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In which I showcase my heretofore unknown artistic talents

Internet, we're pretty close, right? I mean, we've been friends for a while now and we can tell each other things. Like, you can tell me that you secretly find Carrot Top really sexy (and you know, in that picture, not so bad) and I can tell you that when Corinne told me that my Pretend Celebrity Boyfriend, Clive Owen, is in a new movie with Denzel Washington I took a moment to contemplate the possibilities in a way that I am reluctant to describe on the internet for fear of what my search strings would bring. And, say, you could confess to me that no matter what you do or how hard you try your feet just won't stop stinking and ask if I have any ideas what to do about that and I would give you the sagest advice I could muster without judging you in any way because we are tight like that. Or, for example, I could tell you about my bumpy, splotchy, itchy boob and you would love me just the same, although possibly from a bit more of a distance than before. (Wow, yesterday it was my flabby belly and today it is my splotchy boob. I am so hot.)

So yes, I have this boob problem. Possibly it is a rash? Can you have a rash that never spreads and never goes away? See, it's like. well, it's a little hard to describe. So I drew a picture. Here it is:

This is my boob. Ok, obviously it is not actually my boob, it is a representation of my boob. The drawing is somewhat larger than actual size. The first boob problem I noticed (quite a number of weeks ago) was this single brown bump, like this:

It's smallish, and brownish, and bumpish and sometimes but not all the time it itches. I didn't know what it was, so I sought out a second opinion, my husband. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Can I show you my boob for a second?
Chris: Hell yes.
Me: I mean, can I show you this weird thing on my boob?
Chris: Is it gross?
Me: No, just weird.
Chris: Ok, you'd better not be lying because if it's gross I don't want to see it.
Me: Thanks for your concern and support. (Whips out the boob.) What do you think?
Chris: I dunno, what do you think?
Me: I dunno, maybe an ingrown hair?
Chris: Sure, that's probably it.
Me: Is that what ingrown hairs look like?
Chris: I have no idea.
Me: Thanks, you've been very helpful.

So, I decided to call Mr. Bump an ingrown hair and move on with my life. But then I noticed a whole new set of bumps, a veritable Bump Posse. These are more along the lines of your standard rash and are entirely separate from Mr. Bump thusly:

I initially thought the Bump Posse was just some sort of rash that would go away, but it has not. The Bump Posse, like good old Mr. Bump, is sometimes but not always itchy. The problem is that if I ever decide to give Mr. Bump and the Bump Posse a little scratch, my boob starts itching so much that I have to quite literally sit on my hands to prevent myself from doing myself bodily harm trying to scratch. It itches like you would not believe, and I am a very itchy girl so I can tell you that this is no ordinary run of the mill itch.

Finally, Mr. Bump and the Bump Posse have been joined by the Angry Red Marks of Doom. Check it out:

I am unsure whether the Angry Red Marks of Doom arrived of their own volition or are the result of an especially violent scratching session I had the other night in the shower when I just couldn't stand it any longer.

And that, as far as I can tell and only for the moment I am sure, is the complete list of everything that is currently wrong with my boob. I almost hate to do this, but since we are such close friends who can tell each other anything, I'm gonna ask you some questions.

1) Boob bumps are entirely separate and different from boob lumps, correct? I mean, right? This is obviously a skin condition that just happens to be on my boob because that is the cool place to be. Yes? Tell me yes, do it quickly.

2) Could this be related to breastfeeding? Like a thrush-type thing? I haven't had any pain, but I am strange about pain and sometimes think something that everybody else says is nothing hurts like hell and other times have absolutely no reaction to something that is supposed to be very painful.

3) Do you think Mr. Bump is an ingrown hair? What does an ingrown hair look like?

4) Should I go to the doctor, or just follow my usual holistic approach of ignoring it and hoping that it goes away? If I should go to the doctor, should I go to my regular doctor (who is closer to my house but may not actually exist as I have never managed to earn an appointment with the actual doctor) or should I go to my OB/GYN (who is much farther from my house but has seen me deliver a child and therefore popping my boob out in front of her is nothing - if I ran into her on the street I would probably pop a boob out as a form of casual greeting)?

5) I have mad boob-drawing skills, no?

