Breast Infections

Georgia Breast Care

Breast Surgeons & Surgical Oncologists located in Woodstock, GA

If you have the symptoms of a breast infection, the team at Georgia Breast Care in Woodstock, Georgia, is available to help. Breast infections can be painful and distressing, but very often you can find relief from your discomfort with expert help from Georgia Breast Care’s breast health specialists. Call today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment using the online tool.

Breast Infections

What are breast infections?

If harmful bacteria get into your breast, they can cause a breast infection. Breast infections typically produce inflammation, which is your body’s response to an infection. Breast inflammation is known as mastitis.

Breast infections can happen at any time. Infections during breastfeeding aren’t uncommon but don’t need to affect your ability to breastfeed.

What are the symptoms of breast infections?

Typical symptoms of infections directly affecting the breast include:

  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Hardness
  • Heat
  • Red streaks
  • Cracked nipples
  • Discharge
  • Unhealing sores

You might also experience symptoms of feeling generally unwell, as though you had the flu. Fever, aches, fatigue, and nausea often accompany breast infections.

What types of breast infections are there?

The types of breast infection you’re most likely to encounter are:

Central or subareolar infection

This type of breast infection involves the milk ducts in your breast and usually affects both breasts. Nipple discharge and retraction are common symptoms. It’s more likely to affect you if you smoke.

Granulomatous lobular mastitis

This is a growth in the breast, which is painful but isn’t cancerous. Infections related to granulomatous lobular mastitis can be resistant to antibiotics.

Peripheral, nonlactating infection

This condition can lead to the development of breast abscesses. It’s most likely to occur in people who have chronic health conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis or diabetes, but if you have had breast injuries or take steroids, you’re also at higher risk.

Cellulitis

Cellulitis is a skin infection that may occur anywhere on your body. Women who have large breasts, or who’ve had breast surgery or undergone radiotherapy treatments have the highest risk for developing cellulitis.

Breast infections during breastfeeding can happen if your nipple cracks, which allows bacteria into the breast. Clogged milk ducts can also promote bacterial growth and cause an infection.

You don’t need to stop breastfeeding if you have an infection. You won’t harm your baby, and continuing to breastfeed can help clear the infection.

How are breast infections treated?

When you visit Georgia Breast Care for a consultation, your provider examines your breasts and may take a swab to help identify the infection.

Bacterial infections might require treatment with antibiotics, but it’s also important to look at any underlying causes for an infection and address those as well.

If you have a cyst or abscess, it may need draining, which your provider can do in the office. Surgery is usually the last resort if other treatments aren’t working, and it involves removing damaged milk ducts.

If you have tender, painful breasts or notice any unusual breast symptoms, call Georgia Breast care, or book an appointment online.