Breast abscess (collection of pus)

Chest | Obstetrics and Gynaecology | Breast abscess (collection of pus) (Disease)


Breast abscess also known by the name Mastitis, is a collection of pus in the mammary gland, usually in a woman who is lactating (producing milk). Breast infections usually occur due to common bacteria called Staphylococcus aureus found on normal skin.

With mastitis, signs and symptoms can appear suddenly and may include: breast tenderness or warmth to the touch; general malaise or feeling ill; swelling of the breast; nipple discharge that may contain pus; nipple sensation changes; pain or a burning sensation continuously or while breast-feeding; skin redness, often in a wedge-shaped pattern; fever of 101 F (38. 3 C) or greater.

Causes and Risk factors

Breast infections usually happen in women who are breastfeeding. Women with diabetes, chronic illness, AIDS, or an impaired immune system may be more susceptible to the development of mastitis.

Complications that may arise from mastitis include: recurrence and milk stasis. Women with abscesses may be told to temporarily stop breastfeeding.

Diagnosis and Treatment

The diagnosis of mastitis and breast abscess can usually be made based on a physical examination. In cases of infectious mastitis, cultures may be needed in order to determine what type of organism is causing the infection. The following may help reduce the risk of breast infections: nipple care to prevent irritation and cracking; feeding often and pumping milk to prevent engorgement of the breast and proper breastfeeding technique with good latching by the baby.

Treatment involves: self care remedies, antibiotics, adjustments to your breast-feeding technique. ...