Comments (50)

Ok. SO not a doctor here, but I can't stay away from giving advice whenever it is remotely asked for (you may proceed with hating me now)
Yes. When it comes to boobs, lumps and bumps are very different (especially when they itch).
Could you have recently changed detergents?
It doesn't sound like thrush, which I believe effects only the nipple, but it could possibly be a dermal yeast infection- easily treated with that jock-itch cream. However, if it's not, I would not recommend using said cream.
Yuk, but could a spider have taken a vacation on your boob overnight?
An ingrown hair, BTW, looks a lot like a pimple.
Was this any help? I don't know. But I do think I've given out my share of ass-vice for the week, thank you very much.

Go to the doctor. At the very least he'll tell you it's nothing and suggest something for the itch.

It just occured to me that I'm in Canada and you aren't so you might have to pay to see the doctor. If that's it...try some calomine lotion and give it a few days and then...I'd go to the doctor.

Note: I said he in reference to the doctor above, but in no way am I implying the doctor couldn't be a she. do have mad boob-drawing skills! I'm jealous. Not of the itchy boob, but the drawing skills. Second...I remember my boobs doing all sorts of weird things when I was nursing. I would have a doctor look at it just to be sure, and maybe they can suggest something to help with the itch. People may look strangely at you if you are always itching. Good luck! It's funny what your body does to you after you have a child, isn't it?

No boob assvice here, just props to your mad boob drawing skillz. I feel I know you a little better now. ;-) I especially love the Angry Red Marks of Doom [scratch marks?].

Given I am still breastfeeding my 7.5 month old, I am quite intimate with boobs. Everyone else in my neighbourhood is also good friends with my boobs and tend to see them a lot since I feed my son several times a day. It is nice to occasionally see boobs other than my own. ;-)

I had that what I think your red dots look like in real life. Here's my theory.

I'm fake baking. I'm going to Belize in May. I'm freaking Snow White. And if I go to Belize un-tanned, I'll come back a lobster. Bad idea for a honeymoon, right? So I bake. I sort of overcooked (slightly) the other day causing the area between my boobs to itch. SERIOUSLY itch. So I scratched! And not long thereafter, the red dots appeared.

However, I had this lump thing once, and I had to have it removed. Good news: it never looked like your brown things. Or your red things. :o)

That helps. Right?

Hmmm...right boob or left boob? Not that that matters, I'm just curious & nosy. It seems to me that it could be an allergic reaction to something (we develop new allergies all the time - wheeee!) - detergent, shower gel, cat hair, new sweater - whatever....and that it's all connected - especially the marks of doom which are probably brought on by being irritated that your scratching your very sensitive boob. Just a thought. In-grown hairs definitely look like pimples...but sometimes you can see the actual hair and then you know for sure.

Maybe try hot compresses and antibiotic cream (although that might be tricky since you're nursing) for a few days. By any chance, did the Bump Posse appear after you scratched Mr. Bump?

I'm not trying to be scary at all, because it most probably isn't what I'm about to describe, but I thought it was important to mention. There is a sort-of newish breast cancer that seems to be affecting breast feeding women that starts with a rash, then develops further. If treated right away it is generally cured. I just thought I would mention it because it isn't widely known...I know I don't have a lot of info because it happened to a friend of a friend, but I think it is always better to have a doctor look at it and be safe. I'm sure you will be fine! When you find out it is just an annoying rash, please feel free to call me email or by blog post. :)

1) Yes, your boob drawing skillz are indeed mad.
2) It's probably just some irritation related to breast feeding and/or dry skin and/or the scratching.
3) But I am no doctor and you really should check in with one, right away, 'cause your boobs are important and you wouldn't want one of them to, say, fall off.
4) You can see either of the doctors you mentioned, and preferably whichever one can see you sooner. This is not necessarily a gynecological issue (it's probably dermatological, I would guess, but again, I am NOT A DOCTOR) so you can definitely bring your boobs to your regular doc, but since the OB/GYN sees boobs a tad more often (and has seen other intimate parts of you quite recently) you might feel more comfortable bringing them there.
5) I hope that this has been helpful, and thank you for sharing one boob with the Internet here today. We appreciate it and we would never just say that without meaning it.

no, it's not a lump, I've had a lump, and there is no rash.

