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    Mastitis

    What is Mastitis?

    Inflammation of one or more mammary glands within the breast is called mastitis. Though mastitis commonly affects lactating women (lactational mastitis) but it can occur in non-lactating women and in men also.

    It occurs in the first few weeks of the postpartum period and affects almost 20% of lactating women in developed countries.

    Risk factors

    Sore or cracked nipples can predispose a woman to develop mastitis. Improper nursing technique, prior history of mastitis, using tight-fitting bras and smoking are some of the important risk factors for mastitis.

    Lactational mastitis is caused due to engorgement of the milk ducts with bacteria (most commonly Staphylococcus aureus) entering through the skin break. Periductal mastitis is an inflammatory condition affecting subareolar tissue and affects reproductive aged women.

    Sign and symptoms

    Mastitis is often preceded by the presence of a focally blocked duct. It may present with-

    • A focal, firm and an erythematous area on a breast
    • Pain and swelling
    • Fever (higher than or equal to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit)
    • Chills, myalgia and malaise

    Diagnosis

    The diagnosis is based on the history and physical examination. In the case of suspected breast abscess, a breast ultrasound may be advised. If nipple drainage is present, gram stain and culture should be sent to identify the organism.

    General management

    Symptomatic treatment is advised to the patient. Also, it is essential to continue to fully empty the breast so that the milks get drained to avoid the stasis and infection. Patients must continue to breastfeed, pump or hand express.

    Warning: Above information provided is an overview of the disease, we strongly recommend a doctor's consultation to prevent further advancement of disease and/or development of complications.

    Disclaimer: The information provided herein on request, is not to be taken as a replacement for medical advice or diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DO NOT SELF MEDICATE. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN FOR PROPER DIAGNOSIS AND PRESCRIPTION.

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