer, but there are a lot of other smaller, less dangerous but nevertheless weird things that can happen to our breasts. Like pimples, ingrown hairs, or funky moles. While they are no reason for alarm, they can still cause concern. Here’s what you can do.
You may occassionally get pimples on your breasts because of hormonal fluctuations and the fact that the pores in that area can get blocked by sweat. (After all, our breasts are usually kept wrapped in bras, which are not always made of the most comfortable, breathable fabrics.)
To prevent breakouts wash your breasts with soap or cleanser after every workout and change into a dry, extra bra (never wear one that’s damp or sweaty) Wear bras that fit well (so they won’t irritate the skin) and pick a breathable fabric. Avoid scratchy, synthetic or lacy fabric. Don’t use fabric softener on delicates, since the chemicals can irritate skin.
The root of ingrown hairs (pun unintended) is when the hair follicle becomes infected by surrounding bacteria. Ice can help reduce the swelling, but only antibiotic cream can fight the infection. If the ingrown hair becomes irritated by contact with your bra, cover it with a bandage or gauze pad. And, never shave hair in the breast area. A dermatologist can recommend a proper way to control hair growth.
When to call the doctor
Always show any discolorations or sudden growth or change in in freckles or moles’ appearance. Also report any lumps or masses, or if your lymph nodes (located in the armpit) seem to be swollen. Pay attention, too, if your breast’s overall shape seems to have changed (ex: it looks lopsided, or one seems to have become even slightly enlarged), or if your nipple seems to be pulling to one side. (Read more tips on lowering your risk for breast cancer.)
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