How did I get eczema on my breast?
Eczema can develop anywhere on your skin, including your breasts. A combination of immune system activation, genetics, environmental triggers and stress can cause it.
- Immune system: If you have breast eczema, your immune system overreacts to minor irritants or allergens. This overreaction can inflame your skin.
- Genetics: You’re more likely to have breast eczema if you have a history of eczema in your family. You’re also at a higher risk if you have a family history of hay fever, asthma and allergens. Allergens are substances like pollen, pet hair or foods that trigger an allergic reaction. There might also be a change in your genes that control a protein that helps your body maintain healthy skin. Without normal levels of that protein, your skin won’t be completely healthy.
- Environment: A lot of irritants in your environment can irritate your skin. Some examples include tobacco smoke, air pollutants, harsh soaps, fabrics such as wool and some skin care products. Low humidity (dry air) can cause your skin to become dry and itchy. Heat and humidity can cause sweating, and sweating can make itchiness worse. If you have a breast eczema flare-up after coming into contact with an allergen or irritant, you may have contact dermatitis.
- Stress: Your stress levels can cause or worsen your breast eczema. There are mental and emotional signs of stress and physical signs of stress.
Breastfeeding (chestfeeding) can also cause breast eczema. It may cause a rash to develop around your nipples, which may lead to breast eczema.