Breast eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a condition that causes your skin to become dry, discolored, itchy and bumpy. It may appear in the dark areas around your nipples (areolas), between your breasts, under your breasts, on the sides of your breasts or elsewhere on your chest.
Having itchy and dry nipples can also sometimes be embarrassing as well. So to discuss this problem, HealthShots got in touch with Dr Rinky Kapoor, Consultant Dermatologist, Cosmetic Dermatologist and Dermato-Surgeon, The Esthetic Clinics, who explained all about this condition.
When the nipples are dry or chaffing, you might experience dry and itchy skin and in some cases, there might be pain around the nipple area. The chafing and dryness usually increases during the winter months.
Exposing nipples to the air for as long as possible may also be able to speed up the healing process. Airing out the nipples when not breastfeeding will give them time to heal. It also prevents anything from rubbing against them, causing further irritation.
Having cracked nipples is a common condition while breastfeeding, but it can also happen to just about anyone. Cracked nipples can be dry, red, and sore to the touch. Some simple treatments can help you recover from this common postpartum issue. If the nipples are itchy or oozing discharge, it might be a sign of an infection. Make sure to talk to your health care provider for treatment and to rule out anything serious.
Keep in mind, too, that your breasts typically grow during pregnancy, which means that your skin will stretch. As your skin stretches, you might notice itching, tingling, and burning, particularly in sensitive areas like your nipples and breasts. Your skin may also seem drier, or even flaky.
Your nipples might also itch due to changes in your breast size, which can happen as a natural part of your menstrual cycle. Bras or shirts in your typical size might temporarily become too tight, which can lead to chafing, irritation, and itching.
It is very normal to experience dry nipples even early on during your pregnancy. As the pregnancy hormones settle in, there can be a whole host of changes going on in your body, (some more fun than others!) including dry and sometimes flaky skin on and around the breasts and nipples.
If you are already producing colostrum you could also express a few droplets of this wonderful golden milk and rub that into the nipples. Colostrum has incredible antibacterial and soothing properties and can really help with dry cracked skin. You can leave the breasts to air dry after application. This can also help if you have any issues with cracked nipples when breastfeeding.
Everyone knows that childbirth is no walk in the park. But you might not have expected to have challenges with breastfeeding as well. There are several ways breastfeeding can go awry, and cracked nipples are one of the worst.
If you have cracked nipples, you already know that this is a very uncomfortable, even painful, condition. You want relief so you can get back to comfortably nursing your little one and keeping both of you happy!
Releasing this build-up helps reduce the risk of your breasts becoming engorged (overfull and hard) and developing mastitis. Doing this also helps maintain your milk supply and helps relieve sore and cracked nipples over time.
When it comes to applying soothing and healing products to your sore nipples, the most natural thing to use is your own breast milk! Dab a few drops of breastmilk onto your nipples after feeding your baby, then let them air-dry.
If your bra or clothing rubs and irritates your nipples, try wearing breast shells. These are small plastic or silicone cups that sit on your breasts to keep your clothes from touching your nipples. Using breast shells will provide you with some relief and give your nipples time to heal.
However, if your nipples are bleeding, you should switch to pumping to keep your supply up, and see a doctor. They can help you determine if there are any other underlying issues and create a plan to heal your nipples.
There is no single answer to this question, as it depends on the severity of the crack and how well you take care of your sore nipples. In general, however, most cracks will heal within a few days to a week with proper care.
Cracks in the skin take time to heal. But, if your cracked nipples aren't improving after a few days or your symptoms get worse after home treatments, seek medical advice from your doctor. They can see if you have an infection or any other problem going on.
As I came to find out, Lansinoh has a following the world over, launched by a breastfeeding mother in the '80s who struggled to find relief for her sore nipples from traditional products. There are Reddit threads with hundreds of comments about it (and similar products); on Amazon, the product has 4.7 stars with 3,300 ratings. People use it everywhere from their heels to their elbows to their lips.
Thrush (or 'candida') is an infection that can occur when your nipples become cracked or damaged. Symptoms are usually severe pain in your nipples after breastfeeding (it's described as burning or shooting pains) lasting up to an hour. Your doctor can prescribe treatment for you and your baby.
