Under Breast Soreness (Intertrigo)

This leaflet is designed to raise awareness and assist self-help treatment.

Under breast soreness (Intertrigo), is a very common problem and although anyone can develop it, it is most common in women who have large breasts or who are very active.

Intertrigo is caused by friction when skin folds rub together. This can trap moisture which, with body warmth, provides an environment for bacteria, yeast and fungal infections to grow.

This can lead to symptoms under the breast such as:

  • Soreness / discomfort
  • Red or reddish-brown rash
  • Inflammation
  • Itching
  • Cracked or split skin
  • Weeping skin with or without a smell
  • Discharge (often with a strong smell)
  • Swelling, sores or blisters

The main cause of inflammation is from a yeast condition called candida albicans which is the same yeast infection that causes athletes foot.


If left untreated, Intertrigo can worsen or spread to other areas of the body so taking steps to eliminate friction, warmth and moisture from the area is essential.

The most effective way to do this is to:

  • Wash underneath the affected breast area
  • Dry the skin under your breasts thoroughly
  • Pat dry with a soft clean towel.
  • Avoid sharing flannels or towels to prevent spread of infection. It can be really effective to use a hairdryer on a cool setting to cool and dry under the breasts, especially if they are larger.
  • Wear good, well fitting, supportive bras
  • Change your bra every day. Sometimes, wearing a cotton top under your bra can also help
  • Losing weight may help to reduce the areas where skin can rub against skin
  • For further advice or treatment please see your pharmacy or GP 

You may be advised to return for your screening once the condition has improved or has been treated.  If you choose to delay your mammogram, you can book another appointment on 0191 445 2554

Data Protection

Any personal information is kept confidential.  There may be occasions where your information needs to be shared with other care professionals to ensure you receive the best care possible.

In order to assist us to improve the services available, your information may be used for clinical audit, research, teaching and anonymised for National NHS Reviews and Statistics.  

Further information is available via Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust website or by contacting the Data Protection Officer by telephone on 0191 445 8418 or by email [email protected].