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Mastitis is inflammation of the breast tissue. It occurs most often in women who are breastfeeding, but it can also affect other women, and sometimes even men. Mastitis will sometimes go away on its own. A health care provider will help determine if medical treatment is needed.
This condition is usually caused by a bacterial infection. Bacteria can enter the breast tissue through cuts, cracks, or openings in the skin. This usually occurs with breastfeeding because of cracked or irritated nipples.
Sometimes, mastitis can occur when there are no cuts or openings in the skin. This is usually caused by plugged milk ducts. Plugged milk ducts block the flow of milk in the breast.
Symptoms usually last 2–5 days. Breast pain and redness are at their worst on days 2 and 3, and they usually go away by day 5. If an infection is left to worsen, a collection of pus, or an abscess, may develop.
Breastfeeding and pumping tips
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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