Breast self-exams are a simple way
for you to learn what your breasts normally feel like. During a breast
self-exam, you examine your own breasts to look and feel for changes from one
month to the next. You will learn how your breasts feel and what is normal for
you so that you can spot any changes early. For more information about how to
do a breast self-exam, see the topic
If you have pain or a fever from a breast problem or injury, you can try nonprescription medicines for your symptoms.
Medicine you can buy without a prescription
| Try a nonprescription
medicine to help treat your fever or pain:|
Talk to your child’s doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
| Be sure to follow these
safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:|
- Carefully read and follow all directions
on the medicine bottle and box.
- Do not take more than the
- Do not take a medicine if you have had an
allergic reaction to it in the past.
you have been told to avoid a medicine, call your doctor before you take
- If you are or could be pregnant, do not take any medicine other
than acetaminophen unless your doctor has told you to.
- Do not give aspirin to anyone younger than age 20 unless your doctor tells you to.
Alternative medicines or supplements
may help relieve breast tenderness, discomfort, or pain (mastalgia). As with
all alternative medicines and supplements, be sure to follow the
directions on the label. Do not exceed the maximum recommended dose. If you are
or could be pregnant, talk with your doctor before taking any medicine or
- Evening primrose. The latest research has shown that evening primrose oil is no better than a placebo, even after 6 months of treatment for breast pain.1 For more information on studies of evening primrose and breast symptoms, see the topic
- Magnesium. Some studies have shown that
magnesium reduces mild premenstrual symptoms. For more
information, see the topic
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home
- Skin changes, such as dimpling or
- Changes in the color or feel of the
- Nipple discharge
- Darkening of the area around
- A nipple being drawn inward
- Any breast
problem that lasts more than 2 weeks
- A breast lump in a man
- Symptoms of a breast infection
- Symptoms that become more severe or more frequent
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
September 9, 2011
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