Itchy Sore Nipples, Dry, Irritated, Peeling, Causes, Remedies, Treatment

Itchy sore nipples are commonly experienced by women because of their hormones that tend to fluctuate in their levels. Itchy nipples in men may be as a result of a fungal or bacterial infection that cause a rash on nipples. There are also other several causes of itchy nipples that may be sore, with pimples or rashes, dry, peeling. Continue reading below on how to get rid of itchy nipples at home, remedies and cure.

Eczema on nipples is among the common causes of irritated nipples. Eczema is a skin condition. It is identified by red sore on nipples or brown-gray patches that are thickened, itchy, dry, scaly, rough, and flaky, inflamed, and cause skin peeling on nipples.

Eczema on breast may cause itchy sore nipples and breast
Eczema on breast may cause itchy sore nipples and breast

It can occur on any part of your body including your nipples. Theory has it that eczema is caused by an overactive immune system that responds aggressively to the presence of irritants. The following are some of the irritants that can trigger eczema and make you have itchy sore nipples;

  1. Allergies
  2. Woolen clothes that scratch the skin
  3. Hot weather
  4. Chemicals from detergents used to wash y will dry up your skin. (never bath with a detergent)
  5. Rapid drop in humidity or temperature
  6. Synthetic fiber

Readers may also look at;

  1. Pain during ovulation
  2. Rash between breast
  3. Period while pregnant

Dry itchy nipples

Dry itchy nipples are mostly caused by eczema, fungal infection, menopause, or allergies from substances that come into contact with your nipples like;

  1. Latex or nickel on your bra
  2. Bathing soaps
  3. Detergents and cleaning agents used on your beddings
  4. Cosmetics

This dryness cause skin peeling on nipples. Under very rare circumstances, you may have itchy sore nipples because of the Paget’s diseases of the breast which is a form of breast cancer. You need to see a breast cancer specialist to confirm your itchy sore nipples are not caused by cancer.

Itchy nipples pregnancy/early pregnancy

Painful Itchy sore nipples are a sign of pregnancy. These symptoms occur 2 weeks after conception. The placenta produces many hormones in preparation for the baby.

  • These hormones are the ones that make you itch. Itchy sore nipples also occur during early pregnancy because the size of breasts increases making the nipples to also grow and stretch.

You may need to take a pregnancy test when you experience itchy sore nipples just to confirm your status. You can apply petroleum jelly on your itchy sore nipples to relieve the pain and discomfort.

Itchy nipples period

Itchy nipples during periods are caused by imbalance of the hormones level in your body. Your nipples will feel better once your periods are over.

You may also see more vaginal issues related to periods here pad rash, vaginal rash, Blisters on vagina and sore on vagina

Itchy sore nipples breast feeding

Mothers who are breastfeed are likely to experience itchy sore nipples. This is usually caused by hormones or friction between the nipples and the bra every time they want to breast feed.

  • How the baby sucks the nipples also matters. While breastfeeding ensure that the nipple and its immediate surrounding are all inside the baby’s mouth. You can make the baby open their mouth wide by gently stroking their chin.
    Itchy sore nipples breast feeding
    Itchy sore nipples breast feeding

You need to see your doctor if your nipples are itchy and laced with pink coloration because you are most likely having a yeast infection called thrush. The baby will definitely contract the yeast infection on their tongue if not treated.

  • Always wash your nipples with clean running water after breastfeeding and apply petroleum jelly or lanolin on them after they dry. Do not use soap while washing your nipples or friction them while drying. If possible, do not wear anything to cover your breasts after breastfeeding.

According to Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding (updated edition), 2014,”It is quite uncommon in women of childbearing age but it can occur. Paget’s disease is easily mistaken for eczema because of the flaking skin and itching.

  • Most mothers with eczema get it on both breasts, though, while Paget’s disease usually involves only one. If treatment with a steroid ointment does not result in rapid resolution (within a week) of the problem, the mother should see her doctor.

The diagnosis is made by biopsy of the nipple. This does not mean the mother should stop breastfeeding on that side—she cannot transfer cancer to the baby by breastfeeding.”

Itchy nipples PMS

Itchy Nipples can be caused my postmenstrual syndrome due to hormonal imbalance. Estrogen tends to dominate progesterone at such times.

Premenstrual syndromes also cause itchy sore nipples because of hormonal changes that occur in your body in preparation for periods.

You can tell if your itchy nipples are caused by PMS when both nipples are sore and you are about to have your periods or they have just ended.

It is not a serious condition and the feeling disappears as soon as your hormones are back in check and balance.

