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Friday, June 12, 2009 Scared Mom of Two, Community Member, asks

Q: Rash Under Arm Pit

I keep getting a rash under my left armpit, even when i don't shave for a few days. I changed deodorants to one with melaluca and it burns. I have had breast issues with my left breast for a long time and am still waiting to get answers.  I also keep getting small red rash dots in the same area lower under my left armpit, closer to my breast. I have had various mammos/ultrasounds done due to ongoing breast pain and a thickening feeling I have had in my left armpit/breast area and they cannot see anything on the mammogram. Could this be a beginning sign of IBC? My nipple also is VERY tender whenever I touch it. I do check it every morning for leakage just because I am VERY afraid of getting Breast Cancer since it runs in my family.  Any advice?

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Answers (4)
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
6/12/09 1:57pm

Hi - It's a good sign the mammogram doesn't reveal anything; I'm glad you're diligent about noticing these changes in your breast, and addressing them.

 

If you've had the rash for longer than a few weeks, I'd suspect it's nothing to do with IBC; that would have develop into something more serious-looking by now. But what is it? That's the question. Could be a nerve issue; a hormonal issue...

 

Have you been to a breast specialist? I'd try a breast specialist before a dermatologist, because then you could ask about ALL the issues that have been bothering you. And if the breast specialist rules out cancer, then perhaps it's time to see a dermatologist? Hope you get some relief soon - PJH

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Scared Mom of Two, Community Member
6/12/09 2:06pm

Thanks for the response.  I have been to a breast specialist that is who referred me to get the Mammo and US.  I am actually scheduled to have a nerve conduction test on my left breast/arm at the end of this month.  It is just scary because this rash/thickening feeliing started over a month ago and even tho the rashes do go away. They keep coming back in the same areas and they burn like crasy. I also noticed I have a small red bump like a pimple underneath my left breast that has been there for a few days it does not hurt/itch or anything just there. I have requested that my dr send me for a referral to a dermatologist.  I just wondered if it could be a sign of IBC.  I am trying soo hard to get a breast MRI done or testiing to see if I carry the cancer gene but my insurance won't approve unless the breast health center finds a lump etc.

 

It is very frustrating I have been dealing with all this since last September.

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
6/12/09 4:22pm

Oh my goodness - have you had the rash, too, since last September? Or this feeling of thickening, or...? That's a long time to be stressed! I'm sorry for your troubles. The good news is, if you've been having issues since September, and a mammogram hasn't spotted anything, it's unlikely it's breast cancer. I'll put you in touch with Phyllis Johnson, our IBC specialist (I'll email her); perhaps she can help you de-stress! PJH

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Leslie, Community Member
10/23/09 10:12pm

I have the exact same thing.  Its been going on for a couple of months. It comes and goes.  It starts as small red dot rash similar to shingles it then becomes redder and finally a rash the size of my fist is under my arm.  It burns, hurts and at times becomes swollen.  In the end it turns yellowish, dark and sort of like I get punched and am healing.  It hurts to lift my arm etc.  This is the second time I've gotten it, the first time a dermatologist gave me some cream, it made it worse, It went away in a month.  The second time I went to my doctor who thoguth it was a cyst and sent me tomy berast cancer docotor( I do not have cancer but have lots of lumps and we aspirate at least 3-4 times a year).  He felt there was nothing there, we even did a sonogram to make me feel better.  We didn't see anything.  I'm going through this right now and it just  hurts, keepi9ng my arm above my head is my only relief.  I go for my mammogram in Nov so I'm waiting to see what that says.  I just wish I could find the answer and this has helped me understand what it could be and feel better that I'm not going nuts beacuse someone else has it.      

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
10/24/09 6:41am

Keeping your arm above your head giving you relief makes it sound like this is a lymph drainage issue, as that's what those of us with lymphedema do sometimes for relief. Glad you'll be getting your mammogram - a positive result there should at least provide you with some relief, even if it doesn't really tell you what's going on... Good luck - PJH

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yavz, Community Member
12/23/09 11:00am

Hi!Merry xmas! Just like others i am only noticd my arm pit swollen like pimples,same as rash.It's sticky i feel it.Just this day i noticed it and it is getting worse(more rashes like scattered).

 

I am afraid of what this may cause.I was been operated on  my left breast for cyst 2 yrs. ago.Had my operation  as CS.

 

I havent  visited my dr. after my opeartions.

 

Any help.I am much needed help.

 

My two armpits are affected.I don't use any deodorant.Noticed it upon waking up this morning.

 

tHanks a lot..

