When someone experiences a burning sensation in their breast, it may feel like the spot is on fire, burning or tingling. This type of sensation can make you especially concerned until you can figure out what could be causing it. There are a variety of different things that could cause a burning sensation in the breast. Some of the causes are extremely minor, while some causes can be more serious. If you cannot figure out the cause of the burning sensation, it is important to talk to your doctor about it to make sure that it is not a sign of something more serious.
The Reasons Why You May Have Burning Sensation in Breast
1. Breast Cyst
Cysts can develop almost anywhere on your body. On your breasts, a cyst is a small pocket that fills with fluid. Often, this type of cyst is entirely benign. You may have more than one, and they will be round lumps with extremely clear edges. When you have a cyst, you may feel breast pain or tenderness near the lump. Right after your period, the lump will decrease in size. Right before your period starts, the lump may be more tender and larger than normal.
Most cysts require no treatment. As long as you are not in menopause yet, your doctor will most likely recommend monitoring the cyst to see if it goes away on its own. If it is causing you pain, your doctor may give you pain relievers or recommend that you wear a more supportive bra. Reducing caffeine and salt intake can also help. If you have frequent cysts, your doctor may recommend oral contraceptives to help prevent them from happening again in the future.
Paresthesia normally causes burning sensations or numbness in your extremities. At times, it can also cause burning sensations in your face or chest as well. One of the most common reasons for this symptom is diabetes, but other conditions can cause it as well.
To treat paresthesia, your doctor must find the underlying cause of your condition. If you have diabetes, he or she will want to regulate your blood sugar to minimize this condition. If the cause of paresthesia is a vitamin deficiency, your doctor will recommend a supplement so that you are no longer deficient. If the cause is a pinched or irritated nerve, that nerve will need to be relieved to treat paresthesia. This condition is common in alcoholics, so it is important to stop drinking if you experience paresthesia.
Costochondritis is a condition where the cartilage around the ribs and breast bone becomes inflamed. Known as Tietze syndrome as well, this condition can cause pain when you cough or breath. If can also cause pain on the side of your breastbone and tenderness when you touch an affected area. Often, costochondritis can affect more than one rib. While the cause of this medical ailment is not entirely known, many doctors suspect that it is related to a viral infection or some type of trauma.
The treatment for the condition depends on several factors. If your doctor can figure out the underlying cause of costochondritis, they will start by treating that problem first. Likewise, your doctor will consider risk factors for lung disease, injuries, your age and risk factors for heart problems. They may then give you anti-inflammatory drugs or pain medication to help. Your doctor may also recommend ice compresses, heat compresses or physical therapy.
4. Hormonal Fluctuations
Throughout each month, your hormonal levels will fluctuate as you start your menstrual cycle and ovulate. A number of hormonal changes throughout the month can lead to symptoms like burning sensations in the chest, breast swelling, hot flashes, headaches and tenderness. As estrogen and progesterone levels change, it can cause breasts to increase or decrease in size along with accompanying pain or tenderness. If you become pregnant, the rapid change in hormones causes your breasts to prepare for milk production as they increase in size. You may feel pain, discomfort or burning sensations.
Depending on the cause of your hormonal fluctuations, your doctor may recommend birth control, re-uptake inhibitors or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Likewise, diuretics may be given to reduce any water retention that is worsening the pain. If you are experiencing this symptom due to pregnancy, your doctor may recommend that you wear a more supportive bra.
5. Paget’s Disease
Paget’s disease is a rare type of breast cancer. It tends to start around the areola and nipple before spreading deeper into the breast. Many people who initially have this disease do not realize it because they believe that it is dry skin at first and try to just treat the dry skin. Paget’s disease may affect only the nipple skin, or it can spread to the ducts around the breast. The most common patient with Paget’s disease is a woman over the age of 50 years old. It can cause skin flaking, itching and burning sensations. It may also cause retraction or inversion of your nipple.
To treat this disease, your doctor may recommend a complete mastectomy or lumpectomy. You may also be given radiation treatment or chemotherapy.
Mastitis is a type of breast infection that is caused by a bacteria. It often happens to breastfeeding women, but can occur to anyone. It can also occur following excessive friction from clothing. If you are experiencing mastitis, you may experience swelling in your breast, redness or pain. Likewise, an abscess or a pocket of pus may form as well.
Your doctor will most likely give you antibiotics to get rid of the bacteria that causes mastitis. You may also be given anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen to help with pain. If you have an abscess, they may surgically drain it. Warm compresses can help with swelling and pain as well.
7. Peripheral Neuropathy
Neuropathy is a type of ailment where your nerve is compressed, irritated or inflamed. Often, this type of condition is caused by medical ailments like poorly controlled diabetes, shingles or certain chemotherapy drugs. When you have peripheral neuropathy, you may experience shooting pain that makes it feel like you nerve is on fire.
Treatment depends on the cause. If you have poorly controlled diabetes, your doctor’s first goal will be to get your diabetes under control. Your doctor will also want to alleviate the compressed or irritated nerve. Steroid injections or surgery may be given to do this. Other medication may be recommend to reduce the pain. Your doctor will also recommend lifestyle changes to help with pain like quitting smoking, a balanced diet and exercise. Certain medication like antidepressants could also be prescribed to help reduce the amount of pain you perceive in your mind.
8. Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Inflammatory breast cancer is quite rare and causes the lymph tissue to become inflamed. Ultimately, this leads to pain and swelling. Redness, itching and burning sensations may also occur. Roughly 1 to 6 percent of breast cancers are this type, and it is more common among younger women. It is a very fast growing type of cancer, so it is important to get medical care right away if you suspect that you could have this type of cancer. You should also look out for other symptoms like orange-peel appearance on your skin, thickening of the skin, dimpling on your skin or other breast changes.
Once your doctor uses a biopsy to diagnose the condition, they may recommend a combination of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation.
If you have diabetes that is not properly controlled, it can lead to inflamed nerves and other symptoms. You may experience burning in the breast or other painful sensations. If you have these symptoms, go to your doctor immediately to make sure that your diabetes is being managed properly.