Skin pitting is an indentation of the skin when poked by finger of about 5 to 10 seconds. It is due to edema, where the spaces between tissues swell as a result of accumulation of body fluids. In the breast however, breast skin pitting, dimpling, or retraction means something different. It can be from a malignant mass or an inflammatory condition beneath the site. Here we will focus about the breast skin.
What Causes Pitting of the Breast?
There are many causes of breast skin pitting, therefore it is important to consult your doctor for proper diagnosing.Here are some:
- Breast abscess is a collection of inflammatory fluids such as pus.
- Breast cancer or a malignant condition that affects the breast, where skin pitting is a late manifestation.
- Inflamed fatty tissues of the breast
- Death of the fatty tissues of the breast
- Physical trauma to the breast
- Inflammation of the breast
- Obstruction of the milk ducts and/or glands
- Benign breast lump or cysts
Associated Symptoms for Breast Cancer
Other symptoms include:
- A mass or lump that does not disappear and feels different from normal breast tissue.
- Swelling that lasts for months and does not respond to medications.
- Skin pitting, dimpling, indentation, or peau d’ orange or the characteristic orange peel skin of the breast
- Rough and scaly skin that surrounds the nipple
- Breast shape and size (unsymmetrical) changes
- Nipple discharge that is bloody or with pus
- Nipple retraction or turning inward
- With any of these symptoms, most will not feel pain which is typical to cancer
Diagnostic Procedures for Skin Pitting
The diagnosis is usually made with any or a combination of the following:
- Breast self-examination report of any or combination of the above symptoms. The patient may discover other signs before skin pitting occur.
- Initial assessment: familial history for any lumps, cysts, or cancer
- Physical examination: breast inspection and palpation
- Breast ultrasound
Treatment for Skin Pitting
For cancer, chemotherapy and other symptom-alleviating procedure are utilized.