Know the basics
What is breast abscess?
Breast abscess is an inflammation (swelling, redness) and accumulation of pus in the breast caused by bacteria. In some rare cases, breast abscess may be a sign of breast cancer.
How common is breast abscess?
Approximately 10% to 30% of cases of breast abscess occur in women after pregnancy and breastfeeding. Breast abscess can also occur in women who are overweight, have large breasts or those who do not maintain personal hygiene.
Know the symptoms
What are some signs and symptoms of breast abscess?
Signs of breast abscess depend on the abscess location, stages of the disease and other factors.
In the early stages of breast abscess, you may feel deep pain in the mammary gland. Outer skin may be normal if the drive inflammation deep within or become red and hot and swollen if the drive is located on the surface of inflammatory breast.
At this stage of forming an abscess, the symptoms will increase sharply. At this time, the symptoms include skin abscesses on becoming hot, strained and swollen red, in addition to the appearance of symptoms of infection such as fever, chills, nausea, vomiting.
The most severe complication is osteonecrosis breast with symptoms of infection syndrome, severe poisoning: blood pressure, body depression, breast swelling distended, edema, skin abscess on pale yellow or necrotic lymph node swelling and pain.
There may be other symptoms and signs are not mentioned. If you have any questions about these signs, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
You should see a doctor if symptoms appear, such as:
- There is redness, swelling or pain in the chest;
- Pacifiers have fallen into or discharge from the nipple;
- You feel pain while breastfeeding.
Immediately visit the doctor if you have any of these signs. Early diagnosis and treatment with antibiotics can help you avoid surgery later.
Know the causes
What causes breast abscess?
Two types of bacteria Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus are the most common factors that cause breast abscess. In addition to other causes, such as anaerobic bacteria, bacillus typhoid and pipeline blockage at the nipples due to scarring can also cause breast abscess.
Know the risk factors
What increases your risk for breast abscess?
Risk of breast abscess occur if the mother is breastfeeding:
- Feeding improperly;
- Breastfeeding is not enough time, not enough time that accumulate in breast milk;
- Wearing tight bra;
- Nipple scratched;
- Ductal obstruction.
There are no risk factors does not mean you cannot get sick. These factors are for reference only. You should consult a specialist doctor for more details.
Understand the diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for medical advice. ALWAYS consult your doctor.
How is breast abscess diagnosed?
The doctor will diagnose the disease by performing a physical exam or breast tissue biopsy samples for tests. In case you have been diagnosed and given antibiotics before, but the situation did not improve, the doctor will perform an ultrasound to determine the exact status of your illness.
How is breast abscess treated?
If breast abscess is detected early, the disease can be cured with antibiotics without surgery. If this disease is detected at a later stage, the patient will need to puncture incision and abscess pus out. However, this approach can lead to complications such as new abscess formation and fistula formation from a skin abscess.
Lifestyle Changes & Home Remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies help manage breast abscess?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with breast abscess:
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle: you should rest, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious foods during treatment;
- Always keep personal hygiene: you can use warm, moist towel to overwrite the infected tissue;
- If you are breast-feeding mothers, always clean the breast, especially the nipple. Ideally you should stop breastfeeding during breast disease until it is completely healed.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Ferri, Fred. Ferri’s Netter Patient Advisor. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders / Elsevier, 2012. Download version.
Porter, R. S., Kaplan, J. L., Homeier, B. P., & Albert, R. K. (2009). The Merck manual home health handbook. Whitehouse Station, NJ, Merck Research Laboratories. Page 737.
An association of cigarette smoking with recurrent subareolar breast abscess. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3225089. Accessed October 6, 2015.
Nipple discharge. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001515.htm. Accessed October 6, 2015.
Risk factors for development and recurrence of primary breast abscesses. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20610247. Accessed October 6, 2015.
Subareolar breast abscesses: characteristics and results of surgical treatment. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15871702. Accessed October 6, 2015.
Surgical management of recurrent subareolar breast abscesses: Mayo Clinic experience. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16978967. Accessed October 6, 2015.
Review Date: August 17, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017