Throughout my lifetime so far, I have to say that my breasts are one part of my body that's ever-changing. Through puberty, weight gain, weight loss, general growth, and definitely pregnancy and breastfeeding, my boobs have seen a lot of alterations. With that often comes new struggles to get used to as well, unfortunately. During these periods, I've come across lots of boob hygiene tips you probably never knew existed. Luckily, with each stage, a different tip or trick was often helpful in dealing with common struggles like boob sweat, blotchiness, breastfeeding woes, and more.
Because boobs can create moisture, itchiness, irritation, and so much more, they easily become a major point of discomfort or general frustration. And then gravity eventually takes over for the majority of us, and there's no avoiding some of the unplanned for issues that pop up as a result. That's totally normal, though — don't worry. But when it comes to combatting those struggles, most can be taken care of with a switch up in our hygiene-related routine, products, or general upkeep.
In order to care for your breasts best from a general health standpoint, here are some common hygiene-related breast issues that sometimes come up in a woman's life, and the best ways to address them.
1. Boob Sweat
If you have larger breasts or breasts that hang out against your skin, it's likely you deal with boob sweat — a lot. The problem is that it can cause a rash and irritation. Luckily, Popsugar shared that you can apply a spray deodorant or baby powder before you put on your bra to help with the struggle. Additionally, bra liners are actually a thing – much like pantyliners – that will help you avoid irritation and sweat issues.
2. Irritation Or Blotchiness
Blotchiness and irritation can be really hard on both your skin and mood. It almost always has a cause though. Heat is the number one cause, in my experience, caused by sweatiness or wearing a bra that's too tight for breasts to breathe. When these potential hygiene issues are addressed, irritation or redness is less likely to be an issue. For others, it can be something as simple as your detergent or soap you use in the shower. If you suffer from blotchy breasts and can't easily pinpoint the culprit to ditch, consider eliminating some of your harsher lotions, perfumes, body washes, soap bars, and laundry products to see if that helps.
If you deal with peeling on your chest that isn't from a sun burn, try a better exfoliating routine, according to the aforementioned Popsugar article. The site suggested using a face peel on your neck or décolletage to get rid of extra dead skin. Moisturizing with gentle, natural lotions or ingredients, like aloe and oils, can also be helpful in situations where your chest isn't breathing, filth is sticking around, or dead skin is hanging out enough to cause irritation.
4. Dryness Or Cracking
Whether you're breastfeeding or not, sometimes your nipples can get dry, cracked, or itchy. This can be caused by not moisturizing enough or even (surprisingly) washing them too much with water, according to HuffPost. A great tip to help remedy dryness or cracking nipples is lanolin cream, according to The Health Site. Because it's safe to use while breastfeeding, it's also gentle on your nipples at any other stage in life. If you are breastfeeding, you can also utilize your own breastmilk on dry or cracked nipples to help soothe and heal them, and consider exposing your skin to water less. For example, showering every other day instead of every day, etc.
The aforementioned Popsugar article mentioned that the chest is one of the most common places to get acne, and this doesn't exclude your breasts. Many times, if you're not washing your breasts regularly (like after workouts, for example), your pores can get clogged and cause acne. Consider baby wipes to cleanse your skin if you just can't find the time for a full shower after hot, sweaty, or activity-filled days.
6. Cotton Bras
According to Kate Surfs, synthetic materials don’t breathe as well as a natural fabrics like cotton or bamboo. Additionally, cotton is better at absorbing moisture at a quicker rate and preventing a buildup of infection-causing bacteria, according to Prevention. So opt for cotton when you can to help with general hygiene, without actually having to put in much effort (other than putting on your bra).
7. Go Bra-less
It's important to let your breasts breath for several reasons. The aforementioned The Health Site article stated that women "should avoid sleeping with their bras. Not only does it affects the shape of your breasts, wearing the same bra for so long will lead to more germs." Additionally, if you're breastfeeding, it's best to let your boobs air out and breath from time to time so milk dampness doesn't get the best of you and cause irritation.
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