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Quick Facts

Breast Infection and Breast Abscess

(Mastitis)

By The Manual's Editorial Staff,

What are the symptoms of a breast infection?

An area of your breast gets:

  • Tender

  • Swollen

  • Red

  • Warm

Breast abscess

If your breast infection goes untreated, it can become a breast abscess.

  • A breast abscess is a pocket of pus that forms a lump in your breast.

  • A breast abscess is very rare

What causes breast infections?

  • Breast infections are rare but happen more often around childbirth, after an injury, or after surgery

  • You’re more likely to get a breast infection if you have diabetes or if you take corticosteroids (medicine to lower swelling and pain) by mouth

How do doctors treat breast infections and breast abscesses?

Doctors have you take antibiotics.

Doctors usually drain an abscess. To do this, doctors will:

  • Do an ultrasound (a test that uses sound waves to create a moving picture of the insides of your body) to see where to place the needle

  • Drain the abscess with a needle