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Sore nipples are typically accompanied by your breast tenderness, which is seen as a common issue and experienced by most women at the time. And the sensation in this condition feels pretty uncomfortable, but that doesn’t mean that you’re having a severe problem. To stop that discomfort from going too much, it’s time to explore the causes and home remedies for sore nipples.
But to understand what the different causes for sore nipples are, it is important to learn a few things about the hormonal changes that take place within the body.
What are Sore Nipples?
Are you experiencing the breast pain and interested in applying some home remedies for sore nipples? Before finding out those homemade solutions, you need to know about this nipple issue.
As being said, a few mothers might not experience any nipple pain. But according to some studies; they show that most of US women and those who live in other Western countries do have that pain right from the start. This is mainly because your nipples are quite sensitive to any touch, but having sore nipples won’t be pleasant at all.
Sore nipples are a common problem in almost women in breastfeeding period and it is an evitable part of the nursing experience. As some people claimed, not just it feels irritating, but it also makes you wonder whether something gets wrong or not. In other words, if you have healthy nipples, they shouldn’t get hurt at all.
Common symptoms of sore nipples
Most of us, at least once in a lifetime, suffered nipple issues, or the sore nipples I mentioned above. And watching it closely, it looks like a rash, and even an infection when the nipples determine to retreat into the breast.
For those who have sore nipples, they tend to react to the little changes in the environment. How come? In detail, if there’s a change in your shower gel or soap for laundry, then any of these could be the main culprit. Or when the weather turns cold in winter, your nipples will become chapped and feel itchy like the hands. If you encounter this sign, let’s apply some kinds of soothing cream that has the anti-itch features.
When you’re pregnant, then the higher chance that your hormone progesterone is the cause of your sore nipples. The nipples will be swollen, and then feeling a bit tender. This is when your milk-creating cells and ducts begin to develop. At this time, your whole body is just preparing the breasts to feed the newborn.
Your breasts are comprised of lobes, which resemble a bit the number of grapes. And each of those lobes includes your milk ducts and different other lobules. These will help create and store the mother milk. Your milk typically comes along other ducts to every little opening in your nipples.
It’s one of the most common signs that you might have with sore nipples. There’s a change in the color of those nipples, but this is only when you initially grew breasts in puberty. And such an experience might freak you out a bit, but it’s not a bad news for real. Darker nipples are typically associated with the hormonal fluctuation in the body.
As the experts stated, the hormone causing your body’s pigment to darken the nipples is stimulated by some changes in the remaining hormone cycle. They’re called the melanin-focusing hormones. At that moment, your nipples will go darker, when the freckles, moles, and other skin regions that already become darker than other places.
Generally, they accompany with the pregnancy, and that darkening process won’t just happen to your nipples. The hormonal fluctuation probably occurs in different parts of your body.
For women who have problems with sore nipples, symptoms can appear including pain, tenderness, itchiness, and swelling. Sometimes, there can have pus or a white, watery fluid. But you might not know that, apart from those; there are some other common signs that go along with your soreness. But, only occasionally, in some underlying cases, these are supposed to be the more serious symptoms. Here they are:
- Frequent or serious headaches
- Uneven menstrual cycle
- Weight gain or abs bloating
- Hot flashes and serious mood swings
For that reason, it’s highly recommended to look for a professional and medical attention in case that any of these severe symptoms start to show up.
What cause Sore Nipples?
Do not rush to any final conclusion once you saw any soreness in your nipples, especially when you’re still unaware of some possible causes. You need to learn about these causes because the symptoms could be more serious and require the instant medical attention. Below are some of the elements that might lead to your sore nipples:
The main reason for sore nipples is the wrong positioning at your breast and suction damage. It usually occurs from two to five days after giving birth. At this time, the mother can feel tenderness in her nipples because the baby’s early suckling stretches her nipple and areolar tissue far back into his mouth.
Other causes for sore nipples are hormonal changes related to pregnancy or premenstrual syndrome. These levels of hormones (estrogen and progesterone) will get higher during your pregnancy.
The Estrogen might cause the amount of your breast tissue to raise up while the progesterone causes the glands in your breast to get mature. It does that by allowing it to store the water. Thus, it’s normal for pregnant women to suffer the itchiness and soreness of both breasts even in the early stages of pregnancy.
When reaching the menopause, about 15% of the menstrual cycles are anovulatory, which means that while you have the period, no egg is produced by the ovary. As you keep aging, the levels of your estrogen and progesterone in the body will go down, until you pause having the menstrual cycle fully and start to reach the menopause.
But, the levels of progesterone would decline quicker than the estrogen. Though the levels of estrogen in the body are much lower than before, it’s seen as a dominant hormone in your body. This could in return cause your nipple soreness.
