The People's Perspective on Medicine

Will Milk of Magnesia Help Under-Breast Itching?

How can you control under-breast itching? Many women share their remedies, from Listerine to Milk of Magnesia. A low-sugar diet also helps.
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Under-breast itching is often an extremely irritating problem. You certainly can’t scratch the itch, and figuring out how to treat it is tricky. Doctors don’t always have solutions for this stubborn problem, but many women have shared the remedies that work for them. One woman found that milk of magnesia made a difference.

Milk of Magnesia for Under-Breast Itching:

Q. Itching under breasts is a real tribulation. After searching your site, I tried applying milk of magnesia to the itchy dry patches of skin under my breasts. After only one application, the itch is gone.

A. Topical milk of magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) is a popular remedy for a lot of skin conditions. Some people use it for acne, rosacea or jock itch. Others apply it to their underarms as a deodorant.

One reader shared her experience:

“I use inexpensive store brand milk of magnesia. I open the bottle top and leave it ajar to let the liquid evaporate to become a thick cream. Then I apply a fingertip of this to each underarm daily. Thanks People’s Pharmacy for the idea. I have tossed my antiperspirants and only use this inexpensive MoM now to prevent body odor.”

What Causes Under-Breast Itching?

It isn’t always clear what is responsible for under-breast itching, but we suspect fungus is often behind it. When the weather gets hot and humid, skin folds become susceptible to fungal invasion. The area under women’s breasts can become vulnerable to rash and itching from such infections. This may be embarrassing as well as extremely uncomfortable.

Women have shared both their frustration and their success stories on our website. Here are some of the strategies that have helped.

Stay Dry:

First is keeping the area dry. A supportive bra made from a material that wicks moisture away from skin can be helpful.

Women have also resorted to absorbent paper towels:

“I live in a very humid climate and work and exercise outside a lot. I have found that if I fold a soft paper towel into a strip and put it under the band of my bra, it is an enormous help. It also serves as a cushion between my bra band and my irritated skin. I also apply an antifungal powder before I put my bra on.”

Protect the Skin:

Diaper rash cream with zinc oxide is a popular treatment. Another widely used remedy is milk of magnesia. Although it is sold as a laxative, topical use seems to help against the microbes responsible for itchy rash.

A reader offered this testimonial:

“During the humid southern summers I am plagued with underarm rash and from time to time rash under my breasts. I mix one part cheap milk of magnesia, unflavored, with one part witch hazel or amber Listerine-type mouthwash and use this to cure any rash.”

Listerine alone is an option:

“I apply Listerine after showers. This takes the rash away.”

Another woman swears by iodine:

“Having relocated from the northeast Atlantic coast to Florida recently I have had rashes and itching under my breasts. I find that decolorized iodine lightly applied to the region keeps the rash under control. I also use a soft tissue between my breasts in my bra to absorb moisture.”

Iodine has recognized antifungal activity (ISRN Otolaryngology, July 25, 2013), but the usual brown liquid could stain. The decolorized or “white” iodine this woman uses doesn’t stain.

Some women choose a cream:

“I have used Noxzema Cream (the original in the blue jar) in the groin area and under the breasts. It clears up the rash right away. It has essential oils in it so it also has a cooling sensation.”

Coconut is another option:

“I control under-breast itching with coconut oil that I apply after I shower. It doesn’t stain my clothes and it hasn’t lost its effectiveness after years of use.”

KM suggests a Gold Bond anti-fungal product for under-breast itching:

“I don’t want to use antiperspirant under my breasts on a regular basis. Gold Bond makes an anti-friction solid (looks so much like my solid deodorant I sometimes get them mixed up). It works like a charm. I have a very physical job and sweat all day long. Haven’t had a rash since I started using it over a year ago.”

Eat Right:

People who eat less sugar and fewer refined carbs may find their skin is less susceptible to fungal infection, including seborrheic dermatitis, athlete’s foot or jock itch.

Such a diet may also help under-breast itching:

“Going sugar-free has made a huge difference for me. This includes fruit juices, dried fruits, even most fresh fruit-I eliminated it all for a start. I can tolerate a small piece of fruit most days. I watch for ‘hidden’ sugars, as in ‘natural’ yoghurt. After decades of almost constant suffering from the problem, it is now rare, and I can usually pinpoint the culprit that caused it.”

Yeast loves sugar, so it seems plausible that limiting sugar might deprive the microbes of needed fuel.

Choose Your Clothing Wisely:

Clothing that won’t encourage sweating or fungal growth is a good choice. 

PP suggests:

“Life in the tropics means one should use cotton underwear.”

A Caveat:

A persistent rash should be examined by a physician, just to make sure it is not a symptom of something serious. With luck, though, one of these simple remedies will control the rash.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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My doctor recommended that, after a shower, I set the hair dryer on low and dry the affected area. He pointed out that fungal creams still trap moisture; but the dryer will get rid of it. This method has been very effective.

Apply vinegar daily with a swab and make sure you aren’t sensitive to the soap in your clothes washer. Most machines have a setting to do an extra rinse and that helps

COLOIDAL SILVER HELPS ALSO. Apply after shower with a spray dose, let it dry and finished

I don’t understand why doctors don’t at least suggest possible natural treatments. For about 3 years I dealt with “Jock Itch.” At first I tried many OTC products but none worked. My PCP dismissed the problem by telling me that it was a “seasonal allergy” despite my protests that it lasted all year long. Then my urologist and dermatologist prescribed products that gave no more than temporary, slight help.