It's a rash. Check the inside of Mia's mouth. Do you see white bumps, if you do its thrush, which presents itself in different ways. If not, have you changed shampoo, conditioner, soap, detergent etc? If you answer no to all of these question, go to the dr., your ob/gyn.

Good luck! And keep us posted!

i literally have NO advice to give.

just mad propz on the artwork. pimpin' propz, girl.

1) Bumps Not Lumps is a trueism second only to Hugs Not Drugs. It's a skin thing, not a boob-innards thing.

2) Could be. I have no idea, because I'm childless. Sorry!

3) Probably not an ingrown hair. Those look like a pimple. From what I've seen on *other* people.

4) Yes. Do you have a dermatologist? They are the best at kicking the itch. If not, regular doctor is probably better.

5) Unparalleled boob-drawing skills. You are now my offical go-to boob artiste.

Good luck and smooches (but not on your boob).

The first thing I thought of was an obstructed duct; Especially since you've mentioned starting Mia on babyfood, which would mean you are probably nursing her less.

I'm going with either thrush or another form of a yeast infection. I've had both(in that same general area) and they both itched like hell!

The doctor will point you in the right direction of the bestest quickest healing ointment.


see your boobie doctor as soon as possible.

I would get it checked. Just to be sure. I had something similar happen around my nipples (did I just write that!) and it freaked me out because I am not breastfeeding and haven't for several years. Whatever I had went away on its own but I still think I should have gotten it checked out.

And my name is Dawn and I am from Canada. I have been reading your blog for awhile now. Great drawings!!

I definetly think it is dermatological rather than a gyno problem BUT regular docs get pretty hinky about treating a breastfeeding patient so I would probably start with the OB/GYN.

If the red marks are not due to scratching, it may be that whatever the irritation/infection is is moving up el boobie so I would get thee to an MD.

Hot compresses - not a bad idea. Will help if it is a blockage or if it is an infection. Time to send the girls for a dip (or just one girl but with swimming, there is always safety in numbers).

Mad boob drawing skillz? Eh. I hate to say it but I saw much better detail from the pervs in jr. high. Then again, self portraits are no easy feat.

My POS computer isn't letting me see your fantastic (I'm sure) boob drawings, so I have no advice. I am however extremely disturbed that Carrot Top has photoshopped a nice body and put his head on it. I really don't need that image in my mind.

Another Canuck, used to going to the Dr. for everything...but I still think it's a good idea. Maybe call your regular doc, and OB/GYN, and ask who they would prefer you to see.
And, yes, fabulous drawing. So lifelike, I'm surprised Chris hasn't thrown a fit. ;)

Because you haven't had enough advice, go to the doctor. Yeah, I think it's just a skin thing, but who knows why it's cropped up. The doctor will probably pull out the ever-famous, "oh, that's contact dermatitis," which is fancy doctor talk for your skin is freakin' out over something that touched it. I have very sensitive skin and have had this...OFTEN. As for the ingrown hair, my thin-skinned self has had those before, too. Have one now, as a matter of fact, and it's red and itchy and can sometimes take a while to go away, but eventually, a tiny bit of hair will work its way out and, when it looks big enough that you can get a good grip, grab the tweezers and yank. (damn long sentence - sorry.) I will say that should it actually be an ingrown hair and it does start to work its way out, do NOT pluck until after a shower or it will hurt much more than necessary - ingrown hairs near the boob are meaner than others. Lessee...any other insight? Oh, GREAT boob drawing! And if the location of Mr. bump is right along the edge of your areola, I'd lay money that it's a hair that doesn't wanna see the light of day.

Someone may have already said this, but I'll say it anyways. I think it's a yeast infection. I had symptoms similar to yours : itching, bumps spreading. But mine would hurt sometimes, especially when I breastfed and my nipple also cracked badly. Anyways, I spoke with my gyno and she said that it was a yeast infection and gave me meds to put on it right after breastfeeding. When that didn't make it go away completely, she gave me some meds to swallow. It finally went away after a month or so. I was told to continue breastfeeding through it because the meds would be excreted through the ducts and that would help.
So, I'd call the doc and see what they say.

Now, I'm no doctor, and I'm certainly not close enough to be greeted casually with a boob whip-outage (and, pray tell, do you have any advice on gaining said level of intimacy with female acquaintances?), but I would say:

1) Almost certainly yes. The worst thing you have to worry about this being is skin cancer or something. Am I always this comforting?