If you’re taking some certain medicines daily, doing so is probably the cause of that nipple soreness. Why? Some of them and medical treatments have been said to cause this issue, including the contraceptives and some kinds of antidepressants.
It feels extremely common for your heart issues to cause both pain and discomfort. Any of these are felt straight in the area surrounding your breasts. Besides, you probably have that breast pain along with some levels of soreness in the nipples due to this.
Heaviness in breasts
As you know, women with big breasts usually complain about their soreness in the nipples. And they would love to know some home remedies for sore nipples to get the comfort back. It’s due to the pressure that all extra weight that would place on them.
There’s one thing you rarely know about what might lead to your breast and nipple soreness, and that must be breast cancer. This condition often turns out to be much clearer in the advanced stages.
Using some certain chemical products, from your body wash, soap to the detergent for laundry can be the reason for those sore nipples. Most of them include the great number of chemicals, so they easily irritate your skin around those nipples. As a result, the condition will lead to the higher soreness.
PMS (Post-menstrual Syndrome)
Whenever you or other women have the PMS, then the dominant estrogen will lead to other hormonal imbalances in your body. The amount of progesterone becomes quite low, and won’t be able to balance out the levels of estrogen at all. And this imbalance in your hormones can be one of the main causes for your sore nipples.
Besides, sore nipples are also caused by putting on the false size bra, working out without a suitable sports bra or getting injured on the chest region or excessive dry skin leading to nipple cracks.
Whenever you get a hit to the chest area, this will cause your nipples to sore when touching them. For example, in a vehicle accident, you’re likely to suffer the nipple tenderness when the seat belt suddenly cuts across the breasts right at the point of that impact. It’s also why that seat belt needs to be placed squarely between the breasts to prevent that from taking place.
Whenever those nipple ducts become inflamed or get the infection, then you could tell that it’s the mastitis. Aside from the nipple soreness, you probably notice more other signs, such as the red hue that covers the skin surrounding, potential discharge, and your skin feels too hot to touch. In this case, you’re advised to look for the medical attention.
In fact, it sometimes clears up on its own, but then it also asks you to use some antibiotics for the best result. Thus, we suggest you learn what route you’re going to take from your doctor.
Your best home remedies for sore nipples
Here are the top 15 most effective home remedies for sore nipples that you can apply at home easily in order to get rid of the soreness as well as restore your nipples to the original state…
1. Breast Milk
Once you get sore nipples due to breastfeeding, breast milk will be an excellent option for other home remedies for sore nipples. You’re recommended to avail your own breast milk to get rid of sore nipples. The breast milk can reduce sore, cracks, bleeding or blisters on your nipples and its antibacterial properties can support you in treating sore nipples.
How to use:
- Apply a few drops of breast milk on the sore nipple before and after breastfeeding.
- Let it dry thoroughly.
- Do this many times a day until the condition improves. Read more: Home Remedies For Mosquito Bites.
2. Aloe Vera
To get rid of sore nipples, you can follow these simple steps:
- Extract the gel and apply it on the affected areas and let it dry.
- Wash it off with warm water and pat dry with a soft towel.
Do this many times daily to see the best result.
If you are in breastfeeding period, you should not feed your baby until you have washed off the aloe vera with warm water.
Besides, aloe vera is also used to get rid of stretch marks. You can see more at Home Remedies for Stretch Marks.
3. Basil Leaves
With natural healing properties, basil leaves are considered the best among several home remedies for sore nipples. This home remedy for sore nipples can heal sore nipples and reduce dryness, cracks, pain and even bleeding.
How to use:
- Grind a handful of washed basil leaves into a paste.
- Apply this paste on the nipples and let it dry.
Do this home remedy three or five times a day to see positive results.
However, you should wash off the paste before feeding your baby.
Also, basil leaves are also a useful home remedy for Earaches. You can read more at Home Remedies for Earaches.
4. Warm Compress
Warm compress is another reliable way from my list of the best home remedies for sore nipples, too. It helps you soothe sore nipples, reduce discomfort and contribute to healing.
How to use:
- Dip a compress in lukewarm water.
- Twist it out and then put it on the breasts for a few minutes.
- Do this many times a day to have positive result. However, you should apply this home remedies for sore nipples within 10 minutes at least before your breastfeeding.
In addition, the warm compress is also a good home remedy for hives. You can read more at Home Remedies for Hives.
5. Oil Massage
Out of many home remedies for sore nipples, olive, mint, coconut, or almond oil have moisturizing property. So, they are great home remedies for sore nipples; they can improve dryness and diminish the issues of nipple cracks, tears or even chapping.
To get rid of sore nipples, you should treat sore nipples by massaging with these oils.
How to use:
- Heat up a small quantity of the oil in a microwave until warm.
- Apply it on the nipples and do some gentle massages.
- Do this many times a day. However, you should wash it off with warm water before breastfeeding.
