What causes sensitive nipples? Causes and treatment

There are many potential causes of sensitive nipples, most of which are benign. however, in rare cases, this symptom may be due to a hard condition that requires treatment. People who have sensitive nipples may experience some or all of the follow symptoms :

  • sore nipples
  • burning or stinging pain
  • skin discoloration on the nipple
  • dry or chapped skin on the nipple
  • soreness of the breast

In this article, we discuss some causes of sensitive nipples.

Friction and chafing

A woman who may have sensitive nipples share on PinterestCredit Image: Markanja/Getty Images Runner ’ sulfur nipple, or jogger ’ sulfur nipple, can cause the nipples to become sensitive. Runner ’ sulfur nipple occurs ascribable to friction and chafing — for exercise, if the nipples rub against ill-fitting clothe, particularly when running or doing other sporting activities. nipple sensitivity that occurs due to friction may lead to early symptoms, such as :

  • sore nipples
  • stinging pain
  • dry or chapped skin


Applying topical ointments or moisturizers may help soothe the clamber and reduce the symptoms. People who know that they are medium to friction can besides try respective methods to prevent their nipples from hurting during use. These include :

  • wearing smooth fabrics
  • wearing suitable clothing that fits correctly
  • wearing a properly fitted sports bra
  • applying anti-chafing balm
  • putting waterproof tape or bandages over the nipples

Allergic reaction

An allergic reaction can cause the nipples to become afflictive or sensible. many family products can cause an allergic reaction or irritate a person ’ south nipples. These products include :

  • laundry detergent
  • soap
  • body lotions and creams
  • perfume and aftershave
  • certain fabrics

other symptoms that can occur if a person is experiencing an allergic chemical reaction admit :

  • flaky skin
  • blisters
  • a burning sensation
  • itchiness
  • a rash


A person can try using an nonprescription ( OTC ) anti-inflammatory cream. If the symptoms do not improve, they should contact a doctor. A person should besides stop using any products that caused the allergic reaction or irritated the nipples.

Hormonal changes

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the changes in hormone levels that occur throughout the menstrual cycle can cause summit pain. Healthcare professionals refer to this as cyclic breast pain. These hormonal fluctuations may besides cause premenstrual syndrome ( PMS ), the symptoms of which include tender, sensitive breasts. According to the Office on Women ’ s Health ( OWH ), more than 90 % of females say that they have experienced some symptoms of PMS. Hormonal birth control and hormone therapy for menopause are other causes of hormone changes that can lead to breast pain and nipple sensitivity. Symptoms of PMS and other menstrual hormone changes include :

  • swollen or tender breasts
  • sensitive nipples
  • headaches and less tolerance for noise and light
  • constipation or diarrhea
  • feeling bloated
  • irritability and mood swings
  • less interest in sex
  • fatigue
  • problems sleeping
  • feelings of sadness and crying spells


The discussion for sensitive nipples due to hormonal changes will depend on the cause. however, some treatment options may include OTC pain relievers, such as ibuprofen and aspirin, and hormonal treatment, such as hormonal parentage control and hormone substitute therapy. A person can try the following to help relieve PMS symptoms :

  • doing regular exercise
  • maintaining a healthful diet
  • trying to sleep for 8 hours a night
  • quitting smoking or avoiding secondhand smoke


The OWH state that the breasts will increase in size and fullness during pregnancy. Toward the end of the pregnancy, hormone changes cause the breasts to get even larger in training for breastfeeding. The nipples may darken and ache during this period, and they might become more sensitive. other symptoms that may occur aboard nipple sensitivity include :

  • the breasts may feel full, heavy, or tender
  • small bumps may appear on the nipples
  • closer to delivery, colostrum may leak from the breasts


According to the OWH, wearing a motherhood brassiere that offers plenty of support can help prevent trouble in the summit and nipples during pregnancy. People can besides place pads in the brassiere to absorb any escape.


According to La Leche League International, breastfeed is a common campaign of sensitive nipples. In many cases, this is due to the baby ’ s latching position.

If a baby latches ill, the nipple may rub against their chewing gum and hard palate, which can result in the nipple becoming sensitive and sensitive. Learn more about the best positions for breastfeeding here .


sensitive nipples and nipple tenderness that occur due to breastfeeding frequently go away once the person breastfeed has found a dependable position, and the baby has latched onto the nipple comfortably. A person can try one of the stick to methods to avoid or minimize sensitivity in the nipples during breastfeed :

  • varying breastfeeding positions to find the most comfortable latch
  • breastfeeding on the least sore side until the nipple sensitivity reduces
  • rubbing some expressed milk or colostrum on the sensitive nipples after breastfeeding


sensitive or afflictive nipples may be a sign of an infection, such as periductal mastitis. An infect nipple can be huffy, and if the topic persists, the person should visit a repair. yeast infections can besides cause nipple sensitivity and pain. In people with these fungal infections, the nipples may besides appear flaky. The main symptoms of an infect nipple are :

  • inflammation
  • sensitivity
  • abscesses
  • discharge from the nipple
  • flaky skin

If the induce is a yeast infection, a person may experience :

  • itching or burning
  • cracked nipples
  • shooting pains in the breast
  • intense nipple pain


Antibiotics can help treat an infect nipple. If the cause is a yeast infection, a person may need to use topical fungicidal medications.

Breast cancer

According to the american Cancer Society ( ACS ), in the United States, summit cancer is the most common cancer among females. Breast cancer cells normally form a painless tumor, which typically feels like a hard lump with irregular edges. however, the hunk can besides be soft and orotund in some cases. Although it is rare, some people may find the tumor attendant to the touch or even atrocious. Most breast lumps are benign, meaning that they are not cancerous. however, it is crucial to see a doctor if any new lumps appear. Although breast pain and nipple sensitivity are not normally symptoms of breast cancer, in some circumstances, they can be related. other symptoms of front cancer include :

  • a lump or mass within the breast
  • a swollen breast
  • skin dimpling
  • dry, flushed, flaking, or thickened nipple or breast skin
  • nipple discharge

It is besides potential for the cancer to spread to the lymph nodes beneath the arm or near the clavicle. A lout or mass in these areas can frequently appear before the collocate in the breast is large enough to be noticeable .


Breast cancer treatments vary depending on the type and stage of the cancer, american samoa well as the long time and general health of the individual. The main treatments for breast cancer are :

  • surgery
  • radiation therapy
  • hormone therapy
  • chemotherapy
  • targeted therapy
  • immunotherapy

Paget’s disease

Paget ’ sulfur disease is a rare type of breast cancer that involves the skin of the nipple and the areola. The ACS note that it normally affects only one front. A person with Paget ’ s disease will often besides have tumors within the same breast. A healthcare professional can perform a biopsy to diagnose Paget ’ south disease. This operation involves removing some of the breast tissue and sending it to a testing ground for interrogation. Signs and symptoms of Paget ’ second disease admit :

  • crusty, scaly, or discolored skin on the nipple and areola
  • blood or yellow fluid coming out of the nipple
  • flat or inverted nipple
  • sensitive nipple
  • burning and itching feeling


A surgeon may remove only the cancerous cells from the front during breast-conserving operating room. however, a person may sometimes require a mastectomy, which is the removal of the entire breast. After the operating room, a person with Paget ’ south disease will receive radiation therapy.


There are many coarse causes of nipple sensitivity. Most of these causes are relatively benign, and a person can treat them cursorily and easily. however, a person should visit a doctor if the topic persists or occurs aboard symptoms of more good health conditions .

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