Six Breast Questions you’ve Always Wanted to Ask your Doctor


They, too, can come in different shapes and sizes. (photo credits from http://www.garylross.com/breast/asymmetry.html)

Sometimes, you love them. Sometimes, you don’t.

Here’s a few things you might find odd with your breasts but don’t fret. Don’t go rushing to your doctor to tell on them just yet.

“My left boob is smaller than the right boob.”

No one has a perfectly matching pair, and almost 99% of women have asymmetrical breasts to some degree. A small number of women have visibly unbalanced breasts, with a difference of more than a cup size. The quickest solution is to buy a bra that fits the larger boob and insert a silicone-gel pad into the smaller cup. If you want a more permanent solution, you can opt for plastic surgery that, of course, comes with a huge tag price and possible scarring. You can reduce the bigger one or you can add an implant to the smaller one.

It’s not unhealthy, but some women can be quirky about how their breasts hang (the bigger boob will hang lower because of gravity). If one breast is significantly larger and the nipple is all perky while the other one points down to the floor, then consult your GP or your gynecologist. If one is bigger than the other because of a solid or cystic lump, then you need to have your pair checked.

“My breasts can get so itchy that I have to scratch them even in public.”

The most common cause of itching may have be your skin’s allergic reaction to the underwear or the clothes you are wearing. Look for moisture-wicking and breathable microfibers which are less irritating. The clothes or your bra may be too tight that prevent adequate ventilation. Perfume or lotion applied directly to the chest can also be cause the skin irritation.

Itching can also be brought about by hormonal changes prior to your period.

Worry about breast itching if:

  • you find a fungal growth (characterized by skin discoloration or thickening of the skin)  rashes, hives and acne on, under and on the sides of the breast.
  • the skin is sun-burnt and accompanied by redness.
  • you’re breastfeeding. Breastfeeding mothers are more prone to breast infections. If itching is accompanied by mild pain and cracking of the nipples, see a doctor.
  • the itching is accompanied by nipple discharge and/or any fixed and growing lump in one or both breasts.
“My boobs are saggy and squishy.”

Breasts can be squishy and saggy. If your breasts are more squishy, that just means that you have more fat in your boobs than glandular tissue, which helps maintain the firmness. Boobs sag because the ligaments that support them may have become stretched out (like an old underwear). This may happen if you are breastfeeding, if you’ve lost a lot of weight or if you wear bras without the proper support (not to mention painful!). Sagging is also a consequence of aging.

Wear a sports bra when you work out or wear a wired one when you’re working. The wire will take the excess weight off the ligaments. Do not go braless.

If you need to lose weight, try aerobic exercises such as swimming, running and dancing. These will eventually shed off excess weight in the chest area. Exercising your pectoral muscles can give your breasts a modest lift and even make them look larger. Push-ups, bench pressing and chin-ups can develop the muscles of your chest.

If you are looking for a quick fix, you can try mastopexy (commonly known as breast lift), an elective surgical procedure where a surgeon raises and firms your breasts. You have to consult your doctor to know  your risk of surgical complications.

“My breasts have a funny cone-like shape.”

Breasts come in different shapes. Every woman’s pair is unique. Breasts that stick out, aside from body issues, are not something that you have to worry about. Cone-shaped breasts are normally not visible underneath the bra but if they still are, try  bras with molded cups or contour bras that will reshape the boobs by pushing them up or creating cleavage.

“My boobs feel so lumpy and so tender they hurt when they’re touched.”

When you have encounter such, then you have fibrocystic breasts. The condition fibrocystic breasts, characterized by lumpiness and discomfort in one or both breasts, is common (more than 60% of women populations have this condition) and affects women between the ages of 30 to 50. The lumpiness is due to small breast masses or breast cysts which are normally benign. This is caused by the hormones produced by the breast tissue, which is why the lumps and tenderness becomes more pronounced during your pre-period week, when you’re pregnant/breastfeeding and pre-menopausal.

Caffeine makes you retain fluid, so cut back before your period to reduce the swelling. Lessen you salt intake as sodium makes you hold water. If you detect a lump on fixed spots and if the lumps do not change with your cycle, then see you gynecologist.

“My areolae are too big and dark.”

Areolae are the bull’s-eye-like patches of skin that surround the nipples, and just like the breast shape and size, their appearance varies a lot. They can be as small as a dollar coin or as wide as drink coaster. They can come in different colors, too. Some are pink, some red, some brown and some black. The darker the skin tone, the darker the areolae could be. They also tend to get darker when you’re pregnant.

There are cosmetic products that claim to lighten the color of the areolae, and though they have been approved for use, there isn’t really much support that they are effective. If you are too conscious about their size, that is, if you want to make them smaller, you can try areola reduction but you might encounter side effects such as scarring and breast-feeding problems.

 

Aesthetic issues about the breasts do not really pose a serious health threat but it can be harmful to a woman’s self esteem. Always remember, though, that no woman has two breasts of identical size and shape (in their natural state.). The differences may just be a matter of degrees, but if you’re worried, you could always go to your gynecologist.

 

 

Web References:

http://www.channel4embarrassingillnesses.com/video/consultations/consultation-asymmetrical-breasts/

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_is_one_breast_at_least_a_cup_size_bigger_than_the_other_and_the_larger_grows_at_a_faster_rate

Itchy Breasts – Causes, Treatment and Prevention

http://www.livestrong.com/article/174193-breast-lifting-treatments/

http://www.medicinenet.com/fibrocystic_breast_condition/article.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Areola

Enhanced by Zemanta