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Women's Health

Bra Stains May Be Clues To Health

11 months, 3 weeks ago

11022  0
Posted on Aug 26, 2018, 9 p.m.

Outside of lactating and washing your bra in with wrong colours or deodorant stains have you ever noticed greyish, brownish patches, or white, yellow or green goo perhaps even blood on the inside of bra cups that are typically round and concentrated to around where the nipple would make contact with the fabric? If so these weird marks should not be ignored, these are actually signs from the body that may be telling you important messages about your health.

Greyish or brownish stains are said to be the most common type of stain seen on the inside of a bra, typically due to release of normal oils from small ducts in nipples. Breasts are full of glands and lymphatic tissue that terminates in small opening in the nipples; small Montgomery’s tubercles holes can be found around the areola that release a kind of oil to moisturize the nipple and protect it during breastfeeding; outside of nursing the areola and nipple may still excrete small amounts which can build up inside bras cups. Excess of toxins in the body being excreted via the lymph system may be signified by gray/brown patches on the inside of bras. Studies have shown that breast tissue is sensitive to environmental factors such as pollutants and chemicals, which can be prevented by using natural products around the home and encouraging detoxification through diet and supplements.

Clear or yellow fluid may collect in nipple ducts and spontaneously excrete every few days of weeks which may be a sign of hormonal changes or a small growth within the duct; should this kind of stain be found it should be brought to the attention of a medical care provider.

Some women between the ages of 30-40, particularly those who have been pregnant or breastfed, nipples may excrete thick white or greenish fluid when touched or squeezed. Often this fluid is normal, but should be observed and if there are other abnormal symptoms in the breasts or nipples seeking advice from a healthcare professional is advised.

Sometimes a light flaky film on the surface of the nipple is normal and can form and will get washed off in the shower, it may leave some film inside the bra, this can be caused by oils and sweat.

Spontaneous discharge more than just a darkened spot inside the bra is possibly a concern, but may not be if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or recently weaned an infant, if it’s not from a known infection or other existing condition being looked at, it is definitely worth seeking a doctor to talk about any discharge found inside the bra cup or on the breast itself. Especially if there is discharge from only one breast or if there is ever any blood. When nipples release fluid spontaneously it is typically a sign of something unusual. Talk to a practitioner about conditions such as noncancerous pituitary tumors, hypothyroidism, or clogging of breast ducts, on rare occasions nipple discharge can be a sign of cancer.

During menstruation nipple can be sore due to water retention, wearing a sports bra and avoiding underwires during this period can makes things more comfortable. Sore, itchy, or inflamed nipples may be a response to detergents, fabrics, or products; trying using natural products and breathable textiles. Women aged 45+ sometimes experience ectasia when a milk duct widens and clogs which must be treated professionally before it becomes infected.

Mammary tissue is sensitive and is best to be washed only with water, a gentle loofah or washcloth can be used for mild exfoliation and massage to keep skin healthy and prevent bacteria from getting trapped. If a lot of vigorous activity such as running will be done be sure to protect them with a well fitted bra for support.

Bras can be very expensive, especially for those of us that are well endowed, if you want to make those bras last as long as possible they should be treated with care. It is always best to hand wash them in cold water using a gentle detergent, don’t wring them out either drip dry or squish them dry between towels then finish by hanging dry by the middle piece between cups. Even that favorite bra needs to be washed at least every few wear to prevent build up of residues and stains.

There are other more common reasons of staining on bras: deodorants that contain aluminum may cause discoloration when mixed with sweat. Mixing colours together when washing can also make colours bleed together. UV rays can also damage delicate fabrics. Hair dye can run when rinsing. If you have small children or pets it is even possible they have managed to get at your bra and used it as a toy.

Bras are an ubiquitous everyday item that often doesn’t get any attention. Please don’t forget to give your breasts, and their garments, the attention they deserve with some TLC for longterm health and wellbeing, most importantly don’t forget to do regular at home breast exams to become familiar with size, shape, and texture of your breasts to better know if what you feel or see is normal or not as important early detection and prevention health plan.

You can find out how to conduct a breast self exam by talking to your doctor or any of the numerous sites such as Breastcancer.org: breastcancer.org/symptoms/testing/self_exam

 

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