Have you recently given a thought to how your nipples are? Women usually do not pay much attention to the sensitive parts of their body. Nipples just like any other part of the body also deserve a lot of rest and a bit of love because the way in which they are can tell a lot about one’s health.
Nipples though aren’t the window to one’s soul, are pretty good at indicating certain health condition of a person and alterations in the breasts and hormones. There is nothing to be concerned about if the nipples are droopy, big, small, and hairy or anything else, the time when you should be alarmed if they all of a sudden change, invert, hurt or become really itchy or sore.
So, the next time your nipples do something that is inexplicable, then do not panic and read the symptoms below to get to know the precise reason behind the soreness:
7 Simple Ways to Treat & Prevent Sore Nipples at Home
- Soreness in the areas of the nipples is one of the clearest signs that you might be pregnant. However, in this case it won’t only be the nipples that will get sore but it will be the entire tissue of the breasts.
- The tissue in the breast part of the body is highly sensitive to the hormonal shifts and pregnancy is one of the largest upheavals in the hormonal system of the body. Breasts during the duration of pregnancy tend to get heavier. It is simply because the hormones of pregnancy increase the volume of blood.
- If you changed the food you in take or the medicines or even the detergent that you use to wash your bras, then there might be certain chemicals in it that you might be allergic to in many ways.
- Allergies to the product of any kind can cause the hormones to change which can result in the soreness of the nipples.
3. Breast feeding
- During breast feeding, babies tend to bite the nipples, which causes pain and soreness. The constant sucking of the nipples can also lead to soreness, which can lead to cracks that can be painful and can even become infected and later inflamed.
- When you nurse your child, make sure that you keep your nipples clean and as dry as possible as well as moisturize it with baby lotion or oil in between the feedings.
- It may sound weird at first to consider Ectasia as the reason for nipple soreness but is not that worrisome. Ectasia is pretty common in women over the age of 45, it happens when the milk duct of the breast widens and also gets clogged. It is painful but it is not breast cancer.
- It is likely to go away with antibiotics but it is really obstinate then the locked duct will have to be surgically discarded. This is really common and there is nothing to feel embarrassed about consulting your gynecologist.
5. Hormonal Changes
- Hormonal changes is one of the main reason behind soaring of the nipples. Whenever the body of a woman changes from within due to her age then it is usual to expect little soreness in the breast area.
- Just like the hormonal cycle, breasts too goes through change of cycle which means that till the hormones get to their respective levels, it will be nothing uncommon to feel the tenderness or hardness of the nipples.
6. Breast Cancer
- Breast cancer alone has its own symptoms like the turning of the nipples inwards, breast pain, skin dimpling or irritation and swelling of the entire or half part of the breast.
- If you feel a kind of lump in your underarm area or in your breast then it will be wise to consult at the exact time even if the nipples swell up during the time after your menstruation period then visiting the hospital will be a good idea.
7. Unfitted Bra
- Nipples as mentioned earlier are really sensitive parts of the body, so its soreness might be because of the irritation or due to the condition that is known as “jogger’s nipple”.
- If you buy a bra that is too small or big for you or is of the not the perfect size for your breasts then the nipples are going to react to the uncomfortable feeling that they feel by swelling.
- Even while exercising, you should buy a sports bra, the cloth of which is not too hard or does not get too sweaty for your breasts.
8. Medical Reaction
- There are certain psychological medications that can cause nipple reactions. Several antidepressants have been associated with nipple discharge.
- Even herbal remedies have been witnessed to generate harmless breast discharge in women. Therefore, if you all of a sudden discover a soaked part in the bra, think about the remedies and the medications that you took recently and check the side effects before you buy anything new to consume from the medical stores or from the market.
- Progesterone generation peaks in the week prior to day you get your periods which can result in expansion of milk duct and cause pre-menstrual tenderness of breasts.
- This is commonly known as the cyclic form of pain in breast, which means that it occurs on a regular period.
- In fact, when your periods are regular then you can through breast soreness know when your period will arrive.
10. Dry Skin
- When the skin goes dries in any part of the body then there is a certain way in which it reacts, similarly when the skin of the breasts get dry then the nipples reacts to let you know the problem by soaring.
- Therefore, you must always keep it moisturized with medicated creams and moisturizers so that dry skin cannot lead to soreness of nipples.
How to Treat Sore Nipples
1. Coconut Oil for Sore Nipples
- You can use the natural coconut oil for applying it on your nipples.(1)
- Just pour drops of oil on your hand and massage your nipples thoroughly.
- This will allow your nipples to heal along with keeping it safe from any infection.
2. Cabbage Leaves for Sore Nipples
- Massage the cabbage leaves in between the feeds.(2)
- Raw and green cabbage leaves can be used to compress the soar areas of the nipples.
3. Epsom Salt Bath for Sore Nipples
- Fill the bath tub with warm water and add Epsom salt.
- Relax for 20 minutes in the tub.
- A warm Epsom salt bath will increase the healing process of the sore nipples.
4. Peppermint Gel for Sore Nipples
- Apply organic peppermint gel to the sore nipples after nursing.(3)
- Rinse it off after few minutes with plain water, preferably before the next nursing duration.
- Continue the process for the first month of breastfeeding or till the time the nipples go back to their normal size.
5. Tea Bags for Sore Nipples
- Dip the tea bags in hot water.(4)
- Apply it on the sore nipples after every 2 or 3 minutes for 5 or 10 minutes.
- After the application, wash the nipples with warm water. This will remove the traces of any tannic acid.
6. Vinegar and Water for Sore Nipples
- Mix a tablespoon of white vinegar in a cup of water.(5)
- Lean over the mixed cup and soak the nipples for a minute or two.
- Then stand and pour the mixed solution slowly over the nipples.
- Repeat the task once a day, it will bring immediate relief.
7. Vaseline for Sore Nipples
- Take a little bit of Vaseline and spread it over the nipples.
- Wash the nipples before nursing the baby.
How Long will it Take for Sore Nipples to Heal?
It might feel like the soreness will never go away but that is not true, by following the remedies listed above and with timely application, you will be able to say goodbye to the sore nipples in a matter of days or a month at the most.
Soreness in the nipple areas is a clear indication that it requires attention and time to heal, so do not take the soreness lightly if you truly want to avoid any future breast problems. Follow the stated remedies and you will never have to bear the burden of sore nipples ever again!
- Comparing the Efficacy of Breast Milk and Coconut Oil on Nipple Fissure and Breast Pain Intensity in Primiparous Mothers: A Single-Blind Clinical Trial- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36638195/
- The effectiveness of cabbage leaf application (treatment) on pain and hardness in breast engorgement and its effect on the duration of breastfeeding- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27820535/
- Drug Levels and Effects- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK501851/#:~:text=Summary%20of%20Use%20during%20Lactation&text=Topical%20peppermint%20gel%20and%20solutions,5%5D%20but%20not%20all%20studies.
- Does application of tea bags to sore nipples while breastfeeding provide effective relief?- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9017547/
- Candida Mastitis: A Case Report- https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3048637/
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