Understanding and Treating Bra Eczema: What Is Paget’s Disease?
Paget’s disease of the chest is a common condition where there is an increase in inflammation of the skin. It occurs when there is a reaction between two substances that have been exposed to each other for long periods of time such as sweat or oil. These substances are called allergens. One substance may cause itching while another causes swelling. When these substances come into contact with one another, they produce an allergic reaction. Paget’s disease of the chest can occur at any age but it is most common in children. Paget’s disease of the chest affects both boys and girls, although it tends to affect girls more often than boys due to their smaller bodies and greater tendency toward sweating.
The symptoms of Paget’s disease of the chest include:
Itching or burning sensations in the affected area. Sometimes there is a redness around the area. Other times, it feels like someone has rubbed salt in your skin.
There may be a tingling sensation as well. Some people experience pain in the affected areas when they move them. They feel very hot and painful when doing so, even if they do not get cold immediately afterwards.
You should visit your doctor if you suspect that you have Paget’s disease of the chest. Your doctor will ask you about your medical history, your symptoms, and whether anyone else in your family has experienced similar symptoms. He or she will then perform a physical examination of the affected area to check for any obvious signs of disease.
If your doctor suspects that you might have it, he or she may also perform tests to rule out other diseases and to confirm his or her suspicions. These tests may include a skin biopsy of the affected area.
There is no cure for Paget’s disease of the chest. Treatment typically involves using anti-itch creams and lotions such as hydrocortisone or anti-inflammatory creams such as betamethasone valerate and applying them to the affected area several times a day. If the eczema becomes infected, your doctor may also prescribe an antibiotic.
Keeping your skin well moisturized can also help to soothe the symptoms and keep it from becoming too dry or damaged. Your doctor may also recommend that you wear soft clothing such as t-shirts and cotton shirts that do not rub against the affected area. It is also a good idea to keep the affected area as dry as possible when bathing or showering. If the eczema has spread to your hands, your doctor may also recommend that you wear cotton gloves at night to keep the area warm and protected.
In severe cases, your doctor may prescribe you a strong steroid cream such as triamcinolone or fluocinonide to reduce the swelling, redness, and irritation in the affected area. This should only be used on a short-term basis and you should not use it on any regular basis as it can lead to a weakening of the skin which can cause it to sag or form wrinkles. You should also not use any steroid creams on broken or irritated skin as this can lead to further thinning of the skin and a greater loss of protective oils.
In very severe cases, it may be necessary to take steroids by mouth. These should only be taken under close medical supervision.
Products containing calcineurin inhibitors such as tacrolimus (Protopic) or pimecrolimus (Elidel) may also help to soothe the symptoms of your condition. It is best to apply these topical creams just before bedtime as they can sometimes make the skin more sensitive to sunlight and you should not go outside without applying a sunscreen first. You should start seeing an improvement in your symptoms within a few weeks.
If these treatments are not helping, you may need to try a different medication. There are several other options that your doctor may prescribe that can help to improve your condition. One of these is a steroid ointment that has a weaker effect than stronger steroids but is still effective enough to relieve the symptoms of your eczema.
There are also other immunosuppressants such as ciclosporin (Neurtop) and methotrexate (Otrexup) that can help to fight off the symptoms of your condition by slowing down your body’s natural responses. Another option is retinoid which are medications that are derived from Vitamin A and help to promote the natural shedding of the layers of your skin. These medications come in several different forms such as creams, ointments, lotion, gels, or solutions and should be used according to the instructions of your doctor.
While these creams and lotions can be quite effective at relieving the symptoms of your condition, it is important to keep in mind that they do not get to the root of the problem. As a result, your symptoms may recurr once you stop using them. As a long-term solution, you and your doctor will need to determine what is triggering your condition and try to avoid it as much as possible.
This may be as simple as changing your laundry detergent or as complex as making major lifestyle changes. In some cases, you may need to undergo additional testing to rule out other potential causes such as arthritis or thyroid problems. Even if you do not show any signs of an allergic reaction or an autoimmune disorder, you may want to consult an allergist or dermatologist to see if you have any allergies that you are unaware of.
Eczema can be a very frustrating condition that seems to come and go without any warning or reason. Since there is no cure for eczema, you will need to work closely with your doctor to keep your symptoms under control. Be sure to ask them any and all questions that you may have so you can manage your condition as effectively as possible.
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This material is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Information about complications and associated risks related to treatment and medications is available, but no recommendations are made. The information should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of an extensive consultation with your dermatologist.
Readers with general questions concerning their skin conditions should consult their physicians.
© 2014 MRD. All rights reserved.
Sources & references used in this article:
Eczema of the nipple and breast: a case report by L Amir – Journal of Human Lactation, 1993 – journals.sagepub.com
Eczema in Breast Fed Infants as a Result of Sensitization to Foods in the Mother’s Dietary by WRAY SHANNON – American Journal of Diseases of Children, 1922 – jamanetwork.com
Childhood atopic eczema: Adherence to treatment by S Lawton – Nurse Prescribing, 2014 – magonlinelibrary.com
Improving patient education with an eczema action plan: a randomized controlled trial by VY Shi, S Nanda, K Lee, AW Armstrong… – JAMA …, 2013 – jamanetwork.com
Understanding Childhood Eczema by P Titman – 2003 – books.google.com
Atopic eczema by CB Archer – Medicine, 2013 – Elsevier
Recent developments in the treatment of atopic eczema by MA Giamberardino, TS Jensen – 2015 – Lippincott Williams & Wilkins