Fungal Infection On Breast: Causes, Symptoms, And Prevention Measures

Though it may sound a bit scary, breast fungus is not quite lethal. Fungal infection on breast is a superficial infection. Therefore, it only infects the outermost layers of the skin.

A breast fungus is one of the more common types of fungal infections that mainly arises in women, especially women with larger breasts. There are two medical terms that refers to a breast fungus: Tinea mammae which is a rarely used term to describe a dermatophyte infection of the skin of the breast. The other name is Sub-mammary candidiasis which is an yeast infection under the breast.


What Causes Breast Fungus?

Two types of fungal infections that commonly involve the chest and may therefore involve the breasts include tinea versicolor and tinea corporis.

  • Tinea versicolor is a yeast infection caused by a group of yeasts known as Malassezia. The two most common types of Malassezia involved in tinea versicolor are Malassezia furfur and Malassezia globosa.
  • Tinea corporis is a dermatophyte infection caused by the Trichophyton species of fungi, and most commonly by Trichophyton rubrum. It is also caused by a fungus known as Microsporum canis which is spread from cats and dogs.

Breast Fungus Symptoms

The symptoms of a fungal infection on breast are similar to the symptoms of tinea versicolor and tinea corporis. Some symptoms include:

  • Dry itchy skin rash
  • Redness of the skin
  • Cracking, peeling or flaking skin
  • Patches of pink, brown or whitish scales or skin discoloration
  • Tiny pustules which may be oozing

Symptoms of Fungus Infection under the Breast

  • Itching under the breast
  • Redness of the skin
  • Tiny cuts or abrasions on the skin
  • Moisture with a slightly musty and foul odor
  • Darkening of the skin (hyperpigmentation) over a period of time
  • Peeling of the skin
  • Skin colored or dark brown to black speckles when scratching
  • Tiny pustules oozing a foul smelling thick fluid

Breast Fungus Prevention

  • Use appropriately fitting bras that are not too tight or cutting into the skin.
  • Discard all brassieres and other undergarments that are making direct contact with the infected skin as it may contain fungal spores.
  • Try to ventilate the area as often as possible and use light clothing that allows air flow.
  • Do not scratch the area even when itchy as it will create abrasions in the skin which can then be infected.
  • Apply thick layers of petroleum jelly on the affected area at night to prevent injury from scratching during sleep.
  • Keep the area clean with a topical disinfectant. Although it will not eradicate the fungus, it will help to prevent secondary bacterial infections.
  • Avoid using perfumes, deodorants or scented powders on or under the breast.