 

YAVZ

Reply
PJ Hamel, Health Guide
12/23/09 11:59am

Hi - With both armpits affected this sounds like an allergy of some kind, rather than anything to do with cancer. So, I'd be concerned, but not frightened. Are you able to see a doctor? If so, it would be nice to figure out what's going on here, and treat it... could be a systemic infection also. Hope you're feeling better soon - PJH

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
6/12/09 5:24pm

Hi, I'm sorry the rash hasn't gotten better since we corresponded last week.  If you read the link I sent you then about rashes and IBC, you've learned about some of the most likely causes for your rash.  I've had a rash similar to yours under my left arm, and it is very different from what I experienced with my IBC.  Mine clears up when I use an anti-fungal cream and when I am very careful to dry completely before getting dressed.  Now I use the hair dryer on cool to make sure that my underarm is completely dry.  However, your rash might be from a different cause, so a visit to the dermatologist might well be called for at this point.

 

Try not to touch the sore nipple area.  It will probably get better sooner if left alone.

 

 If I remember correctly, you have been concerned because of your grandmothers' breast cancers.  My doctors (and others I've read about) recommend that the daughter or sister of a breast cancer patient start getting breast cancer screening when they are ten years younger than her primary relative was when her cancer was diagnosed.  Since I got my cancer at age 50, my sisters and daughter should get checked out at age 40 even though we probably don't have either of the known breast cancer genes in our family.  Breast cancers that occur after menopause are not likely to be genetic. 

 

Based on your description of your rash, I really don't think you need to be scared about IBC.  I wonder what there is about this rare form of cancer that has made you so worried.  Most causes of breast pain or rashes are not cancer.  I'm glad that you've had the imaging tests that can help rule out cancer for that area of thickening.  Trust your doctor's assessment of the situation, and continue getting regular check-ups.

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Scared Mom of Two, Community Member
6/12/09 5:33pm

Thank you so much for responding again.  I soo appreciate it.  I guess the reason I am so scared about IBC is because everyone I have spoken to that are IBC survivors or are dealing with IBC or the stuff I have read says you don't have to have a lump to have IBC and I guess because I have not been able to get a CLEAR Precise answer to why I have so much breast pain and issues with my breast that I am scared of the "unknown" and that is why every red bump, pimple irritation weird feeling I am afraid of it being cancer.  Also, because I am a single mother of two I worry about leaving my kids. But I thank you for your information I need to just rely and trust my doctors and stop living like I already have cancer.  Thank you again.

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Phyllis Johnson, Health Guide
6/12/09 5:41pm

It's true that the majority of IBC patients don't have a lump.  I didn't.  One major characteristic of IBC is that it is a fast, aggressive cancer, and the symptoms progress rapidly.  From the time I had my first twinge of pain until I had swelling (think a full cup size) was six weeks.  Two weeks later, a quarter of my breast was an angry, red/purple.  You seem to have had recurring problems over a long period of time, which suggests a cause other than cancer. 

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Scared Mom of Two, Community Member
6/12/09 5:47pm

Thanks again Phyllis.  I appreciate all your info. I just gotta calm down. 

 

Have a wonderful weekend.

Reply
yavz, Community Member
12/23/09 11:03am

e: Rash Under Arm Pit
yavz
Wednesday, December 23, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Hi!Merry xmas! Just like others i am only noticd my arm pit swollen like pimples,same as rash.It's sticky i feel it.Just this day i noticed it and it is getting worse(more rashes like scattered).

 

I am afraid of what this may cause.I was been operated on  my left breast for cyst 2 yrs. ago.Had my operation  as CS.

 

I havent  visited my dr. after my opeartions.

 

Any help.I am much needed help.

 

My two armpits are affected.I don't use any deodorant.Noticed it upon waking up this morning.

 

tHanks a lot..

 

YAVZ

Reply
sheri, Community Member
10/11/09 4:38pm

hi there im 37 soon to be 38 im worried the last few months or so i had some issues with my right breast. feels swollen and feels pain and burning feeling under arm. i did have mamogram where they found califcations said see you nexted year, but im so worried it ibc i also had a ultra sound should that rule ibc out! please help with any info im a nervous wreck can stress do this???

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
10/13/09 10:10am

Hi - If you've had this issue for "a few months," then it would be highly unlikely it would be anything to do with IBC; IBC would have showed more serious symptoms by now, like redness, noitceable swelling, more pain, dimpled skin, etc. An ultrasound won't rule out IBC; usually a mammogram is called for when IBC is suspected. This sounds more like a hormonal issue.

 

At any rate, if you haven't mentioned your IBC fears to your doctor, you might want to make an appointment to see what's up. The mental stress you're undergoing needs to be addressed, and hopefully your doctor can set your mind at ease. Good luck - PJH

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mommy4boys, Community Member
10/14/11 10:18pm

what happened with this? I have it right now under my left arm pit as well....thanks for your post!

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PJ Hamel, Health Guide
10/15/11 6:45am

Since breast tissue extends up into the armpit, this ould be considered a breast rash, and should be treated as such. Keep your eye on it; if it worsens and spreads, best to see a doctor, OK? In the meantime, our post on breast rashes might prove useful. Take care- PJH

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By Scared Mom of Two, Community Member— Last Modified: 08/12/14, First Published: 06/12/09