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Dr. Hanson
Dr. Hanson, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 935
Experience:  Diplomate, American Board of Quality Assurance & Utilization Review Physicians
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Burning sensation in my nipple area

Resolved Question:

Last month and this month just 3 or 4 days before I start my menstration cycle, I have had a burning sensation in my nipple area. It goes away but will come back again if I wear a bra. It is almost as if the skin on the nipple is raw, but for the life of me I cannot understand what would cause this rawness or burning sensation. My breasts are swollen and have only been swollent done this before my cycle begins nothing weird like this has ever happened.

Any idea of what this could be and should I get my OB/GYN to look into this?

Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Hanson replied 10 years ago.
Mastitis is an inflammation of a duct in the nipple area. The breast appears red and feels warm and tender. It can be cured by antibiotics.

A scaly red rash affecting the nipple and sometimes the areola could be Paget's disease. The rash affects the nipple and then spreads to the areola and some women complain of a burning sensation.

I recommend that you be examined by your gynecologist.

I hope my information is helpful. If you have additional questions I will gladly answer them, otherwise please click the green "ACCEPT" button. "POSITIVE FEEDBACK" and a "BONUS" would be greatly appreciated.

Dr. H
Customer: replied 10 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Hanson's Post: Dr. H,

I am currently on an antibiotic called Factive for an upper respiratory infection, so when you say antibiotics should clear it up (if I am only suffering from an inflammation issue), then would this not cure it? or do certain antibiotics do different things.
Expert:  Dr. Hanson replied 10 years ago.
Mastitis is an inflammatory condition of the breast which may or may not be accompanied by infection.The most common organisms found in mastitis are coagulase-positive staphylococcus aureus and staph. albus, escherichia coli, and streptococcus. Factive (gemifloxacin mesylate) is indicated for the treatment of acute bacterial chronic bronchitis caused by multi drug resistant strains of streptococcus. Your mastitis is not caused by an organism sensitive to Factive because your inflammation would have been eliminated by taking the Factive ("burning sensation in my nipple area. . . . breasts are swollen"). How long have you been taking Factive?

Candida and cryptococcus have been reported to cause fungal mastitis. Since you have been taking Factive you may just have an over-growth of Candida which may have caused you to develop a fungal mastitis due to the antibiotic. I doubt this is the case.

Your breast pain should be treated with Motrin which will help to reduce the inflammation and pain.

Rest is essential.   

Apply warm packs to your breasts.

Drink sufficient fluids (at least 8 glasses of water or juice per day).

Inflammatory breast cancer symptoms begin quickly over a few weeks and the symptoms are frequently mistaken for mastitis. Some of the symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer include: sudden swelling, ridged or pitted appearance of the breast similar to an orange peel (known as peau d’orange), breast feels warm to the touch, pain in breast, itching, discoloration (pink, red or bruised appearance that won’t go away), discharge from the nipple, sudden inversion of the nipple, aureole changes in color and texture. There is usually not a lump that can be detected by ultrasound or mammogram with inflammatory breast cancer. Women with inflammatory breast cancer are often misdiagnosed and prescribed antibiotics because the symptoms are similar to mastitis.
Antibiotics may alter the appearance of symptoms causing a physician to think the antibiotic is appropriately helping the mastitis; however, antibiotics do not help inflammatory breast cancer and they might only delay a definitive diagnosis. If you are displaying symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer and have been prescribed antibiotics insist on a breast biopsy if your symptoms have not improved after a few weeks.

I strongly recommend that you be appropriately examined by a gynecologist. The only way to definitively diagnose inflammatory breast cancer is through a biopsy. A breast biopsy will also rule out Paget’s disease of the breast. Paget's is a change in the skin of the nipple that is similar to eczema. Women who have Paget's usually have an underlying breast cancer.

I hope my information is helpful. If you have additional questions I will gladly answer them, otherwise please click the green "ACCEPT" button. "POSITIVE FEEDBACK" and a "BONUS" would be greatly appreciated.

Dr. H
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