This is an excellent choice to make as compared to other home remedies for sore nipples to receive quick relief from your pain due to sore nipples. Your tender area will be numb and reduce the swelling.
How to use:
- Add a few usable ice cubes to a small towel and place it on the sore nipples for several minutes.
- Do this several times a day to improve the condition.
7. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is a good home remedy for sore nipples because its antiseptic properties can support you in getting rid of sore nipples and minimizing the risk of further instances of sore nipples.
How to use:
- Mix a drop of tea tree oil with one tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil.
- Apply it to the nipple and let it dry.
- Gently rinse with lukewarm water and pat dry before feeding.
Do this several times a day to have the best result.
8. Lavender and Roman Chamomile Oil
A combination of lavender oil and Roman chamomile oil is an amazing way as compared to other home remedies for sore nipples. This is because lavender oil has properties of soothing and promoting healthy skin and Roman chamomile can help promote relaxation.
How to use:
- Mix one drop of lavender oil with one drop of Roman chamomile oil and some organic coconut oil.
- Apply this mixture to the sore nipples for some minutes after breastfeeding.
- Do this several times a day.
Chamomile’s anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties make it a useful home remedy for sore nipples.
How to use:
- Soak one or two chamomile tea bags in hot water for 10 minutes and then remove the tea bags and squeeze out the excess water.
- Apply these tea bags on the sore nipples for 10 minutes.
- Wash it with warm water before breastfeeding.
Do this several times daily.
Calendula is another home remedy for sore nipples. It can get rid of sore nipples by reducing swelling and pain, and also lower the risk of infection due to its antibacterial properties.
How to use:
- Mix some drops of calendula oil with an equal amount of olive oil.
- Apply it to the sore nipples.
- Do this twice or three times daily until seeing the positive result.
11. Vitamin C
A diet with a lot of vitamin C can help you heal damaged skin tissues as well as heal sore nipples.
Therefore, to prevent and get rid of sore nipples, you should add a lot of vitamin C-rich foods to your daily diet, such as orange, papaya, pineapple, vegetables, etc.
12. Earth Mama Nipple Cream
Are you looking for some easy-to-apply home remedies for sore nipples? This cream is a combination of natural olive oil, natural cacao butter, natural shea butter, candelila wax, mango butter and calendula flower extract. With these ingredients, earth mama nipple cream is a useful home remedy for sore nipples.
How to use: apply this cream to the sore nipples for several minutes. Do this several times a day until the condition improves.
13. Breastfeeding Technique
Known as one of the most effective home remedies for sore nipples, breastfeeding technique is trusted to correct positioning of the baby when breastfeeding is very essential.
An exact position should follow this way:
- The baby’s lips lie flat on your breast and turn out, while his chin presses on your breast.
- Place your fingers between his lips to stop the suction before you pull him off the breast.
- Should not pull away when your baby is feeding.
- After breastfeeding, leave your bra off for some minutes.
- You should not wash your nipples with soap, alcohol or petroleum-based products.
- Let your nipples be exposed to air as much as possible.
- During feeding, you should not let your baby’s jaws exert pressure on the least tender spots.
15. Advice if Sore Nipples are not caused by Breastfeeding
- Should not wear a too tight bra.
- Wear a properly fitting sports bra when you exercise.
- If you use breast pads, you should keep them dry and change them often.
In general, above 15 home remedies for sore nipples can help you prevent and get rid of sore nipples. You can combine many home remedies together to have the best result in treating process.
What’s the best diet for sore nipples
Since there will be no diet for your sore nipples, the only way to fix that problem is maintain your healthy diet. It can help boost your general health status and then enable your body to heal from the issue quicker. This may be not the best out of the mentioned-above home remedies for sore nipples, but you should follow it anyway.
If you choose to consult a doctor or your nutritionist for your nipple-related issue, then you’re likely to be asked to raise the intake of Vitamin-C rich foods. Doing so will keep your nipples as healthy as possible.
For fruits, pick out only the citrus fruits because they’re great sources of Vitamin C. Thus, you’re advised to raise the consumption of fresh oranges and juices, kiwis, lemons, papayas, slimes, and more.
How about veggies? Let’s keep your eyes on kale, broccoli, peppers, cauliflower, parsley, or thymes. Last but not least, try to consult your doctor before adding any change to your daily diets.
Having sensitive nipples would be a treat, but the pain is not fun at all. Therefore, I hope that these home remedies for sore nipples would be helpful enough to bring smiles to you again. If that problem is not triggered by any severe medical condition, they’re easily controlled and treated by such simple methods.
However, if it’s the sign of an underlying issue, then it would be essential to have that condition recovered at first. Let’s keep the doctor informed about it, and do not ever make any considerable change to your prescriptions without receiving your healthcare provider’s approval.
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