Causes of itchy sore nipples

The major cause of itchy sore nipples are eczema and allergies that result into pimples around nipples .Apart from the two, there are other factor that can make your nipples painful and itchy;

  1. Periods
  2. Early pregnancy
  3. Breastfeeding
  4. Wearing the wrong size of bra
  5. Exercising without a sports bra
  6. Thrush
  7. Breast cancer(Paget’s disease)
  8. Skin disorders
  9. Exposure to direct sunlight for a long time
  10. Side effects of some drugs
  11. Breast Implants
  12. Menopause
  13. Large heavy breasts
  14. Heart diseases
  15. Chemicals found in soaps and detergents
  16. Fungal infection
  17. Bacterial infection (Staphylococcus aureus)
    How to get rid of Itchy sore nipples
    How to get rid of Itchy sore nipples

Home Remedies for itchy sore nipples

Most sore and itchy nipples are no cause for alarm and can be cured at home using simple remedies. The following tips can help you get rid of the itchy feeling on your nipples and relieve you from the irritation that comes with it.

1. Breast Milk

Did you know that your own breast milk has got antibacterial and healing agents that can treat dry itchy sore nipples? Now you know.

Requirements

  1. Breast milk
  2. A cotton ball
  3. Clean water
  4. A clean piece of cloth

What to do

  1. Before breast feeding, wash your breast and nipples properly using clean running water and dry them with a clean piece of cloth.
  2. Soak the cotton ball with your own breast milk
  3. Apply the breast milk on your nipples using the cotton ball
  4. Breast feed the baby
  5. After breastfeeding , apply some breast milk again on the nipples using a cotton ball
  6. Aerate your breast until the nipples are completely dry
  7. Repeat the procedure as often as possible during breastfeeding until your nipples stop feeling sore and itchy.

2. Ice cubes

You can use ice cubes to temporarily relieve you from the irritation caused by itchy sore nipples. The ice numbs the nipples.

Requirements

  1. Ice cubes
  2. A clean piece of cloth
  3. A spoon

What to do

  1. Scoop one or two ice cubes using a spoon.
  2. Place them on a clean piece of cloth.
  3. Wrap them with the cloth and tie a knot so that they do not fall off.
  4. Press the ice cubes in the cloth against your nipples for 10 minutes.
  5. Remove the ice cubes.
  6. Repeat this 4 times in a day

3. Warm Compress

Heat soothes your nipples and relieves the irritation caused by itchy sore nipples.It is a temporary solution.

U can also use this remedies to get rid of itchy breast
U can also use this remedies to get rid of itchy breast

Requirements

  1. Clean piece of cloth
  2. Warm water

What to do

  1. Begin this procedure 10 minutes before breastfeeding
  2. Dip a clean piece of cloth in warm water
  3. Wring it
  4. Put it on your breast for 5 minutes
  5. Repeat the above process often until your nipples feel better.
  6. You may also take a warm shower and let the water run over your breast for some time.

4. Massage

Massaging itchy sore nipples using an essential oil of your choice will not only moisturize it but also reduce chances of chapping around the nipples. This will hasten your healing process.

Requirements

  1. Essential oils like olive oil or coconut oil
  2. A cup

What to do

  1. Pour a small amount of olive oil in a cup
  2. Warm it in the microwave
  3. Apply the olive oil on the nipples
  4. Massage the nipple using the oil gently in a circular motion
  5. Wash off the oil using plenty of water before breastfeeding
  6. Repeat this process as often as you can until your nipples feel better

5. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a natural pain reliever and it is rich in vitamin E. It is the best remedy for itchy sore nipples and works efficiently. It is also easily available. But if you are a breastfeeding mother ensure that the Aloe Vera does not come into contact with the baby’s mouth because it can make the baby diarrhea .

Requirements

  1. Aloe Vera leaves
  2. A sharp knife
  3. A mixer/ blender
  4. A bowl for collecting the gel
  5. A clean piece of cloth
  6. Clean water

What to do

  1. Take two pieces of aloe Vera leaves and cut them on both ends. Use a knife to take out the upper green layer from the leaf in order to expose the thick Aloe Vera gel in the leaves.
  2. In case you find any yellow liquid on the leaf, rinse it out with clean water.
  3. Peel off the green back of the leaf.
  4. The clear thick gel that is left is the aloe Vera gel.
  5. Cut the gel into small pieces and blend the gel into a liquid form.
  6. Collect the gel in a bowl
  7. Wash your nipples with clean running water and pat them dry using a clean piece of cloth
  8. Apply the Aloe Vera gel directly on your nipples in a circular motion.
  9. Let it dry
  10. Wash off the Aloe Vera gel thoroughly using warm water and pat your nipples dry with a clean piece of cloth .The aloe Vera is harmful to your baby.
  11. Repeat the process 3 to 4 times a day until your nipples feel better

6. Basil Leaves

Basil leaves are capable of relieving your nipples from soreness, dryness, cracks and pain. These leaves are a natural skin healer.

