Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Mastitis Overview

What is mastitis?
A woman with mastitis has inflammation of the breast, caused by a bacterial infection. It is most common in women who are breastfeeding. About 1 in 10 women develop mastitis while breast feeding. Mastitis responds well to treatment with antibiotics, and complications are rare when treatment is started early.

What are the symptoms of mastitis?
Symptoms of mastitis include, breast pain, breast swelling, breast tenderness, and redness of the skin over the breast. Additional symptoms of mastitis include swollen lymph glands under the arm, fever, chills, and nipple discharge.

How does the doctor treat mastitis?
Treatment for mastitis includes antibiotics, warm compresses, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications for pain.

Continue to Mastitis Incidence

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Mastitis References
  1. Michie C, Lockie F, Lynn W. The challenge of mastitis. Arch Dis Child. 2003 Sep;88(9):818-21. [12937109]
  2. Norlock FE. Benign breast pain in women: a practical approach to evaluation and treatment. J Am Med Womens Assoc. 2002 Spring;57(2):85-90. [11991427]
  3. Osterman KL, Rahm VA. Lactation mastitis: bacterial cultivation of breast milk, symptoms, treatment, and outcome. J Hum Lact. 2000 Nov;16(4):297-302. [11155607]
  4. Potter B. Women's experiences of managing mastitis. Community Pract. 2005 Jun;78(6):209-12. [15984560]
  5. Wambach KA. Lactation mastitis: a descriptive study of the experience. J Hum Lact. 2003 Feb;19(1):24-34. [12587642]
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