2) My personal experience with breastfeeding is and will hopefully remain zilch (barring any unforseen mutations), so I honestly can't say.

3) In one of the least appetizing Google image searches EVER, I have ascertained that what you are describing is probably not an ingrown hair. I'm going to go religiously shave every single follicle on my entire body now.

4) I don't think an OB/GYN would know any more about skin conditions than your standard GP, so I'd go with the regular doctor. As for the creepiness factor... uh... put yourself in the doctor's place: strange lady coming into your office wishing to show you her boob(s). it's all gravy. As a precaution, maybe you could invest in a paper bag over the head to mitigate your eternal shame.

5) Seriously. Did you go to a Boob-Drawing Seminar or something? Mad wicked.

You're not back from the doctor's yet? I bet it's just a rash from sweating or something like that. I get it and it clears up with otc hydrocortisone overnight.

There is no MD behind my name.

I agree with all the commenters who said check it out - immediately.

I haven't read all the comments (come on I have 4 kids!!) but I assume all points were covered by your other attentive readers. Personally, if it were me, I would go to the dr because I LOVE my boobs and I would want them 'sorted'....

May I suggest that you go to the cute Dr?

You know what? Go to the fricken doctor will ya? I love Amber's boobs too, and I am rapidly developing a love for yours (well, if drawing is accurate... MAN!), so I just think you should go get them checked by a good boobologist. Like NOW.

What I love about this post? How you seamlessly tie in Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, and Boob itch issues. :) Ingrown hairs? Look like zits, or at least angry red places that beg to be popped. Lumps? most definately different than bumps. Breastfeeding? I haven't had thrush, so I can't say, but... I'm gonna go with, "More than likely" as my answer. Doctor? If your doctor looks anything like Mia's doctor, I'd share your concern with whipping out your boob... plus? Your OBGYN would know more about boob issues and breastfeeding, so... there you have it.
Oh, and yes, I'm humbled by your mad boob-drawing skills. You must teach me, oh wise one.

Hmmmmm- I have the SAME thing going on- Left side... the slightest itch incurres MAJOR itchiness... I have had this for probably close to a year now- no creams have workes and yet... I ahve not gone to the Dr. (pure stubborness on my part) Make you a deal, I will go if you go...

props upon props for the artistry. but i will echo the dozens before me. boobs are important, get thee to yyour friendly neighborhood doc or NP.
my little one had thrush while she was nursing and my boobs remained thrushless.
wow. i feel so much closer to you now.

I'm nearly rendered speechless/typeless - this is officially the best blog to start your internet day with. (Sorry Chris!)

I have no boobology experience, but have gotten bumpy rashes to calm down by putting damp green tea bags over them - however, I wouldn't do that if you plan on seeing a doctor in the very near future. "The tea-scented stain? Oh, I was acting on Betti the blog-reader's advice . . ."

quit playing with yourself and see if it all goes away
try aloe

Could be plugged ducts. I've had that but it didn't manifest in exterior bumps like that. Also, echoing the info about a different type of breast cancer - not to scare you, but better safe than sorry. Go to OB/GYN. It's certainly nothing but at least when you hear that from an expert, you'll feel better.

I have no boob advice, as I generally follow your same approach of waiting to see if the problem will go away. Although, look where that's gotten me.

Most impressive boob drawing skills.

Not quite sure WHAT it is, but as for which doc to go to, call the OB and ask to speak to a nurse. Then explain the nurse what's going on, and ask if it's something you should see the OB about or your regular doc. OB's don't generally like being treated like GP's, but with the breastfeeding it's one of those "who's territory is it"...if you speakd with the nurse, you'll know for sure which way you should go.

Lovely boob pictures, really. :)

I'm firmly in the "get thee to a doctor, woman" camp, myself. Your girls need all the TLC you can give them, especially given that Mia is probably not so easy on them these days.

I'd heard of the weird rash/breast cancer thing too. Again, not to alarm, but if you can go in to the Dr. and get some peace of mind that it's nothing worse than a random rash, it should be totally worth the copay. Or deductible, or whatever.

Speaking of insurance, don't know how yours is set up, but if you need to see a dermatologist in the end, you may need a referral from your PCP, so maybe faster to go see her in the first place?

