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When a person has pus in the breast, it generally has one basic cause: the lumping together of bacteria, dead skin cells, and white blood cells. Pus usually forms when the body is fighting some type of infection and can affect any part of the body. When it affects the breast, however, the pus often develops because of an infection in the breast tissue that causes an abscess or because of a boil on the breast's skin. Treatment of pus in the breast often includes drainage of the affected area, antibiotics to fight the infection, hot compresses, and over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers.
One of the common causes of pus in the breast is an infection. When a person has an infection in the breast, an abscess may form, which is a mass that often causes some discomfort and is filled with pus. A breast infection doesn't always cause the development of an abscess, but when one does form, it often means the infection is a bit more serious. For example, a person may develop this type of issue when she has an infection and did not get treatment for it right away. Once an infection has progressed to this point, it is often necessary to use a sterile needle or an incision to drain the pus from the breast.
Another common cause of pus in the breast is a boil, which usually develops as a result of a skin infection. The boil starts out as an area of skin that is inflamed and sore but eventually becomes harder. It doesn't stay hard, however — it slowly grows softer and the boil fills with pus. The boil then forms a bump in which the presence of the pus is evident. Boils may eventually begin to drain on their own, or a doctor can open them surgically instead.
Though a doctor can often drain pus from the breast, whether it is in the form of an abscess or a boil, other treatment may prove necessary as well. In many cases, doctors also prescribe antibiotics to treat the infection that caused the pus in the breast. Additionally, hot compresses may help the body fight the bacteria that caused the problem by improving the circulation of blood to the area. OTC pain medications may also help to keep a patient more comfortable and possibly reduce some of the inflammation in the affected area.