An infected area of breast tissue that becomes filled
with pus when the body is fighting the infection, involving breast tissue, nipple, milk
glands and/ or milk ducts.
women between ages 20 and 40.
SIGNS & SYMPTOMS
- Breast pain, tenderness, redness or hardness.
- Fever and chills.
- A general ill feeling.
- Tender lymph glands in the underarm area (seldom).
Bacteria that enter the breast usually through a cracked
nipple during the early days of breast-feeding.
RISK INCREASES WITH
- Women with postpartum pelvic infection.
- Clean the nipples and breasts thoroughly before and after
- Lubricate the nipples after nursing with lanolin or
Vitamin A & D ointment.
- Avoid clothing that irritates the breasts.
- Don't allow a nursing infant to chew nipples.
- Observation of classical symptoms.
- History and examination by a doctor.
- Laboratory culture of the discharge from the abscess to
identify the bacteria (usually staphylococcus).
It may be necessary to discontinue breast-feeding if the
infection is severe enough to require extensive treatment with certain antibiotics and
Usually curable in 3 to 10 days with treatment. Draining
the abscess greatly hastens healing.
- Use warm-water fomentation to relieve pain and hasten
- Do not breast feed from the infected breast until it
heals. Use a breast pump to express milk regularly from the infected breast until nursing
on that side can be resumed.
Your doctor may prescribe:
- Antibiotics to fight infection.
- Pain relievers.
- Drainage of abscess if treatment fails.
CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR IMMEDIATELY, IF
- You have symptoms of a breast abscess.
- Any of the following occurs during treatment:
- Unbearable Pain.
- Infection seems to be spreading, despite treatment.
- Symptoms don't improve in 72 hours.
- New, unexplained symptoms develop. Drugs used in treatment
may produce side effects.