The skin around your nipples tends to be more sensitive than the skin of your other body parts. They can get irritated from various triggers, including poorly-fitted bras and dry weather. Experts stated that itchy nipples, including their surrounding area, are a fairly common problem for women.
Hence the reason why “why are my nipples itching like crazy” is a question you would often see across the internet. Fortunately, itchy nipples are typically harmless and rarely a sign of severe health conditions. Most of the time, you can easily treat itchy nipples at home once you identify the triggers causing them. Here are seven possible reasons why your nipples are itchy and how to treat them.
The weather is dry
Nipples are prone to dryness, especially during dry, cold climates. The dry weather deprives the skin of essential oils, hamper the outer skin layer, and lead to dehydration and inflammation. If dryness is the cause of itchy nipples, then your nipples may look chafed or raw.
If you are experiencing flaky or dry skin, then try applying moisturizer that helps repair your skin. Also, keep showers and baths under ten minutes. Use lukewarm water when showering as hot water may wash away essential oils and make your skin drier. Afterwards, gently pat your nipples with a towel until they are almost dry, then apply moisturizer. A humidifier can also help add moisture to your immediate environment.
You are currently using fragrant or harsh soaps and detergents
Scented soaps and detergents used to keep your clothes fresh may cause your nipples to be itchy, especially if the chemicals inside such soap and detergents are much too rough for your skin. They may also cause contact dermatitis, an itchy rash that develops when your skin comes into contact with a certain allergen or compound.
Try substituting your soaps and cleanser for an unscented, hypoallergenic, and dye-free products to see if this helps to reduce your itchiness.
Chafed fabric or undergarment
Shirt and bras may also contribute to itchy nipples. Some fabric fibres can produce friction and may physically irritate your nipples and the skin surrounding them, resulting in discomfort and itchy nipples. Typically, chafing happens when your undergarments or shirts are made of wool and synthetic fabrics, perhaps due to their bigger fibre size.
Opting for fine wool fibres can help reduce irritation. Try inspecting the softness or prickliness of the fabric before purchasing them.
You have eczema
Atopic dermatitis or eczema is a type of genetic skin disorder that usually becomes worse upon environmental exposure. Eczema rashes appear like red patches or raised bumps on the skin, and may appear on your nipples.
Some changes could take place to avoid these rashes, including avoiding harsh cleansers or soaps and regularly moisturizing the skin. If you notice any tenderness or oozing, you should see a doctor promptly since these may be a sign of infection.
You are pregnant
Apart from having tender and sore breasts, women who are expecting may also expect some itching around their nipples. This symptom is a part of the normal physiological changes that happen during pregnancy.
Doctors recommend handling this symptom by making sure the skin is often moisturized with topical lotions. Be sure to opt for unscented lotions to prevent further irritation.
You have Paget’s disease of the breast
Paget disease of the breast is a rare kind of cancer involving the nipple’s skin, typically, the darker circle of skin surrounding it, which is referred to as the areola. Nevertheless, nipples itchiness due to this condition is rather unlikely.
If you have a concern, schedule an appointment with your doctor for a dermatology cancer screening.
You are heading towards menopause
Menopause is a normal part of a woman’s ageing process, which signifies the end of her reproductive stage. Most women become menopausal around the age of 45 to 55 years old. If you are heading into this stage of life, you may have drier, thinner, and easily irritated skin. These are because of hormonal changes, such as a decrease in estrogen production.
One way to prevent itchy nipples due to menopause is to utilise topical estrogen treatments. Also, you can seek consultation from your doctor for hormone prescriptions.
When should you see a gynaecologist?
You should see a gynecologist if you have other disturbing symptoms or your symptoms of itchy nipples have worsened over time despite the home remedies you applied. So, if you notice severe nipple tenderness, experiencing tingling or burning sensation, or have flaking, painful, crusted, creaked or ulcerative nipples, it is better to consult with your doctor.