Breast Skin Conditions

There are various skin changes of the breast that can be unsettling and cause discomfort. Some changes can appear similar to more serious conditions such as inflammatory breast cancer or Paget’s disease. Most skin changes are attributed to benign causes, but it is important to see a provider to assess the change and undergo imaging, if necessary, to determine the cause.

Woman suffers from Breast Cancer

Symptoms and Concerns

Many women experience symptoms of a rash or infection on one or both of her breasts. During or after breastfeeding, women can experience mastitis (an inflammation of breast tissue). Women can experience these symptoms without breastfeeding, as well. Most symptoms are relieved by antibiotics and/or over the counter remedies but a rash that doesn’t go away should always be evaluated by a provider.

Most often this symptom is not a sign of cancer but should be evaluated by a provider. Scarring from a previous surgery, trauma, or lipomas (benign tumors made of fat tissue) can cause indentations in the skin.

Most swollen breasts are not associated with concerned findings. Many women experience breast swelling as a normal part of their menstrual cycle. If an individual is experiencing pain and/or swelling in one breast, it may be a sign of mastitis. Mastitis is easily treatable with antibiotics and OTC medications to decrease inflammation. However, in rare cases, swelling of the breast, in conjunction with enlarged pores, redness, and skin thickening, can be a sign of inflammatory breast cancer and should be evaluated by a medical professional.

Meet Our Breast Health Care Team

The Margie Petersen Breast Center at Providence Saint John’s Health Center brings you some of the finest breast health and cancer care in Southern California.

Meet Our Breast Health Experts

Margie Petersen Breast Team


The Breast Health Clinic can be reached at (310) 582-7209. If you have questions regarding a new symptom or want to make an appointment for evaluation please call and a staff member will assist with navigating you in the right direction.

Schedule an Appointment For more information

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