7 Reasons Your Nipples Itch

why do nipples itch

If it has happened to you, ever wondered why do nipples itch? One of the most common issues faced by both women and men (yes! it’s not just a ladies’ problem) – Itchy Nipples. Even though it’s not a health hazard, the dry cracked, itchy areola can leave you uncomfortable.

If you’re figuring out how to fix this issue then,

fret not my friend, help has arrived!

Let’s dive into the reasons to know what is causing rawness/itchiness in your areolas.

The simplest explanation is that your skin is sensitive.

What does it mean when your nipples itch?

It could simply be sensitive skin or the ones to follow:

1. Friction

Friction in my breasts? What do you mean?

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What it means is, there is friction that is caused when your nipple rubs against a surface despite wearing a loose garment. Constant rubbing will irritate the nipple, causing nipple fissures also known as Runner’s Nipple and Jogger’s Nipple. Commonly affected people under this category are long-distance runners, joggers, surfers, bodyboarders.

An ill-fitting sports bra or certain fabrics/fibres are the culprits here.

How to Bring Relief?

Wear fibres/materials that are breathable;

Apply anti-chafing balm or Petroleum jelly before exercise;

2. Undergarments that are too tight

Silicon, elastic or a dye present in your undergarment can cause nipple fissures. Further connected with friction, if your lingerie is too tight then you have high chance of a scratch away to skin damage.

How to Bring Relief?

Buy well-fitted lingerie. It’s always worth the effort and money.

3. Eczema also known as “Atopic Dermatitis”

It is a skin condition which causes dryness, rash and itchiness in the skin. Dryness caused by Eczema can also be the reason why you have an urgent need to scratch your breasts. If not treated on time, it could also result in further infection or skin damage.

Did you know?


According to the National Eczema Association, atopic dermatitis is the most common form of Eczema and affects more than 18 million people in the United States alone.

How to Bring Relief?

– Take warm showers;
– Keep the area clean and dry;
– Moisturize well;

4. Pregnancy

Most beautiful yet the most turbulent time of a woman’s life. You cannot prepare yourself enough for it, it will still knock you out despite it. As nature prepares women for childbirth, the release of hormones make the breasts grow big. This causes the skin to stretch hence causing itchiness and cracked nipple.

How to Bring Relief?

– Apply coconut oil or any chemical-free lotion (for eg: Cocoa Butter);

– Invest in a good (but not too tight) maternity Bra;

5. Breastfeeding

Arrival of the child! Breastfeeding begins. And sometimes, plugged milk glands cause either itchiness or Mastitis. Lactating mothers usually get it in the first 6 months of breastfeeding. In Mastitis, bacteria enters the breast through the nipple. This can happen when a nursing mother has cracked or sore nipples.

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Mastitis usually starts as a painful area in one breast. It may be red or warm to the touch, or both. You may also have fever, chills, and body aches.

Did you know?

There are eight different types of Nipples.

How to Bring Relief?

– Seek the help of a doctor for treatment or relief of Mastitis. Most likely, Antibiotics will be required. These Antibiotics are totally safe for the baby;

– Consult a Lactation expert for painless breastfeeding and prevention (actually, a good idea to go to one, as soon as you start to breastfeed);

6. Paget’s Disease

This is a type of cancer which starts off looking like Eczema. Paget’s Disease of the nipple is a rare form of breast cancer in which cancer cells collect in or around the nipple.

Cancer usually affects the ducts of the nipple first (small milk-carrying tubes), then spreads to the nipple surface and the areola (the dark circle of skin around the nipple). The nipple and areola often become scaly, red, itchy, and irritated. If irritation persists for more than a month then consult a medical professional.

Advance stages of Paget’s Disease, causes breasts to ooze blood or a brown colour discharge.

How to Bring Relief?

– Apart from taking medication. Gently rub an ice cube over the nipple to provide relief to the soreness;

– You can also apply a mild moisturizer;

7. Menopause

Battling Estrogen levels to a new low – this climactic phase of a woman’s and a man’s ( yes they do too – just differently) life brings another gift named “Menopause”. In this phase, as your body is making less oil, what that does to the nipple is, dries it out and keeps it up to scratch.

How to Bring Relief?

Use mild/natural cleansers, keep your breasts moisturized.

Whatever may the reason be. There are some simple easy ways you can take care of your breasts and itching around nipples. 

Being Healthy is not a Fad or Trend. Instead, it’s a lifestyle

– Anonymous

After this post, I’m sure you have found answers to questions like “why do nipples itch?” or “why are my nipples itching like crazy?” or “what does it mean when your nipples itch?” Next time your nipples itch, you at least know why!

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Loves to write about health subjects and currently taking care of health niche as a moderator. If you have any topic in mind, share it in comments and we will make sure it is published soon after a review.


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