Burning rash - IBC?

Yesterday I noticed a distinct burning sensation on my outer right breast. When I looked I saw an alarming red blotchy rash which burned. It mostly disappeared by the evening but after googling I am really worried about inflammatory breast cancer. The only other explanation would seem to be mastitis and I really don’t think that is likely. I don’t think it is skin related as it seemed to be following a pattern of the circulatory system.

I am 46 with teenage children and it is a bank holiday weekend so can’t even call the GP.

The rash looked like it was under the skin and burned to touch where it was red I have some very pale blotches left but no other symptoms like orange peel skin or swelling.

I could see someone privately to beat the NHS wait but the breast specialist won’t necessarily have a free appointment this week. I want all the tests done now!

I am beyond terrified.

Hi Clarabel ,hopefully your GP will be able to fit you in tomorrow and re-assure you about this.If they have any suspicion re Breast Cancer you will be referred and seen very quickly under the NHS 2.week rule .These things always seem to happen on a weekend /bank holiday don’t they .Stop googling -it is very easy to scare yourself if you research any symptoms on line .Only a breast specialist would know if it is IBC -it is also very rare so chances are there is another explanation .Jill.

Hi Clarabel,
As Jill says.
Just to point out that googling any breast symptoms will inevitably lead to bc when mostly it’s not, especially IBC, as it is very rare.
There have been a number of women here with symptoms similar to yours who were very anxious about IBC after googling, but when checked out were all fine, with a benign reason behind it all.
Hopefully, you can get a gp appointment quickly & there is usually a 2 week wait to be seen after that. The NHS is pretty good at this.
Best to step away from google as it can create a whole shed load of anxiety which doesn’t change anything, other than to feed anxiety.
Take care
ann x

Thanks for the replies. I guess I just want to know if it is likely to be IBC and I can’t possibly get the answer without seeing a specialist. However, for all the dangers of googling, there is a lot of medical information available and I am sure that the type of rash I have is not to be dismissed and fits the profile of either infection or IBC, nothing else.

I will search for the posts from women with a rash that turned out benign in the hope that their symptoms are similar to mine. And I will stop googling…

people don’t always come back and post if the rash turns out to something less sinister ,but I’m sure you will find some reporting back.

Hi Clara


I so feel for you. I too had a rash (or so I thought) not sounding like yours but I Googled away and was convinced it was IBC! Not a good idea, I realise that now. My GP was confident it was just my skin and capilliaries etc. showing through. I was, of course, very relieved and skipped out of the surgery. But I am not out of the wars yet.


I have been getting breast pain and did go to my GP who said that, as I was only at the breast clinic in April, with an indentation, she was confident all would be okay as it was unlikely anything could have happened since then. I tried to say that I did not have breast pain when I was last there and so this is a new symptom but she remained steadfast.  Anyway, I left hoping the pain would go away but it is still here so, like you, feel I must return!


But as the ladies say, IBC is very rare and your rash, like mine, could be due to nothing serious. The worry is the pits isn’t it. I am still worrying with this pesky pain and at 66 years old and post menopausal, feel there must be something wrong.


I do so hope it all sorts for you very soon. The worry is enough to make you ill!


Good luck


Just thought I would add an update. Saw the breast consultant today, who has mostly reassured me. He examined me and I showed him a photo of the rash. He said the fact that the rash did not last more than 24 hours meant IBC was low on his list of concerns. He is going to excise and biopsy a small and slightly irritating skin lump on the edge of my nipple which I have had for many years, which he thinks is a portal to introducing some infection which is the most likely cause. He said the skin lesion does not look sinister but doesn’t look right either. I am crossing my fingers that will not show up anything. I had a mammogram on both breasts the same afternoon and that was all fine. So I am feeling much better but he said going to see him was absolutely the right thing to do. The wait has been truly awful though, I have lost weight through the worry and view life a little differently now.

Thank you to anyone who replied with advice and reassurance, it is much appreciated.