A lot of factors can cause itching in your nipples. They are generally sensitive. They also protrude and can be irritated by friction, eczema, breastfeeding, or pregnancy. Itchy nipples can occasionally be a sign of a more severe condition. Even if you have a strong desire to scratch, the problem is usually simple to resolve. If you’ve been using over-the-counter medications for a couple of weeks and the itch hasn’t gone away, consult your doctor.
So here are 12 possible causes why that happens:
Cold, dry weather can cause severe itching throughout your body, including your breasts and nipples. Your nipples may appear raw or chafed if this is the case. Baths and showers should last no more than 10 minutes. Because hot water washes away essential oils and dries out your skin, even more, use lukewarm water. Gently pat your skin with a towel, then moisturize with thick cream or ointment. To add moisture, turn on a humidifier.
It can result in a crusty rash on your nipples and the flat area around them, especially if you’ve previously had eczema. Use a thick moisturizer containing ceramides, a waxy ingredient that aids in skin healing. Swelling and itching can be relieved with a topical steroid cream such as hydrocortisone. Your doctor can prescribe more potent prescription ointments. If you notice any oozing or tenderness, this could be a sign of an infection.
Your new soap, lotion, or laundry detergent may be causing your itchy nipples. Many cleaning products have chemicals that can cause a rash known as contact dermatitis. It can manifest as itchy red patches on your skin. If you switch to hypoallergenic, unscented, and dye-free soaps and cleansers, you’ll know if that’s the issue.
Your breasts and nipples could be reacting to the elastic or dye used in the production of your bra or lingerie. Contact dermatitis can cause redness and itching in the skin areas that come into contact with the fabric, such as your nipples. If you’ve recently begun wearing a new bra, switch back to your old one for a while to see if the itch goes away.
When your nipples rub against clothing while exercising or because your bra is too tight, some women report that the friction feels itchy or burning. Apply petroleum jelly to the area before working out to keep it from becoming irritated, and make sure your bra fits properly.
Weight gain, morning sickness, fluctuating hormones, and itchy nipples? Yes, add that to the list of pregnancy symptoms. It’s caused by hormonal changes and skin stretching as your breasts and nipples expand in preparation for a nursing baby. Rubbing cocoa butter, coconut oil, or lanolin ointment on the nipples can help relieve the itch.
Milk residue, clogged milk ducts, and issues with your baby latching on during feedings can all cause itchy and sore nipples. You should keep the area dry and clean while continuing to pump or nurse. Refrigerated lanolin ointment and silicone gel pads can help relieve your discomfort.
Check with your doctor if you are breastfeeding and your nipples and surrounding area are not only itchy but also shiny or flaky, and you experience sharp pain while nursing. That is a symptom of thrush, a fungal infection. Your doctor may prescribe an antifungal cream to be applied to your nipples and breasts, as well as a mild antifungal medication to be taken orally.
This life stage can cause your skin to become thinner, drier, and more prone to irritation. It’s due to fluctuating hormone levels and low estrogen levels. Because your body produces less oil, it is more difficult for your skin to retain moisture. The itch can occur almost anywhere on the body, including the vagina and nipples. Use gentle cleansers, moisturize frequently, and take fewer hot showers to combat dryness.
Even after treatment for breast cancer has ended, severe itching in the breasts and nipples can occur. As the skin peels off, radiation kills skin cells and causes dryness, burning, and itching. Wear soft, loose-fitting clothes and drink plenty of fluids while massaging the area with an ice cube. Antihistamines taken orally can help.
This uncommon type of breast cancer begins in the breast ducts and spreads to the nipple and surrounding area. It can resemble eczema in appearance, with crusted, scaly, and itchy skin. However, it frequently affects only one nipple, and you may notice blood or yellow discharge. If the rash does not respond to eczema treatments, a tissue sample biopsy may be required to be specific. Surgery is usually used to treat Paget’s disease, followed by radiation.
A noncancerous tumor can cause an itchy, crusted nipple in the breast duct. You might notice a small lump or a clear or bloody discharge from the nipple. Your doctor may X-ray your breast duct or order an ultrasound, mammogram, or biopsy to make the diagnosis. Typically, surgery is used to treat the condition.