Mohrbacher and Stock (1997) retract information in the previous edition on keeping the skin dry when sore, cracked or bleeding and add that research into moist wound healing results in wounds healing 50% faster when the internal moisture of the skin is maintained.
There is a move towards using moist wound healing for cracked nipples. At this point it is worth distinguishing between sore (unbroken skin) or cracked (wounded, broken skin) nipples. Many of the text books discuss sore, rather than cracked nipples or include sore and cracked nipples together (see above). This is reflected in the design of many research studies into moist wound healing, so it is perhaps not surprising that results are often inconclusive.
Any study which suggests that using a moisturiser would help women with sore nipples should compare subsequent rates of cracked nipples in each group, as well as levels of pain. There appears to be no such study. It seems probable that the main use of moisturisers (or other forms of skin care) should be when the skin is broken as a result of nipple trauma, especially when prevented from healing by repeated damage. Renfrew, Woolridge, Ross McGill (2000) agree that no controlled studies of adequate size have been published to date.
Correcting positioning is paramount in allowing a damaged nipple to heal and enable pain free, effective breastfeeding. Sore nipples alone are unlikely to need further treatment, no evidence exists to support the use of creams, sprays or ointments to prevent or treat nipple soreness (11). Cracked nipples may benefit from applying a moisturiser such as white soft paraffin (Vaseline®) or purified lanolin. Some women may not like a particular choice of treatment. It may be useful to check whether they have any allergies to creams or cosmetics. Creams can be tested on their inner arm, but bear in mind that healthy skin is often less likely to react than damaged skin.
Results The rate of infection was similar in both groups (2%wsp v 0.9%ac, not sig). Antibiotic creams were associated with infections that were more serious and expensive to treat. No patient in the wsp group developed an allergic reaction but 4 did in the antibiotic group (4). In a study of treatments for infected sore nipples (confirmed by lab culture) better healing was achieved in the group taking antibiotic tablets rather than creams (14). Letter states study was too small to be conclusive (15).
Nipple fissures affect up to 90 percent of breastfeeding moms. They can be incredibly painful, lead to complications like engorgement and mastitis, and cause moms to stop breastfeeding before they're ready. There are many causes of cracked and bleeding nipples, but they're often due to a problem with how your baby latches on. If you're developing a nipple fissure, seek treatment from your doctor or a lactation consultant as soon as possible.
If it gets worse, your nipples may bleed or develop sores or scabbing. If you become reluctant to nurse or pump because of the pain, you may develop engorgement or mastitis, and the condition may affect your milk supply.
The most common cause of nipple fissure in breastfeeding moms is a bad latch. When your baby doesn't get your nipple and areola far enough into their mouth, it can irritate your nipples, causing them to become painful and crack, bleed, or scab.
Cracked or bleeding nipples can lead to infection, and painful breastfeeding is often associated with both early weaning and postpartum depression. Don't hesitate to check with your healthcare practitioner if:
Yes. Your baby may swallow some blood and you may see it come out in their diaper, but it won't do them any harm. If you pump, you may notice that your breast milk has a pink tinge to it. This is due to blood from your cracked nipples, and it won't harm your baby.
Your GP will prescribe your treatment depending on whether they suspect thrush or a bacterial infection. Your treatment might involve oral gel or drops, ointments or antibiotics. Some GPs might prescribe a combination of treatments for your nipples.
Call your provider if you notice unusual changes to skin and nipples. Your provider will talk to you about your medical history and the recent changes you have noticed in your breasts and nipples. Your provider will also do a breast exam and may suggest that you see a dermatologist or breast specialist.
Since nipples are sensitive, it's fairly common to experience itching. If the itchiness is one-off and fleeting, it likely isn't a cause for concern. But if it's persistent and causing you distress, there may be a underlying medical cause like contact dermatitis or, more rare, cancer.
This is a chronic condition, and if you're experiencing it on or near your nipples, chances are you've had it on other body parts, too. Eczema is caused by a variety of elements including immune system functioning, genetics, stress, and environmental factors. 2b1af7f3a8