Changes in Skin of the Breast: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Changes in the skin of the breast can occur due to almost any condition that affects the skin in other parts of the body. This means that common causes of dermatitis (inflammation of the skin) such as eczema and sunburn can also cause skin changes in the breast. Skin changes in the breast can include redness, swelling, rash, itching, dimpling or puckering, scaling, ulceration, thickening of the skin, or the formation of pimples or sores. In the type of breast cancer known as inflammatory breast cancer, there is often redness, warmth, pain or tenderness, and a puckered or dimpled appearance to the breast. Paget's disease of the breast is a form of cancer that affects the nipple area, often causing skin changes. Other conditions that can cause changes in the breast skin include psoriasis, shingles, and hives.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/12/2017

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