Q. I have been suffering with a rash under my breasts. Every morning I use antiperspirant under my breasts. Although it does seem to help, the itching and discomfort has never gone away.
Underwire bras are iffy and lace is out of the question. I itch like crazy and I have red marks, so at the end of the day I can’t wait to get my bra off and unleash the twins. What can you recommend?

A. We don’t know what is causing your itchy rash, but many women develop a fungal infection in those warm moist areas under the breasts. Keeping the area dry can be crucial. Although an antiperspirant may reduce sweating, another reader has a different suggestion:

“I had bra itch for months and was unsuccessful in treating it until I tried Zeasorb-AF. I can’t believe the difference. In just over a week, it has dried up the rash and stopped the itching. It takes some getting used to the medicinal aroma. They market it for athlete’s foot and it has an anti-fungal drug called miconazole in it. It’s worth a try!”

We hope the Zeasorb-AF will help you, too. Another approach that may be worthwhile would be a spray-on athlete’s foot treatment to provide anti-fungal action without the moisture that could be created by an ointment or cream.

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  1. frend

    Organic neem powder…

  2. Itcher

    I have the rash under my breasts, lower belly and sides, and even in the groin area for two weeks now. I have tried so many products and so far after 2 days of using Zeasorb AF and Gold bond, it has worked for me. The Zeasorb powder has already dried up/killed the fungus rash, but i found that it does not cure the itch. I use Goldbond powder with it and if the area seems to be itching because it is too dry I use the Gold Bond anti-itch lotion, which works great! Don’t waste your time and money and continue to suffer by buying all these other products like i did. Shower/clean area, dry, sprinkle on Zeasorb and Goldbond!

  3. C.C.

    I found this website very helpful. My daughter is 18 months old and she is having a reoccurring yeast rash in her diaper and the doctor wants to prescribe her oral medication. I am not to happy with that so I done some research and found that some people have used antifungal foot powder under their breast for yeast and I have decided to try that in my daughter’s diaper instead of oral medication. You can never be too careful with our little ones.

  4. R Y

    As I was reading this, I wondered if it was safe to use the desenex or gold bond in the lower belly area. During the time,I was orally taking a fungal medicine to cure the toe nail fungus I had, it seemed to clear up greatly in that area also.

  5. A H

    I put about one half teaspoon of tea tree oil in a quarter cup of olive oil. I have the problem between the breasts and down there. Actually works for fungal itching any where on the body. Miracle..

  6. JW

    The healthiest solution for this and more serious problems may be to wear a bra as little as possible. Many, of not most, women don’t really need a bra except for exercise. Vests work really well in most situations (work, shopping, etc.) to disguise breast movement. Movement is normal and healthy and encourages lymphatic flow, which bras constrict. There are many factors involved in breast cancer, but dawn-to-bedtime bra wearing is one.

  7. CD

    I have been using “Gold Bond Medicated Body Powder (extra strength)” for this problem for years. I use it every morning after showering. Just make sure the area under the breast is dry, then rub a generous amount of powder over the entire region before you put on your bra. Absolutely works wonders, you don’t need a prescription and it’s not expensive.

  8. ps

    I am allergic to elastic and this lady may be, too. She should try all cotton [or as least cotton lined] bras and see if it gives her relief.

  9. NC

    I also have had this problem for several years. When I know I’m going to get sweaty, before exercising or working outdoors, I tuck paper towels or a cotton washcloth under the lower bra edge. This absorbs the moisture. It needs to be large enough to tuck under the bra and extend beyond where the breast touches the chest skin. I also carry a few alcohol wipes or other “wet wipe” product and give the under-bra area a wipe at mid-day. This helps with prevention. If it gets itchy, I use any anti-fungal cream and this eliminates the itch. It’s basically like having athlete’s foot under the breasts so you have to treat it like athlete’s foot. Keep it dry and clean and use an anti-fungal product when needed. I do not recommend using a deodorant or antiperspirant or any powder–they might make it worse.

  10. Chris

    To those who use cornstarch or powders with cornstarch, I have been advised by nurses that you should not use that for fungal type skin problems, only TALC based powders. Ive been told the cornstarch can actually aggravate the condition. My Mom suffered from this while in the nursing home & using the Talc form of baby powder under the breasts daily worked.

  11. LF

    I get a similar rash in the summer time, but for me it’s not caused by a fungal infection. Rather, it’s just that my sensitive skin reacts to sweat. I use a moisture barrier in the morning after showering and it clears it up right away and prevents future rash. There are lots of petrolatum based moisture barriers out there, although I really like someone’s idea here to use coconut oil. I’ll try that!

  12. MJ

    I lived with this same problem for over two years, tried a lot of over the counter items that I could think of . One, VAGISIL cream helped a bit but I could never entirely get rid of the rash and the itch and the sweating. My OB-GYN referred me to a dermatologist , and he prescribed two creams. You only have to use a dab of each one, so the prescriptions last a long time, and were not that expensive. They are:
    Using those creams only for 2 days COMPLETELY cured the rash. However if I discontinue using them, it does come back within a few days. The dermatologist said that my problem was a type of yeast infection.
    I will also mention something a friend recommended that worked for her, but I have not tried it. She wears her bra only ONE day, then washes it. And she puts one tablespoon of bleach in the wash with the bra. She claimed that got rid of it for her.

