A fungus under the breast is more common than reported and is prevalent in women with large busts who live in hot and humid (tropical) climates. The fungal infection arises due to a combination of factors and is referred to as submammary candidiasis. These infections are often caused by yeast-like fungi (candida) or mold-like fungi (dermatophytes or skin fungus referred to as tinea infections), although a breast fungus is usually a result of a candida infection.
A fungal infection of the skin occurring under or around the breast develops due to a host of factors which contribute to and promote fungal growth. These factors revolve around the three essential factors for fungal development – moisture, heat and darkness. If the person suffering with a fungus under the breast lives in a hot and humid climate, this will further contribute to fungal growth.
Typically, women with larger busts are more prone to a fungal infection around or under the breast. This provides the fungus with an ideal environment under the breast to grow and develop – moisture from perspiration, warmth from body heat and and darkness as this is an area that is usually covered at all times in most cultures.
- Persistent itching of the affected area.
- Rough, cracked skin sometimes with open wounds due to scratching.
- Darkening of the affected area.
- Moisture and dampness which may be due to perspiration.
- Sloughing of the skin with a dust like residue noted within the brassiere.
- Musty, damp odor which does not occur in every case.
- A fungal infection usually arises if there is irritation or inflammation of the skin or even a small cut.
- Fungal spores are prevalent in hot and humid climates and will quickly infect an open wound.
- Women with large busts using tight brassieres are more prone as incorrectly fitting underwear will cause irritation, inflammation and tiny cuts under the breast.
- Secondary spread due to scratching from fungal infections on other areas of the body like the feet (tinea pedis or athlete’s foot), groin (tinea cruris or jock itch).
- Usually topical applications like antifungal skin creams and gels can be sufficient to treat the infection.
- Oral anti-fungal medication may be necessary in more serious cases.
- Studies have shown that tea tree oil or 5% impregnated creams are also useful in treating fungal infections.
- Due to the nature of the area, it is difficult to get sufficient airflow and natural light on the affected area but this should be done as often as possible.
- Ensure that you use correctly sized brassieres. If your brassiere is ‘cutting’ under your breast, it is likely that you need a different cup size.
- Always ensure that you wipe thoroughly under the breast after bathing.
- Use a drying agent like an anti-fungal powder to reduce moisture under the breast.