Itching is a symptom of skin irritation. Itching can be caused by many things, including dry skin, insect bites, and allergic reactions.

Certain breast cancer treatments may cause itching. They are:

  • surgery
  • chemotherapy
  • radiation therapy
  • hormonal therapy:
    • Arimidex (chemical name: anastrozole)
    • Aromasin (chemical name: exemestane)
    • Evista (chemical name: raloxifene)
    • Fareston (chemical name: toremifene)
    • Faslodex (chemical name: fulvestrant)
    • Femara (chemical name: letrozole)
    • tamoxifen

An allergic reaction to a pain medication also can cause itching.

Managing itching

If your itching gets worse or you develop other signs of an allergic reaction, such as trouble breathing or hives, call your doctor immediately. Allergic reactions can be potentially serious.

To ease mild itching, you can:

  • Use skin creams or lotion regularly, especially after bathing. Water-soluble bases, such as aloe vera, and menthol-based lotions work best.
  • Bathe in warm — not hot — water. Hot water can dry your skin out and add to your itching problem.
  • Use a mild soap when bathing and gently wash your skin.
  • Drink a lot of water to keep yourself and your skin hydrated.
  • Wear roomy, comfortable clothes. Constricting clothes or rough fabrics can irritate skin.
  • Wash your clothes with gentle, hypoallergenic detergents. Harsh chemicals can cause a skin reaction.
  • Apply a cool compress to itchy areas for a soothing effect.
  • Ask your doctor about prescribing a steroid cream to alleviate itching.

Join the Conversation