What is nipple itch? Itchy nipples cause a lot of discomfort and sometimes it can be embarrassing. The conditions do appear on both men and women especially on their breast and nipple.
Under severe circumstances, some men and women might experience sore itchy breast. One may end up thinking why my boobs are itchy! For women, in most occasions, itchy nipples are experienced during breastfeeding, during pregnancy, PMS or menstrual period.
Here are the possible explanations and solutions for this problem, including an itchy breast.
Why are my nipples itchy – causes?
The common causes of include:
Dry skin around the breast is trigger by eczema condition. This condition is known to affect everyone regardless of your age and it varies between individuals, ranging from skin that is dry, scaly, red and itchy in some people to weeping, crusting and bleeding in others.
Eczema makes the skin to be damaged leading to invasion of bacteria that end up making the eczema condition worse and slower to heal.
This is a condition that occurs mostly to runners especially when they are doing their physical exercise and their nipple chafe against their cloths.
It may results into irritation, soreness, redness of the skin and dryness. If the condition persists the nipples may crack and bleed.
This is a type of breast cancer that rarely happens and in case it occurs, it majorly affects women. It is a disease of the nipple that always starts here and may extend to the areola. It appears as a red, scaly rash on the skin of the nipple and areola.
The area affected with it is marked by being sore and inflamed. It can also be itchy or cause a burning sensation. In case it is ulcerated, there could be appearance of itchy breast rash just like other skin conditions, such as eczema or psoriasis.
This infection result due to yeast-like fungus invasion that causes severe pain and itching of nipple especially for those breastfeeding mothers. Everyone is prone of getting yeast infection but it is more common to people who have weak immune system. Itching is the most common sign and symptom of yeast infection.
Early signs of pregnancy
Itchy nipples and sore breast are among the early signs of a pregnant woman. Pregnancies in women is said to increase the likelihood of experiencing itching breast and nipples due to enlargement of the breast, and skin stretching.
This condition mainly causes inflammation of the breast or udder. The cause of inflammation is bacterial infection via a damaged nipple.
Severe itching is usually a sign or symptom of a person who has inflammatory breast cancer. This type of cancer is characterized by the skin covering the tumor becomes red, inflamed, painful and itchy.
Periods or PMS
Most middle age adult and adolescent girls have reported this kind of pain when they are about to have their menstrual cycle. Premenstrual syndrome is a group of symptoms linked to the menstruation cycle. Having this problem after periods is uncommon and in case you experience it, seeks medication.
Itchy nipples and pregnancy
According to research done by the National Eczema Society, nipple eczema is said to be common among those women who are pregnant and even after giving birth. Women who are breastfeeding find it difficult because this eczema may cause irritation and fissuring of the nipples.
Also, for a newly mother nursing a child could experience tingling, itching, burning and even a “pins and needles” sensation. This a common condition due to hormones, friction, and sucking and wetness sensation.
Here are the common causes of itchy nipples during pregnancy:
- Accumulation of fat in breast
- Tight fitting bras and other clothes
- Scratching the breast
- Too much use of perfumes and skin ointments
- Hormonal changes in prior or during menstruation
- Formation of milk producing cells and milk duct
Dealing with painful nipples while you’re exclusively pumping is really challenging, since you need to keep pumping on a schedule to keep your milk supply up. It is important to know the root cause of itchiness, and nipple pain while pumping.
Here are the common causes:
- Breast shield size or flanges
- Pumping speed
- Pox on breast such as clogged ducts and thrush
- Wearing breast pads
- Chapped nipple
Without or no rash
Itching is a common symptom and it can be caused by a number of different conditions. Also, itching is known as pruritus, and is usually associated with a rash, as with poison ivy.
Women may develop itching skin on, around or under the breast, leading to the development of a rash, flaky skin and irritation. But the following are causes of itchy nipples that do not result to development of rashes.
Allergies and Irritation
These are the most common cause of breasting itching that occur due to exposure to chemicals, such as residue from laundry detergents, can activate the immune system in certain individuals.
This condition is common to those nursing mothers that can lead to a drying and cracking of skin around the nipple, allowing bacteria and viruses to enter into the breast and cause an infection.
Inflammatory breast cancer
Itching breast is usually a sign of breast cancer that is marked by enlarged breasts. The enlarged breast becomes red, swollen and painful, with flaky and itchy skin.
Patients experiencing breast itchiness as well as other symptoms of inflammatory breast cancer must seek immediate medical attention.
With a discharge
Discharge from itchy nipples can create a lot of concerns to women who are not pregnant or breastfeeding.
Bloody or colorless fluid leaking out of either one or both nipples is something that is never common. This form of discharged is said to be abnormal. A number of non- cancerous conditions can cause nipple discharge.
Some of the possible causes of abnormal itchiness and discharge include:
Fibrocystic breast changes
Fibrocystic refers to the instance where there are presences or development of fibrous tissue and cysts. Fibrocystic changes in your breasts may cause lumps or thickenings in your breast tissue. It causes pain and itching. Sometimes, there will be secretion of clear, white, yellow, or green nipple discharge.
It describes the condition in which a woman’s breast secretes milk or a milky nipple discharge even though she is not breastfeeding. Galactorrhoea is not a disease and has many possible causes.
These are non-cancerous growths in the ducts of the breast. They are the most common reason women experience abnormal discharge.
When they become inflamed, intraductal papillomas may result in nipple discharge that contains blood or is sticky in texture.
Mammary duct ectasia
This condition is basically affects those women who are approaching menopause. This condition results in inflammation and possible blockage of ducts located underneath the nipple. When this occurs, an infection may develop those results in thick, greenish nipple discharge.
Nipple discharge that contains pus may indicate an infection in your breast. This condition is known as mastitis that occurs especially to those breastfeeding.
But it can develop in women who are not lactating. If you have an infection or abscess in your breast, you may also notice that your breast is sore, red, or warm to the touch.
Itchy nipples and menopause
Menopause is not a sudden stopping point but it is a gradual process that usually takes between four to eight years. The time leading up to menopause is called perimenopause. This is when your periods become more irregular. Perimenopause usually begins when you’re in your 40s.
Breast soreness related to perimenopause will likely feel different from the soreness you may have felt at other times in your life. Menstrual breast pain usually feels like a dull ache in both breasts. It often occurs right before your period.
Breast pain during perimenopause is more likely to feel like burning or soreness. You may feel it in one breast or both breasts. Not all women experience breast discomfort in the same way. The pain may feel sharp, stabbing, or throbbing.
Relief and home remedies
itchiness creates a lot of discomfort, therefore here are ways on how you can relive yourself from this problem:
A good lotion that has vitamin E is recommended. Vitamin E has been shown to reduce the signs of stretch marks which is great for mothers that don’t want stretch marks, and reduces itching.
Aloe Vera is another important and common ingredient in lotions. Derived from a plant, Aloe Vera is known to reduce itchiness.
By rubbing lotion into your breasts and nipples, you’ll relieve the itching and irritation. It’s recommended that you use lotion in the morning and before bed for best results.
Dab a little on your hands and rub it into your nipples. This jelly should be rubbed into the nipples multiple times per day. It will add even more moisturizer to your skin and ensure that it doesn’t dry out.
It ensures that the breasts and nipples do not get dry. Dryness is a major cause of itchiness and will occur during pregnancy if you don’t moisturize often. Moisturizing before bed and after getting out of the shower in the morning is ideal.