Keep us abreast of the situation. (I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist.)

Best wishes.

I know nothing, but I am voting for you going to see the doctor. Im betting it has something to do with breast feeding but that's all Ive got. Bets and guesses.

You've received more advice than I can even read, so I'm just gonna say that you should go to the OB/GYN, she'll care more about your boob. Oh, and thanks for the cool drawings. I hope it pops up on somebody's google search for porn. That'll learn 'em. ;)

i vote for a visit to the doctor.

and totally mad boob-drawing skilz there lady. especially those angry red marks of doom. nice touch! (although they are more pink than red on my screen, but that is in no way a slight on your wicked awesome drawing skills and is far more likely that the colour settings on my computer need some work...)

Ok, since it seems to be the concensus to go to the Dr, I'll agree, and lemme tell you, thrush is nothing to mess with! It's icky! Does Mia have signs of thrush? (You know... the whitish splotches in her mouth?)

As for what dr to go to? doesn't matter... who ever can see you. and the newest red marks of doom, definately look like scratch marks, the boobie skin, is much more easily marked.

BTW... mad boob drawing skillz... course everyone else told you that too.

Good luck!

Sometimes too much soy in one's diet can cause a rash.

no clue.
but, i only go to the doctor when i'm absolutely i'd wait it out for a bit.

do you have a doctor friend you can email your drawings to? that's what i did when isabella had a rash and he went on to give his first internet diagnosis!!

It sounds like an allergic reaction to me. I have a similar thing on my hip--from, of all things, a metal allergy where the rivets on my jeans hit my skin. But your bumps and angry red marks of doom--sound similar. Does it look like shingles? Mine does, doc assures me its an allergy. Cortisone helped, but if you are breastfeeding, probably not an option.

Scratching--how can something so bad feeel so damn good?

I've breastfed 3 here at my house. I saw the comments on the thrush. That's a good possibility if it's itching. Mia would have a nasty white tongue and spots in her mouth if that was it. The spots are brown? I know I had all sorts of weird brown spots and even a tiny cyst looking thing show up (never went away) on my nipple when I bf'd but I don't remember it ever being itchy. If I were you, I'd just go to the DR and see what's going on. If it's thrush you'd want to get that cleared up right away. I would also read the Web MD posting someone listed but don't rely on it! Web MD can make it seem like you're dying when you investigate on there.

:::: crying with laughter ::::

This is BY FAR the best part of the entry:

Me: Can I show you my boob for a second?
Chris: Hell yes.

Otherwise, when I had the old boobs, I would get insane bumps and itchiness ALL THE TIME. I eventually figured out it was heat and sweat related. And it goes away.

But I don't have a medical degree, I just work for people who do.

I believe I have just ruined my mouse, as I snorted water all over it.

You have a skin thing, sugar. It's not an ingrown hair (you have HAIR on your boobs?). They'll give you a cream, I'm sure.

OK, you never cease to crack me up. The boob drawings had me on the floor, laughing. I would probably CALL the doctor and see what he/she says about the itchy/blotchy/bumpy boob posse troublemakers. Nursing does create all kinds of weird shit to your boobs. And, husbands...come on...they can't see anything past the fact that you've just whipped out a boob.

I get those, and I also get the accompanying red streaks from particularly harsh itching spells. Mine occur either when my bras are old and worn out and rub against my breasts and the friction irritates them or when I use that new All Small and Mighty detergent, which I am apparently allergic to. I have not ever gotten treated for them...they go away. I use an aloe body butter that is very soothing on my breasts, and that helps.

Dear lord, the diagrams were enough to make a long term nursing mother cringe and run from the end of the tale. Holy hell, how awful. I just finished nursing my beastie at nearly 19 months. The only thing I can say is grab a glass of wine, or maybe a nice Odwalla fruit juice in your case, strap on a serious jog bra and snuggle up to a heating pad. Hope it works out. I'll come back and visit when the diagrams go away.

A lurker here to offer my insight:
I have been breastfeeding my son for 10 months, and came down with a similar condition.
The itchiness drove me insane.
My OB diagnosed it as eczema. Fun, right?
She prescribed a steroidal cream that helps tremendously. It hasn't gone away yet, but I'm also not very good about applying it on a regular basis.

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So the Fish Said...

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