A red blood blister on the breast can be quite alarming. It can also make bras feel uncomfortable to wear. Like all blood blisters, they form after blood leaks from damaged blood vessels and collect between upper layers of the breast skin.
Blisters are normally bubble-like bumps on the skin filled with blood. Some can be very painful especially if bruised. Given enough time, blisters heal on their own. An infected blood blister is more complicated to treat. It also can be quite dangerous.
It is very important to know the exact cause of blood blister on the breast. This is because it can be a sign of breast cancer or other diseases.
What causes a blood blister on breast
Blood blisters on or near the nipple can be as a result of breastfeeding. They are referred to as milk blisters. Skin over-growth blocks the nipple and traps milk under the skin. Small cracks might also form on the nipple, which are usually accompanied by a lot of itching and burning. Such blood blisters are painful especially when breastfeeding or squeezed. After about 2 weeks, the over grown skin will peel off.
Repeated friction is responsible for most cases of blood blisters on toes, feet and hands. Friction damages the tissues of the upper skin layers. On the breast, breast pumps or nipple shields can be the cause. Some types of bras can also create repeated friction enough to form small blood blisters. Normally, the blister will be raised above the skin.
Cancer develops as a lump, in most cases painless in the beginning. Tumors on the breasts are very common. While only about 2 in 10 will be cancerous, it is important to be alert and have them checked.
Cysts and boils
Cysts in most cases form during hormonal fluctuations, like during menstruation or when pregnant. They are not cancerous and in fact largely not dangerous. They form lumps filled with blood or fluid. Boils on the other hand are caused by bacteria. Initially, they are very itchy and painful. Red blisters form with time, which will eventually ooze pus. Boils can be treated with antibiotics.
Other possible causes of a blood blister on the breast include:
- Low platelets count
- Vitamins B12 and C deficiency
- Celiac disease
- Chicken pox and shingles
- Diabetes and HIV
How to remove a blood blister on the breast
Blood blisters rarely call for specialized treatment. With no further assault, they will heal naturally in about 2 weeks’ time. Just ensure to wash with a medicated soap and keep them from sweat. You can for example consider not wearing a bra. In fact, avoid wearing the same bra that may have caused them in the first place.
Sometimes, a bandage dressed on the blisters can help avoid external contact. A bandage will also keep you from constantly scratching the blisters.
Hot compressing with warm water before breastfeeding can help open blocked nipples. Don’t be tempted to manually remove the overgrown skin. It can lead to infections.
If the blisters are to break open on their own, wash thoroughly and apply an antibacterial cream. Your doctor may also prescribe a liquid-based antibacterial medication. Broken blood blisters should always be covered with a bandage.
If the blood blister on the breast is not associated with friction or breastfeeding, it could be a sign of diseases and conditions such as cancer, mastitis, cysts or boils. Such blisters are usually itchy, painful and swollen. Mastitis causes tenderness in breasts while boils form pus. Consult your doctor for the right treatments in such case.
How to treat a blood blister on the breast naturally
Try cold compresses
A cold compress is one of the most popular removal options for blood blisters. It involves use of ice cubes wrapped in a plastic bag and compressed on the blood blisters for about 10 minutes. This treatment helps relieve pain and prevent further swelling.
Keep them dry
Moist and wet conditions irritate blood blisters and discourage natural healing. Wearing tight clothes or bras encourage sweating which in turn wets the blood blisters. You can for example consider applying some powder to decrease friction and keep it dry. Wearing loose clothes or skipping bras can also help.
It is not common that a lot of friction will be sustained on the breasts. But if you are using a nipple shield or a breast pump, friction may be inevitable. Consider replacing the breast pump you currently are using with a higher grade one. You can even approach a lactation consultant to help choose the best breast pump. In any case, the need for a breast pump may recur sometimes in the future.
Maintain healthy diets
It is common for blood blisters to be caused by deficiencies in vitamins C and B12. In most cases, a blood blister inside the lip will also form, which appears under the skin. If you have reasons to believe such a deficiency to be the cause, consider supplements. Supplements are quick sources of vitamins and minerals. It will also be very important to include vitamins and minerals sources in your diets, especially when breastfeeding.
Consult a professional
Unless the actual cause of the red blood blister on the breast is known, you may never succeed in getting rid of it for good.
Try home remedies
Home remedies can prove effective enough when it comes to how to remove a blood blister on the breast. Some of them have been discussed below.
How to treat with home remedies
When it comes to how to treat a blood blister on the breast with some remedies, it is important that you try the home remedy on a different part of the skin before using it on the breast. The same can be said about a blood blister on the nose or on face. Breast skin can be relatively sensitive in some cases. Below are ways are the different ways you can use home remedies for blood blisters on the breast:
Make a solution of Epsom salt with warm water. Use the water to rinse the affected breast three times a day. This removal option can also help open up blocked nipples.
Massage aloe Vera gel all over the blister and on the surrounding areas. Leave it to dry. Wash clean before breastfeeding or before next application. The treatment can be repeated three times a day.
Wet a cotton ball with witch hazel solution. Dab the cotton ball on the blisters and leave to dry. Removing blood blisters with witch hazel also keeps from infection. Due to its antiseptic properties, it can also be used for removing a blood blister on the bottom of the foot.
Add a teaspoon of turmeric powder in a glass of milk and take before sleeping. It will keep from inflammations. Turmeric powder can also be added to rose or ordinary water to make a paste. The paste is to be applied directly on the blisters.
Try massaging itchy or painful blood blisters on breast with essential oils. Essential oils soothe the skin and also keep from infection. Coconut oil, almond oil and jojoba oil are good examples.
You can always consult your doctor for more information on treatments and preventive measures. This is mostly because breast care and maintenance involves a lot of different aspects.