Causes of Cracked and Sore Nipples
If you have observed cracks, sores, bleeding, oozing, or throbbing in your nipples, chances are, you have felt extreme discomfort and have had unpleasant experiences. The pain may have affected your daily activities and have caused sleepless nights and restricted movements.
It isn’t too surprising to have cracked or sore nipples when you are a breastfeeding mother. This is usually attributed to incorrect latching of the infant on to the breast of the mother. This may also happen when you are pregnant or expecting.
However, it is a totally different story when you are not pregnant or when you are not a lactating or nursing mom. There might be underlying causes that you first have to address.
Sore nipples due to cracks may happen for various reasons. Take, for example, a simple allergic reaction to laundry detergent. You may least expect this, but this is one of the possible reasons.
Sometimes, when you wear tight or ill-fitting clothing or bra, the constriction causes friction that may irritate your darlings, especially during physical activities such as surfing, running, or basketball. Sometimes, you may also experience sore nipples when your monthly visitor is just right around the corner.
Hormonal changes are normal in a woman’s monthly cycle. Increases in estrogen and progesterone levels cause the nipples to feel swollen and tender. It is essential to take care of your nipples at the first signs of cracks or soreness because this may lead to infection, particularly a fungal infection. During pregnancy, a specific disease called mastitis occurs when milk becomes trapped in the milk ducts. So, what are your options at the onset of these cracks on your nipples?
Remedies to Sore or Cracked Nipples
There are a lot of available over-the-counter remedies or medication that you may avail of when you suffer from cracked or sore nipples. But there a lot of other simpler options that you may opt to do that are doable within the comforts of your home at the onset.
1. Wear a more supportive and properly-fitted bra, especially when exercising.
2. During long periods of exercise, those who are extra-sensitive to friction may wear nipple or surgical tapes.
3. Don’t use ill-fitting clothes. Tight clothes cause too much friction, so choose clothes made from smooth fabrics.
4. Use soothing cream and ointments. Several hypoallergenic creams will soothe the soreness and pain in your nipples. There are a lot of amazing options online that you can choose from.
5. If hormonal changes in menstruation or pregnancy cause your nipple soreness, you may want to take pain relievers like Ibuprofen and Paracetamol.
6. Do a cold compress. This can be an immediate pain relief to swollen breasts and sore nipples.
7. Take warm showers, especially for those who have sore nipples due to breastfeeding and engorged breasts. This can facilitate let down of breastmilk.
How Long Before the Healing of Sore Nipples?
Sore or cracked nipples may heal within seven to ten days, even without any medication or treatment. As long as you have identified the reason for the cracks or soreness, then healing is assured.
When to See a Doctor?
You need to go and see a doctor when cracks and soreness lead to infection and unbearable pain. If you see unnecessary oozing or pus, there might be an underlying cause that did not go away with natural or home remedies. Taking necessary precaution is extremely important to prevent future injuries to your nipples. Prevention is always better than cure, and to avoid cracks and soreness, you have to take note that observing safety measures is already 50% of the work.