  13. DS

    I don’t think powdering a bra sounds like a good idea since particles could get into the ducts in the nipples. I use coconut oil under my breasts. I never had a rash but I did start noticing a yeasty odor. I no longer have that odor. Coconut oil is anti-bacterial and anti-viral and okay taken internally or externally.
    My skin has never felt better.

  14. Mary V.

    I agree with the diaper rash ointment idea. I have used the Burt’s Bees brand of ointment once a week and put folded tissues under each breast daily in the summer. This regimen has worked for over three years.

  15. DRC

    I rub old-fashioned cornstarch under my breasts to alleviate this problem. Simple but effective!

  16. CeCe

    I, too, had this problem and the dermatologist recommended Desenex after showers. Said it was the same fungus that causes athlete’s foot and jock itch. It works great. Cotton bras are helpful, but hard to find.

  17. DAP

    I have the same rash problem. I use a medicated cornstarch baby powder from CVS Pharmacy (pale yellow container). Works wonders. I also use it instead of deodorant, which makes me itch.

  18. L. A.

    Once you get the fungus under control, instead of regular deordernt, try the MoM [milk of magnesia].
    Blow dry it completely before getting dressed. I’d think that would have to be a much safer option? I purchased a travel spray bottle and use it from that.

  19. Gabriele

    I have large breasts and experience the same thing.
    I read an article where a woman was asking where she could find bra liners (the company that used to sell them discontinued them). They were made from cotton and absorbed the perspiration.
    I just checked and they are advertised on line by several companies and Amazon too. Use the search term “cotton bra liners”.
    Since there seems to be a market for such things, I don’t think the writer is that unique.
    For myself, I find the generic ‘gold bond’ powder (from a local 99ct store) works well for me, when needed (I don’t like perfumed talcs…corn starch has worked when I had nothing else)
    I would suggest powdering the bra before she puts it on so it creates a light barrier between the fabric (very often synthetic) and the skin.
    Changing to bras made of cotton, rather than synthetic might help, and rather than thinking of this as something out of the ordinary I’d suggest looking at it as a sign from your body that it wants to get rid of something. Maybe she can keep a food diary and see when she reacts the most…
    I have a comment, based on my own experiences: think it might have something to do with the ph of the body, as washing the area usually changes things, and it doesn’t happen all the time.
    I’d also advise her to wash her bras in a very mild soap (or even baking soda and water since they’re probably not really ‘dirty’) and not use a fabric softener to eliminate any residual chemicals in the fabric.
    Incomplete rinsing of soap or detergent could cause a reaction, as it is the area where the breasts would sweat that are in constant contact with the skin.
    Hope these ideas help and that she finds an easy, workable, non-medicated solution.

  20. EL

    I also had a rash under my breasts last year which the doctor said was a yeast infection caused by warmth and persperation under the breasts. After clearing up the yeast infection with an antibiotic ointment (I can’t remember the name of the ointment) I have been able to avoid another rash by applying baby powder with cornstarch under the breast before putting my bra on.
    I do this daily and have been rash free.

  21. Lois

    Rash under breast is helped by using Diaper Rash Ointment..under breast each day. If it heals a baby’s bottom, Breast Surgeon told me to use this. and it works.
    I use Balmex and it keeps the area dry.

  22. CG

    I too have had this annoying condition for about 25 years. Doctor told me years ago it was a virus condition impacted by heat and sweat. I have used Bond’s Medicated powder for years which has provided a lot of relief, sometimes it’s completely gone. Also, make sure bra is not over-tight which aggravates the condition.

  23. Cindy

    This may sound kind of crazy but several of my friends have found that coconut oil works wonders for itchy rashes even in private areas of the body. Just plain organic c.o. is all I use ever on my face, arms, etc. I get checked by a good dermatologist once a year since my work is out of doors. Ten years and not one skin cancer.

  24. Ellen S.

    Excellent advice! Zeasorb-AF was the only thing that worked for me, as well. And it was a complete cure, too. Also, be sure you aren’t having too much sugar in your diet. The more sugar in your blood stream, the more “food” there is for the yeast/fungus to feed on. As soon as I start getting the painful rash, I check my diet and, sure enough, some extra sugar has sneaked back in.

  25. AnnS

    I’ve had great success with medicated powder (Gold Seal or generic) applied each morning and before bed. No moisture, so no itching or irritation.

  26. JC

    I have had this problem for years and found that I can keep it under control with Desitin (zinc oxide). During summer months especially, I apply a thin coat after showering and it keeps the itching and rash from starting.

  27. cpmt

    I have the same problem for years… I put anti fungus cream -over the counter- or antibacterial and it works. also, be careful it’s not something else… have your dr. check it out.

  28. CAH

    One suggestion that may be helpful: after shower or bath–use the hair dryer to dry the affected area thoroughly.

  29. Susan

    Checking your blood sugar is imperative. My yeast infections under bra stopped when I began treatment for type two diabetes.

  30. Mary

    I use a little Vicks Vaporub daily and it stopped the itching.

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