Requirements

  1. Basil leaves
  2. A Pestle & a mortar
  3. A knife
  4. A clean piece of cloth

What to do

  1. Wash the basil leaves to get rid of any soil on them
  2. Cut them into big chunks with a knife
  3. Place them in the mortar
  4. Pound with a pestle to form a paste
  5. Ensure that you nipples are clean you can even take a shower if you wish
  6. Pat them dry with a clean cloth
  7. Smear the paste on the nipples
  8. Let it settle for 20 minutes
  9. Rinse it off with warm water
  10. Repeat this procedure 5 times a day
    Rash around nipples on breast may look like this
    Rash around nipples on breast may look like this

7. Calendula Flowers

Calendula flowers are an antibacterial agent hence it can reduce the risk of an infection on then nipples. It also reduces the swelling and eases the pain.

Requirements

  1. Calendula flowers
  2. A Pestle & a mortar
  3. A knife
  4. A clean piece of cloth

What to do

  1. Wash the calendula flowers
  2. Cut them into big chunks with a knife
  3. Place them in the mortar
  4. Pound with a pestle to form a paste
  5. Ensure that you nipples are clean you can even take a shower if you wish
  6. Pat them dry with a clean cloth
  7. Smear the paste on the nipples
  8. Let it settle for 20 minutes and dry
  9. Rinse it off with warm water
  10. Repeat this procedure 5 times a day

8. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an antifungal and antiseptic agent. It reduces the chances of infection on the nipples and relieves the irritation on the nipples. It works best when used overnight.

Requirements

  1. Tea tree oil
  2. A Cotton Ball

 

What to do

  1. Wash your nipples or take a shower before you go to bed
  2. Soak a cotton ball with tea tree oil
  3. Apply the tee tree oil  on your nipples using the cotton ball
  4. Let it settle and sink into the skin overnight
  5. Repeat this process daily until you see a change

 9. Chamomile Teabag

Chamomile tea has anti-inflammatory properties which will reduce the swelling and soreness of the nipple. It also hastens the healing process.

Requirements

  1. Chamomile tea bags
  2. Warm Water
  3. A Basin

What to do

  1. Pour warm water in a basin
  2. Add or 2 teabags of chamomile tea in the water
  3. Let the teabag steep for sometime
  4. Wash your nipples clean and pat them dry with a clean piece of cloth.
  5. Remove the tea bag from the water and squeeze out the excess water
  6. Press the teabags against your nipples for sometime
  7. Let the nipples dry
  8. Wash off the chamomile tea from your nipples and dry your nipples with a clean piece of clothe
  9. Apply petroleum jelly on the nipples
  10. Repeat the process 3 times a day

10. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is effective in repairing skin tissues.

What to do

  1. Eat food that are rich in Vitamin C. Vitamin C is found in most fruits and vegetables like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, kiwi fruit , mango, papaya ,pineapple, berries, pepper ,sweet potatoes, tomato and broccoli
    Advanced itchy sore nipples and breast should be checked for any form of breast cancer
    Advanced itchy sore nipples and breast should be checked for any form of breast cancer

Prevention

After the home remedies have worked for you and your nipples are not itchy anymore, it is important to prevent future occurrence. Apart from being pregnant or having periods, other causes of itchy nipples can be prevented .The following are some simple measures you may take to prevent itchy nipples;

  1. Wear bras that are made of cotton fabric and have good ventilation for aeration
  2. Maintain high standards of hygiene
  3. Wear loose clothes to bed
  4. Do not wash your nipples with strong scented soaps
  5. Dry your Breast and nipples properly after showering
  6. Do not use breast enlarging creams or oils
  7. If you are baby feeding do not pull the breast out of the baby’s mouth
  8. While breastfeeding, use both breasts at intervals.
  9. Change your breast pads often
  10. Use sports bras while exercising
  11. Moisturize your nipples or apply petroleum jelly

Treatment

Treatment is mostly for sore itchy nipples that are caused by eczema. Before using any treatment, ensure you see a professional doctor to give a proper diagnosis and the right dosage.

1. Antihistamine

Over the counter antihistamine like celestamine ,cetirizine ,diphenhydramine and claritin  can be used to counter the histamine that  causes allergies. They should be taken overnight since they make you feel dizzy.

2. Cortisone creams

These creams can be used to relieve itching, dryness and irritation on the nipples. Do not use them

If there is an infection, a doctor may prescribe a topical or oral antibiotic.

3. Immunosuppressant

These are prescription medicines that prevent the immune system from overreacting and causing eczema. Their side effects are very serious like cancer and kidney failure so they should not be used regularly.

Below is a video with more on itchy sore nipples and breast;

Reference

  1. http://www.healthline.com/symptom/nipple-itching
  2. https://www.bustle.com/articles/47910-why-your-nipples-are-itchy-and-everything-else-you-need-to-know-about-your-headlights
  3. http://www.checkpregnancy.com/itchy-nipples-early-pregnancy/
  4. http://www.phaa.com/itchy-breasts-causes-treatment-and-prevention.htm
  5. http://breastfeeding.support/causes-of-sore-nipples/

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