What health problems/risks are associated with having large
From a skin perspective there are 3 concerns that can be relatively common:
1. Intertrigo: This is a red inflamed and, at times, raw eroded rash that can occur under and between the breasts. If present long enough, it can develop a secondary yeast or bacterial infection.
2. Folliculitis: This is a bacterial or yeast infection that can occur in the pores and hair follicles. When heat and sweat gets trapped on the skin under the fabric of the bra, breakouts can occur.
3. Diffuse dermal angiomatosis of the breast: This is a poorly understood process where there is a reactive increase in the blood supply to the skin on the breasts which can result in tender plaques and ulcerations. These can be exquisitely painful and difficult to manage.
How does having large breasts cause these conditions?
Having large breasts can lead to more friction that develops with skin to skin contact. With moisture and heat that builds up, intertrigo and folliculitis can develop where the skin can start to break down in these areas or pores and hair follicles can develop bacterial infections.
Diffuse dermal angiomatosis of the breasts is poorly understood but thought to be the result of a reactive change in the soft tissue of the breast from tension or pull on the skin.
What can women with large breasts to do minimize pain/health risks?
For intertrigo and folliculitis keeping the skin dry and avoiding excess sweat to build up will help. Using powders or antiperspirants can help reduce moisture. I often ask patients to consider using antibacterial soaps to help as well. After showers it can also help to use a hair dryer to really dry the skin under the breasts.
Diffuse dermal angiomatosis of the breasts is, again, poorly understood but thought to be best managed by consideration to breast reduction.
The tender ulcerations that can develop pose a risk for recurrent infections and can be very difficult to heal making management very difficult.