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What is Mastitis?

Mastitis is a medical condition characterized by the inflammation of the breast which causes it to be painful, red and swollen. There are two main types of mastitis: Non-Infectious Mastitis and Infectious Mastitis. Non-infectious mastitis is usually caused by the blockage of the milk duct due to remaining breast milk during breastfeeding (milk stasis). This type of mastitis, also known as lactation mastitis, is common in women who are breastfeeding. Infectious mastitis is caused by bacteria infection, usually by common bacteria known as Staphylococcus aureus, that enters the breast through a break or crack on the nipple. Non-infectious mastitis usually does not require treatment, and can be treated with self-care techniques, such as drinking plenty of water, wear loose fitting clothes and placing a warm cloth over the breast to relieve the pain. Continual breastfeeding should be done to prevent further blockage of the milk ducts. Infectious mastitis can be treated easily with antibiotics.

Medical Specialties and Clinical Interests

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Mastitis?

Signs and symptoms of Mastitis may include:

  • Breast pain
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Have a general feeling of discomfort or uneasiness (malaise)
  • Redness of the breast
  • Swollen breast

What Causes Mastitis?

Possible causes of Mastitis are:

  • Bacterial infection
  • Blockage of the milk ducts

What Increases the Risk of Mastitis?

The risk of Mastitis increases when you/your:

  • Have sore or cracked nipples
  • Suffer from a breast injury
  • Wear tightfitting bra

What Complications Can Mastitis Cause?

Mastitis may result in the following complications:

How Can You Prevent Mastitis?

Mastitis can be prevented if you/your:

  • Alternate the breast used for breastfeeding
  • Ensure that milk is fully drained from your breasts after breastfeeding
  • Ensure the baby latches on properly during breastfeeding

What Treatments are Available for Mastitis?

No known treatment is available for Mastitis at this moment.

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