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What does itchy,thickened and scaly dark brown area in the areola indicate?

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Oncologist, Surgical
Practicing since : 1986
Answered : 59 Questions
Hello, I am a 52 year old female, 5'6", 158 lbs, who has developed an itchy, thickened, scaly, dark brown area in the lower half of my areola, making the area appear ununiformed. I have been using a fungal & steroid preparation for nearly two weeks without resolution in symptoms. My question is should I be concerned that it is something other than a typical atopic dermatitis or eczematous nature?
Posted Mon, 3 Mar 2014 in Cancer
Answered by Dr. K. Harish 17 minutes later
Brief Answer: Yes and No Detailed Answer: It most probably is an eczematous lesion. Please consult your dermatologist for opinion and treatment. I suppose it would be better if you avoid self diagnosis and treatment. However, if it is on one breast alone, there is a possibility of a condition called paget's disease (a variety of breast cancer) where cancer cells come to the skin. Please get yourself examined and investigated. Your anxiety would be less once your doctor has examined you and he/she rules out breast cancer
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Follow-up: What does itchy,thickened and scaly dark brown area in the areola indicate? 7 minutes later
It is one breast alone. I do have a follow-up with my family physician. I am aware of Paget's disease of the breast but was under the impression that it involved the nipple, which has not changed in my case (no inversion, flattening, drainage, etc.). I do have a medical background (MSN) and have no intention of self-diagnosis. I would just like to know if the preparations clobetasol and ketoconazole, typically clear eczema :) or should I have an evaluation for Paget's even though the nipple region is not involved? Thank you so much!
Answered by Dr. K. Harish 13 hours later
Brief Answer: Better to get it checked Detailed Answer: The way you describe it looks like a skin lesion. As you have rightly observed, if the nipple is not involved, the chances of paget's disease are reare. However, it would be better to err on the safer side. So, just get checked with the surgeon/oncologist once to be sure.
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