For the majority of patients, breastfeeding is the most common cause of breast infection. Breastfeeding can cause sore or cracked nipples, allowing bacteria into the breast tissue. Inflammation, redness and pain may occur. The bacteria rapidly multiply in the tissue and in milk.
In rare cases, a blocked milk duct can cause the inflammation. This type of breast infection is called lactation mastitis. Other causes of breast infection can include the following nonlactational mastitis conditions and environmental factors:
- Prior lumpectomy/radiation therapy patients
- Depressed immune system
- Breast cancer
Diagnosis is the only way to know what caused the infection and to determine the best treatment. If you experience the symptoms of breast infection, especially while breastfeeding, schedule an appointment online today.