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Home Remedies for Cracked Nipples

From the hungry infant to scratchy undergarments, the nipples can take a beating that leads to the development of painful cracks. Women are not the only ones to suffer the aftermath. For instance, male athletes (such as cross country runners) can experience the same irritation. To minimize the discomfort and encourage healing, perhaps you’d like to get acquainted with home remedies for cracked nipples.

Nursing mothers are the prime sufferers of cracked nipples because of the wear and tear that comes with an infant hungrily latching on. One of the main reasons a mother will experience cracked or bleeding nipples is an improper latch, which is also accompanied by severe pain. Since feeding an infant is a daily task, healing is sometimes hindered. Using breast pumps is another way that nipples can become damaged [1]. For instance, some women mistakenly turn the suction level up too high or the pump is outfitted with breast shields that are too small.

Another cause of cracked nipples in women includes babies with thrush (yeast infection in the mouth). The infection can be passed on to mothers during breastfeeding and can cause pain and damage. Breastfeeding mothers should look for signs of itchiness, redness, cracks, and shooting pains in the breast during or after a feeding. Bras and undergarments made with abrasive materials that irritate the skin can cause cracked nipples.

Cracked nipples not only affect women, but men can also suffer. Severe dry skin conditions, such as eczema, can cause damage such as scaly, itchy, red patches of skin. Men with a breast cancer called Paget’s disease can experience a rash or irritation of the nipple. There is also a condition called ‘jogger’s nipple’ that strikes runners – especially long-distance runners. Since the nipple tissue is quite sensitive, friction can cause irritation accompanied by soreness and dryness.

One of the most common culprits behind cracked nipples is breastfeeding, but nursing shouldn’t have to become a painful nightmare. As soon as you start to feel discomfort, keep an eye out on the appearance of your nipples. If the damage continues, you may need to consider one of the following home remedies for cracked nipples below:

Apply a cold pack to your nipples before nursing to enjoy temporary numbness that makes feeding your child less painful. The cold will dull the pain, which comes in especially helpful during the initial latch, which tends to produce the most discomfort.

When cleaning your nipples, use a gentle approach. Rinse well with water to reduce the risk of infection in cracked nipples. Do not use alcohol, lotions, or perfumes on the nipples or you run the risk of further irritation.

Following childbirth, a liquid called colostrums emerges from the nipples. This substance acts as a natural lubricant that is removed when you use soaps that can also cause dryness and cracks. This is why you should opt for plain water when cleaning the nipples.

Some people have rubbed coconut oil on cracked nipples to encourage effective healing.

A warm, wet washcloth can provide pain relief to cracked nipples before and after nursing.

Before allowing a baby to latch up, apply ice cubes to cracked nipples. This will help to decrease the pain that occurs while nursing.

To enjoy soothing relief from cracked nipples, some women have applied warm, wet tea bags for a brief period of time after nursing.

Containing vitamin E, breast milk can actually help a mother heal cracked skin. After feeding the little one, pat dry your nipples, and then express a bit of breast milk. Rub in the liquid. Do not follow this home remedy for cracked nipples if you have thrust or you run the risk of spreading a yeast infection. Also, do not use the oil from a vitamin E capsule on your breasts as this is toxic for your baby.

Having an aloe vera plant in the home can certainly come in handy. Break or cut open one of the leaves to extract fresh gel that helps speed up the healing process of sore, cracked nipples.

Coating affected nipples with petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) can help heal cracked skin. Runners can also apply the petroleum jelly as a lubricant before going out for a run to lessen the effects of chafing.

Olive oil helps cracked nipples to heal naturally. Using your bare hand, apply the oil to your nipples two to three times per day over the course of a couple days.

If you’re looking to prevent cracks in your nipples during a pregnancy, create a healing blend made out of pure lemon juice and olive oil. Rub the remedy on your nipples throughout your trimesters.  

A mixture of honey and olive oil can soften and moisturized damaged nipples.

When cleaning your irritated nipples, keep in mind that using soap can lead to further cracking.

Male joggers prone to cracked nipples should consider taking off their shirt to prevent irritating the skin. Anyone else should choose their clothing carefully. Opting for items made out of silk and Lycra will reduce damage to the nipples. Choose loose-fitting shirts for the best results. Women should wear a sports bra that properly fits and reduced movement of the breast.

Protect a healing nipple by using a piece of surgical tape to cover a small amount of cotton over the damage.

When running or participating in sports with cracked nipples, use a Band-Aid as protection during any activity.

Soothing ointments, such as diaper rash cream, have been known to ease the pain of irritated skin.


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