Eczema, psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and neurodermatitis may occur on the skin of the breast or areola.
Breastfeeding may cause irritation of the nipple and areolar skin leading to outbreaks of these dermatoses in susceptible women. Topical agents can lead to contact dermatitis. Maternal allergy to foods or cow’s milk or soy formula consumed by the nursling and still in the mouth during breastfeeding can also contribute.
Treatment with careful hygiene, gentle washing after feeding, adequate drying, and topical corticosteroids may relieve the symptoms. Steroid creams should be gently wiped from the nipple to avoid excessive exposure for the baby. Persistent inflammatory lesions may be superinfected with bacteria or yeast, or may represent inflammatory cancer.