Breast abscess is an acute inflammation and infection with a collection of pus within the breast tissue, acute purulent disorder of the breast mostly found in lactation period after delivery. It is rare in the duration of pregnancy. People commonly affected by breast abscess – women in the child bearing age group who have recently given birth. Normally, it is caused by retention of milk in the breast due to mental depression affecting the vital energy of the liver or due to overtaking of fatty food that brings about stagnation of heat in the stomach meridian or due to obstruction of the milk duct after invasion of exogenous toxic fire into the breast through the rupture of the nipple.
Breast abscess main manifestations include redness, heat, inflammation, swelling, hardness, tenderness and pain in infected part. Also, enlargement of lymph glands in the armpit and sharp pain when the infant sucks. If left untreated, the skin darkens and the abscess eventually bursts. The person may be feverish and feel unwell, mostly occurring after the delivery. At the early stages when the abscess has not yet been formed, there is a lump in the breast accompanied by swelling, distention, pain, difficult lactation, chills, fever headache, nausea and dire thirst. Growing of the lump with local bright redness and intermittent throbbing pain indicates suppuration. If the infection is very severe, breast-feeding may have to be abandoned.
An abscess a pus-filled hollow space that can appear on the skin or inside the body. Most abscesses form just under the skin and are the result of a bacterial infection. The infection causes the immune system to activate white blood cells and chemicals to fight the bacteria. Breast abscesses can affect women between the age of 18 and 50, but they are very uncommon in women who are not producing milk. When breastfeeding, the nipples sometimes become cracked, which allows bacteria to enter, and may cause an infection. A breast infection can lead to the development of an abscess.
During breastfeeding, the suckling from the baby may cause the nipples to become tender and raw (this is called abrasion). It is normal for the breasts to feel tender during breastfeeding, but to consult if having heat or pain in either breast.
The first stage in the development of an abscess is inflammation of the breast tissue. This is called mastitis, and has the following symptoms: painful localised swelling of the affected breast, localised redness, tenderness, and the breast feels very hot. Another sign of infection is flu-like symptoms, including aches and pains, headache and a raised temperature. The infection occurs in the parenchymal (fatty) tissue of the breast, causing swelling just outside the milk ducts. This swelling presses on the milk ducts, and the result is pain and swelling of the infected breast. One may notice the additional symptoms : tender or enlarged lymph nodes in the armpit on the affected side, enlargement of the affected breast, discharge from the nipple, which may be green or pus-like, breast lump, and itching. If one can, try to continue breastfeeding. Draining the infected milk can reduce the chance of an abscess forming, and it will not harm the baby. The germs in the milk will be killed off once they reach the baby’s stomach. If an abscess has already formed, it is advisable to stop breastfeeding.
The cause of a breast abscess could be because of bacterial infection; usually a taphylococcus or streptococcus is the causal organism. The organisms enter through cracks in the nipple, particularly at the beginning of breast-feeding before the skin has ‘toughened up’. Preventative measures – try to avoid cracking of the nipples include careful cleansing, use of some paste, and not allowing the baby to suck for too long, or to ‘comfort suck’, especially during the early days of breast-feeding.
Analysis: When breastfeeding, the skin of the nipples can become grazed or cracked. This is usually a result of the baby’s gums pinching the nipple. Sometimes it happens because the nipple hasn’t been far enough into the baby’s mouth, and has rubbed against the roof of the baby’s mouth. Many sore nipples are caused by the baby not being properly positioned or latched on. Breast infections are caused by a common bacteria found on normal skin called Staphylococcus aureus. The bacteria usually get into the breast through cracks or abrasions in the nipple, and the resulting infection causes inflammation of the breast (mastitis). Although mastitis is most commonly caused by breastfeeding, it is also linked to other factors. These include diabetes, nipple piercings, lumpectomies or breast irradiation, the use of corticosteroids, having silicone breast implants, and being a heavy smoker. As the body’s immune system tries to fight off the breast infection, some of the tissue in the local area dies. This is called necrosis. A collection of pus forms, which is surrounded by hardened and inflamed tissue. This is a breast abscess.
Since the stagnated liver vital qi and obstructed lactation lead to production of heat, there occurs redness, swelling and pain of the breast with difficult lactation. the confrontation between the exogenous pathogenic factors and the body resistance causes chills, fever and headache. The pathogenic heat in the stomach disturbs the descending of the stomach vital energy, manifested by nausea and dire thirst. Unrelieved stagnation of milk may produce heat. Extreme heat causes putrid muscle, and pus follows. So there is growing of the lump in the breast with bright redness, burning and intermittent throbbing pain. The reducing method is applied to regulate the vital energy of the Liver and Stomach meridians, remove stagnation and disperse heat. The nipple is on the Liver meridian, and the breast is located in the area where the Stomach meridian is distributed. The breast abscess is caused by pathogenic heat in the stomach and the stagnation of liver vital energy. One has to remove the stomach fire in order to eliminate the accumulation of pathogenic factors to regulate the activity of vital energy and remove obstruction of lactation.
Prevention: If having breast infection, the best way to prevent an abscess forming is to continue to breastfeed. This helps to get rid of the infected milk, and will not harm the baby. Bacteria in the infected breast milk are killed in baby’s stomach. If breastfeeding is too painful, better not to continue. To help the milk flow better, try placing a warm, wet washcloth over the affected breast for about 15 minutes before breastfeeding. Massaging the affected breast may also increase milk flow.
Acupuncture SUJOK, itself is a powerful medicine, which aids in strengthening the immune system and serves to prevent diseases, control pain and increase both the ability to function and the quality of peoples lives. It has been shown to promote the health and improve the body’s immune function. It has also helped many people who were not successfully treated through conventional western medicine. Several conditions can be dramatically improved or remedied in full including Breast abscess, or any gynaecological and obstetric disorders, as well as during normal childbirth. Su Jok acupuncture is a new stage in the development of Oriental medicine. Highly effective for treatment, easy and accessible to learn, simple to apply. One of the important features of this system, the fast-coming effect of the method. Su Jok therapy extremely quickly arrests pain syndromes of various etiology. Since the Su Jok method has a fast effect, the rate of pain-killing was studied during the treatment session. A fast and effective removal of the pain syndrome makes the treatment period shorter and the patients cure quicker.
The beauty of acupuncture SUJOK is that each treatment is catered to the needs of an individual patient. Its energy concept of treatment is only on the miniature form of hands or feets chosen for overall well being with the objective of increasing circulation of the blood and vital energy.
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