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Mastitis – symptoms and treatment

Mastitis – symptoms and treatment

Mastitis is an inflammation of one or both mammary glands. The disease is developing mostly in lactating women. Cause of the development of inflammation is entering of infection in the mammary gland. This occurs often in the presence of lesions as small slits (ragadi) of the nipple of the nursing women in labor. Mastitis usually develops several weeks after birth. Another reasons for mastitis is a breast infection as a result of hospital infection in the first days postpartum. Causing agent of mastitis in most cases is Staphylococcus aureus haemolyticus.

Symptoms of mastitis

The symptoms of mastitis include: fever, chills, fatigue, pain in the affected breast and in the relevant half thoracic area. Very characteristic symptom is painful swelling of the breast. According to the extent of the inflammatory process can be found swelling (edematous infiltration), redness of the breast, and in advance of the suppurative inflammation – fluctuation.

Treatment of mastitis

Treatment of mastitis depends on the stage of development of the inflammation in the mammary gland. If there is solid infiltration (edema) for the woman is recommended regular pumping of the affected breast and disposal of the milk. Nursing in most case can proceed from the healthy breast. At this stage can be made and breast pads and placed wraps with sol. Ethacridine lactase (Rivanolum) 0.1%. It is important to show restraint in prescribing broad spectrum antibiotics, especially in view of the side effects over the child! In some cases X-ray radiation of the affected breast in small doses should be performed. Surgical treatment is needed when there is formed abscess in the breast- radial or arch incision. Broad – spectrum antibiotics are appointed by exception until the temperature of the patient drops

and only after microbiological examination of secretions from the breast and preparation of antibiogram to determine the sensitivity of microorganisms.


Preventing the development of mastitis consists of observing strict hygiene measures in maternity wards. Since the mother is required to make regular care of the nipples before and after nursing the baby.

There is a particular form of mastitis – comedo mastitis. Comedo mastitis is a chronic inflammation of the mammary gland, which develops after incorrect treatment of acute mastitis. Typical for comedo mastitis is the secretion of yellow- whitish thick matter from the mammary gland ducts. Surrounding lymph nodes are often enlarged, which together with hardened sections of the gland can lead to mislead that case with breast cancer.

Thelitis and areolitis

Thelitis and areolitis are inflammation of the mammary nipple and areola. Reasons for their development are insufficient care of the skin, sunken nipples, sometimes Soor-infection (fungus). Symptoms of these conditions often precede the development of mastitis and are expressed in the presence of small painful cracks (fissures), scabs (crust), eczema with severe itching and dirty precipitations on the nipple and the areola. Treatment consists of spreading of the slits (ragadi) with sol. Methyl Violet (Gentianviolet) 1%. Crusts are softening by 5% salicylic paste. Soor-infection is also treated with sol. Methyl Violet 1% or Nystatin – cream and unguent. For prevention it is necessary to take care for skin and in sunken nipples an operation for their lifting can be performed. As always in these cases it is necessary to think and for Paget’s carcinoma.

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