A recent People’s Pharmacy article mentioned Milk of Magnesia as working for a reader. I bought a store’s private label MoM, applied it after my shower, and was stunned with the almost instant relief. My only dissatisfaction was the very liquid form of MoM. I’m not sure that it is the proper solution to that, but I mixed the MoM with corn starch to thicken it. So far it works just as well in the thicker form.

I dry with towel, then paper towel, apply 1% clotrimazole (athlete’s foot cream and also in vaginal treatments). One can get 1 -2 oz tubes of clotrimazole at dollar stores or big box retailer for around $1 in the bargain bins or online. Just look for athlete’s foot cream that is not a big name brand, and look for the clotrimazole as the active ingredient. I also place a soft white paper towel to prevent skin-on-skin contact. I also have used strips of silver-impregnated fabric, cut into 4″ wide strips and overlap between tummy and front of upper leg, where underwear elastic goes, along with clotrimazole.

In my experience, rashes that have become severely red and painful will recover far faster with washing, drying, application of vitamin E oil, then clotrimazole twice daily.

For years I was bothered by itching under my breasts. I knew extra virgin coconut was anti fungal so I tried it. It was such a relief and so soothing. It just disappears into your skin, no more itching. I also found that the occasional skin tags that I used to have were no longer there. They just disappeared. It’s a two for one treatment and very inexpensive.

Come on people! Minerals. Minerals. Minerals.

Topical minerals. Internal minerals. Part of what we are essentially talking about in this article is fighting a mineral deficiency.

Fortify your body with trace minerals. Eat PLANTS that contain minerals too. Get vitamin D from the SUN. Get probiotics in your diet. These things will fortify your skin. Skin health is all about internal and external health. There are not enough chemicals in the world to save us.

Having good health is not a mystery. Every moment of every day we have a choice. We can choose paths that will fortify our minds, bodies and souls or we can expose ourselves to things that harm us. It’s simple, and we all know how to do it.

Fruits and veggies

Did I miss anything? :) oh yeah, avoiding toxins.

And for me, since I treated my body badly for years and years, I add in vitamin and mineral supplements, but I think everyone should be remineralizing their water, how else can we get our trace minerals?

Mineral salt and mineral water has made all the difference for my life. One thing I’m still looking into is getting a whole home water filter so I don’t have to shower in chemicals. If municipal water kills my plants, what do you think it is doing to me?

Watch the plants. They will give you lots of knowledge about what is good for life. Just take note of what it takes to make them thrive.

Healthy plants resist disease, and there are not enough chemicals in the world to save a sick and dying, disease-ridden plant.

We are the same.

I read here before about some solutions people liked so I tried them all! Milk of Magnesia works great as a deodorant for me but not for the under breast itch. I think it comes down to your own sweat irritating you for us larger girls. I started off with one thing another reader suggested, a product which is sold for diaper rash and eureka! I apply it to clean dry skin under the breast, the groin, and the tops of the legs in the folds. It forms a barrier so your own sweat (which still happens) doesn’t lie in those folds. It works to keep stinging urine from direct contact with a baby’s bottom, making it red and irritated.

And of course cotton underwear and bra but that only helped about 20%. The diaper rash product is the solution for me. I was so desperate I had ordered the anti-fungal, tried the MoM which I had on hand, and one other thing people here said worked for them. The other two things are still in the packages: LOL.

What a relief to solve what was a daily problem even in winter from exertion at home and at the gym. I can’t thank People’s Pharmacy and other readers enough for all the help they have given me to solve small but REALLY annoying problems.

In Germany you can buy a zink oxide paste. The company is now owned by Johnson and Johnson but they do not sell it here. It is called ”Penaten creme” and used for diaper rashes. I am 84 years old and, like my mother, I used Penaten creme for every kind of rash as first defense. (4 children and 10 grand children.). I swear by it. It gives immediate relief to under breast, naval, and all rashes that appear in the skin folds, you can buy it on the internet.
A can of 150ml at the cost of $ 10-15 will last most likely over a year.

I use tea tree oil. Works very well as well at stopping any itching associated with the rash.

As far as controlling itching and possible fungus under breasts, I have used three items which have helped: A surgical/hand wash scrub in the shower, rubbing on for 15 seconds or more and the application of colloidal silver solution when dry, applied with a cotton ball and a soft tissue under the bra to wick away moisture when the itching appears as others have mentioned. Oh yes, and cut your sugar intake !!!

I tried using Listerine, but after 2 days it worsened the rash. Applying OTC anti-fungal cream cleared it up.

My wife dries under her breasts and underarms with a hair dryer after shower. I also dry my groin area with a hair dryer. It really helps preventitching, rash and underarm odor. Toweling doesn’t really get all the moisture off.

I find that any deodorant/anti-perspirant stick works very well. Apply before bedtime.

I use old 100% cotton men’s hankies folded or cut in half, and put under the elastic on bra under breast. They are soft and absorb moisture. Throw in wash and dryer. They work.

I use a hair dryer to dry the area after a shower or if rash appears. Then apply tissue
under breast, so skin doesn’t touch skin.

Getting sugar out of my diet stopped the under bra itching and the itching on skin tags that were on my body in that area and other areas. This experience makes me realize how bad sugar is for us. Amazing. Was expecting to have the tags removed by a doctor and not looking forward to that experience.

I had suffered chronically with this problem for years. I now use a brand-name or generic dandruff shampoo with a wash cloth as a body wash in the shower under my breasts, in my belly button, and anywhere else where skin on skin moistness occurs during the day. Haven’t had a problem with this in years.

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