Wounded nipples are often associated with pregnant or breastfeeding women, although in fact, it can be suffered by anyone, men and women. Nipple wounds are also associated with breast cancer, even though it may be merely an external injuries. Injuries to the nipples are painful and slowly heal because of various factors. The wound is also prone to infection. Hence, proper treatment and wound care are required in order to promote proper healing to a wounded nipple.
What causes nipple wounds?
Nipple wounds may affect both men and women. Some children and even babies may also undergo nipple wounds, which are not only painful but also prone to infection. Nipple wounds are commonly triggered by:
- Physical activities, such as running, which cause scratches between nipples and the surface of the clothing piece.
- Allergies, which can be caused by certain clothing material and other allergens.
- Hot, dry weather.
- Too tight clothing.
- Sexual activities.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding.
How to treat wounded nipple
Nipples are delicate and sensitive and hence, small injuries might be painful and slow to heal. Most of the time, injuries to the nipple are external and not serious. Yet, scratches between the wound site and the clothing—bras, or tight clothes—might worsen it. Accumulated sweating around the wound site also makes the wound more prone to infection. To avoid this, here are some things to consider in treating wounded nipple:
- Clean the wounded nipple with water or saline solution thoroughly. Washing it with gentle soap is also recommended to kill existing bacteria.
- Apply an anti-biotic ointment to help eliminating germs and reduce inflammation which comes with the wound.
- If the wound is caused by allergies, make sure you keep distant with the allergens. Entire body hygiene is also important to minimize the effect of strange external hazards.
- If the wound is accompanied by burning or itching sensation, you can apply cold compresses onto the wound site. This will calm the cells, numb the bacteria, and thus, reduce the itching and burning. However, avoid putting the ice cubes directly to the nipple. Instead, use a cotton cloth as a barrier.
- Put on a bandage to the wound to provide moist environment, which is best for new skin cell formation and faster healing. Bandages or wound dressing will also protect wounded nipple from scratches from bras and other pieces of clothing.
- Wounds located in nipples usually heal fast and as a result, scabs tend to form fast as well. However, scabs might slow down healing process, especially when it is picked or scratched and causes bleeding. To avoid this, do not pick the scabs and avoid scrubbing the nipples when having a shower.
- If the nipple gets over dry, applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly will be helpful. This will moisten the skin around the wound site and reduce the formation of scabs. Hence, it keeps the wound from over-drying and prevent bacteria penetration.
- Wipe the wound off with saline solution if you scratch it accidentally. Do not use hydrogen peroxide as this is not only stingy, but also can possibly damage the delicate skin tissues which are formed during the healing period.
- Wear only loose and breathable clothes when your nipple is wounded. This is important to reduce the pressure caused by clothing. As sweat may also contain bacteria, it is important to inhibit its contact with the nipple. Wearing loose outfit or undergarment will help reducing sweat and scratches onto the wound.
- If the wound is caused by fungal infection, you need to maintain your personal hygiene as perfect as possible. Wipe the nipple off using saline solution, shower using warm water and gentle soap, and change undergarment as often as possible are some effective ways of preserving a good personal hygiene.
- If the wound causes excruciating pain, you should go seeking medical help to make sure it is harmless. If your wound is caused by sharp objects, bites, and other external hazard, take an antibiotic pill to help minimizing caused pain.
- See the doctor if you notice yellowish discharge or strange swelling around the nipple.