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Why Are My Nipples Sore? 5 Reasons For Sore Nipples

Assist. Prof. Dr. Naheed Rana

2 min read

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In women, sore nipples is a common condition that might occur occasionally. Sometimes it can happen because of wearing a poorly fitting bra, and other times it can be due to a serious health condition. 

If you have nipple soreness, you must visit the healthcare provider. They will evaluate your health and get the necessary testing done. To get an expert opinion, visit a gynecologist.

Nipple soreness is a common problem that affects women of different ages. It can happen due to various reasons. Here in this article, we will take a lookat the common reasons for sore nipples.

Why Are My Nipples Sore?

The most common reason for nipple soreness is friction. It can happen when you wear a poorly fitting bra or a tight shirt. However, that cannot be the only reason. Other causes of nipple soreness can be:

1. Menstrual Periods

Women often feel that their breasts become swollen and tender before their periods arrive. They might also become sensitive to touch. A light touch may feel stiff. It happens because, before periods, your estrogen and progesterone levels get raised. They cause fluid retention in your breasts. However, as soon as the periods come, the breast tenderness will start to go away. 

If your breast sensitivity and tenderness do not improve as the period continues, it can be due to another health condition. 

2. Pregnancy 

A common earliest sign of pregnancy is swollen breasts. It happens because when you get pregnant, the hormone composition changes in your body to support the implantation and growth of the baby. During pregnancy, you will notice various changes in your body, ranging from swollen ankles to swollen breasts.

During pregnancy, your breasts may enlarge to the extent that you might need to change your bra size for some time. The other common symptoms of pregnancy are:

  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Fatigue 
  • Urinating more than often 
  • Missed periods

If you have pregnancy symptoms, you should take the test soon to get a confirmation. Sometimes these symptoms might occur due to any other health condition, and you end up mixing them with pregnancy.

As the pregnancy progresses, the breast soreness might subsidize. But the breasts will continue to increase in size. 

3. Eczema

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, can cause your nipple’s skin to break, flake or crust. It can be accompanied by pain. Eczema is an autoimmune condition that affects your skin, causing its itchiness and painful lesions. It can also happen when your skin gets in contact with something irritating or a harsh fabric. 

To relieve eczema, apply a cream or a lotion to your nipples. It can help subsidize sensitivity. However, sometimes, when you rub your nipples due to itchiness associated with eczema, you may end up turning them into infected nipples. Therefore, for that, you might need to apply antibiotic lube that can help treat the infection. 

4. Breast Cancer

Nipple pain can also be a symptom of breast cancer. Therefore you can not take it lightly. In breast cancer, you can have other symptoms, too, such as:

  • Lump in the breast
  • Discharge from the nipple other than the breast milk
  • Changes in the nipple include turning inwards, scaling, or redness. 

Nipple pain is not an indication of breast cancer every time. However, if you have other symptoms, too, you must get a check-up with your doctor soon. 

5. Breastfeeding

When you breastfeed your child for too long can leave your nipples sore and inflamed. 

How To Relieve Sore Nipples?

To relieve sore nipples, you can follow these tips:

  • Take over the counter pain relievers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen.
  • Apply a moist warm compress to your nipples.
  • Apply an oily cream or ointment over the nipples to prevent cracking. 

The Bottom Line

Nipple soreness can occur due to various reasons. However, you should not take it lightly as it can occur due to some serious underlying health condition. If you have the same complaint, do not delay your visit to the healthcare provider. To get an expert opinion, you can consult a doctor through oladoc.com, Pakistan’s biggest and most trusted doctor booking platform.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Assist. Prof. Dr. Naheed Rana
Assist. Prof. Dr. Naheed Rana - Author Assistant Professor Dr. Naheed Rana is one of the most experienced and accomplished professionals in the field of Gynaecology. She is often regarded as one of the best gynaecologists in Lahore, Pakistan.
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