Mastitis ( Breast Infection )
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What is the Mastitis or breast infection?

Mastitis is an infection in the breast tissues. The infection causes pain, swelling, redness, and increased temperature of the breast.
The infection, most commonly affects women who are breast feeding, but breast feeding women are not the only ones who get infected by this disease. If can occur in women who are not breastfeeding, a cracked nipple or nipple piercing also can cause the breast infection. Both allow bacteria to get into the milk ducts. This is especially common in women who smoke. Chronic mastitis occurs in women who are not breast feeding. In postmenopausal women, breast infections may be associated with chronic inflammation of the ducts below the nipple. Hormonal changes in the body can cause the milk ducts to become clogged with dead skin cells and debris. These clogged ducts make the breast more open to bacterial infection. Infection tends to come back after treatment with antibiotics.

mastitis

Which age group are affected due to mastitis?

The disease affects most commonly the women of age group between 18-50 years. Most commonly lactating mothers are affected.

Which races are affected due to the infection?

African women are more prone to get affected by it.

What are the causes of mastitis?

There are a lot of causes:

Some of the following is:-

  • Mastitis is caused by a common bacteria Staphylococcus aureus found on normal skin.
  • Mastitis occurs as a result of entry of bacteria into the breast through a crack in the skin of the nipple or through the opening to the milk ducts in the nipple. The bacteria grow there and multiply leading to pain, redness and swelling.

Some risk factors which causes mastitis:

  • Sore or cracked nipples
  • Previous history of the infection while breast-feeding
  • Wearing a tight fitting bra, which may restrict milk flow

Is mastitis is very painful?

Yes, sometimes it is very painful condition which causes discomfort to the patient. The infection is most common in the first 2-3 weeks, but can occur at any stage of lactation. The disease may come on abruptly, and usually affects only one breast. Local symptoms are the same as for a plugged duct, but the pain,heat,swelling is usually more intense.

Can mastitis happen without breastfeeding?

Yes, in case of healthy women, mastitis is rare condition. Chronic mastitis occurs in women who are not breastfeeding. In postmenopausal women, breast infections may be associated with chronic inflammation of the ducts below the nipple. Hormonal changes in the body can cause the milk ducts to become clogged with dead skin cells and debris.

What are the sign and symptoms of mastitis?

• Breast tenderness and swelling
• Body aches
• Fatigue
• Breast pain, lump in the breast
• Fever and chills
• Enlarged lymph nodes
• Discharge of pus from nipple

How to investigate mastitis?

• Physical examination.
• Ultrasound
• Culture of breast milk
• Mammography and breast biopsy in case of non breast feeding woman.

How can treat mastitis?

Antibiotic medications are usually very effective in treating this disease.
Drainage in case of abscess.
Applying warmth to the affected area, such as a warm compression, or have a warm bath or shower.
Massage breasts
Pain killers to get relief from pain
Rest, continued breast-feeding
Drink extra fluids to help your body fight the breast infection.

What is the prognosis of mastitis?

When treated well the prognosis of the disease is good. The abscess resolves without any complications. Resolution of the infection occur after 2-3 days of infection with antibiotic therapy.

Some conditions which is same as mastitis?

These are follows:

  • Breast engorgement
  • Nipple senstivity.
  • Galactocele.
  • Fibrocystic breasts.
  • Mastodynia.
  • Breast trauma.
  • Primary invasive breast cancer.
  • Fibroadenoma.
  • Fat necrosis.
  • Neonatal breast hypertrophy.

How to prevent Mastitis?

• Avoid tight clothing, bras or tight fitting tops, keep your breast-feeding routine maintained.
• Take adequate rest, sleep on your back or side as a clog may occur by sleeping on your stomach.
• Breast-feeding in proper manner.
• Drink plenty of fluids.
• Changing position to breast-feed from one feeding to the next.

Some homeopathic medicines help in case of mastitis?

Belladonna
Bryonia alba
Bufo rana
Mercurius solubilis
Phytolacca Decandra
Silicea

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