Warning: graphic images.
A woman has been left with a deep hole in her chest which she claims was caused by wearing underwired bras.
Lynne McConnell, 51, had been wearing close-fitting bras for 15 years – on the advice of a lingerie shop – when she spotted a pea-sized lump between her breasts.
The lump grew into a 4x4cm rock-hard cyst directly where her bra sat against her chest.
After seeking medical help, Brighton-based Lynne, who works in the pharmaceuticals industry, had no choice but to get the cyst cut out. She was left with a gaping open wound.
She has told how her surgeon told her the friction from her wired bra caused a block gland in her chest, which caused the cyst to develop.
"There is a lack of awareness about these types of bras,” says Lynne.
“Something has clearly gone wrong and all I want is for people to learn from what has happened.
“I don’t want anyone else to go through what I have. It really affected my self-esteem for a long time.
“I couldn’t wear a bra for weeks and I try to take pride in how I look. It wasn’t nice at all."
Dr Adil Sheraz, consultant dermatologist and a spokesperson for British Skin Foundation, has confirmed this is a known phenomenon.
"Cysts ares a benign growths that form under the skin,” he says.
"They are lined with epithelium, a layer of cells, that often forms the 'sac' which will contain semi-fluid material, which often has the appearance and consistency of cottage cheese.
"They are often defined based on their location, for example pilar cysts often from on the scalp.
"Cysts can be inherited or acquired. Inherited conditions, such as Gardner's syndrome, can result in multiple cysts.
"Cysts form when cells start multiply inwards rather than being shed on the surface.
"Why some people form cysts is not entirely known however they can often be caused by a blockage at the site of a hair follicle opening, as a result of a blocked pore or even injury to the skin.
"Occlusion of pores which may occur from pressure or tight garments could potentially cause formation of cysts."