If you’ve got an itch you just can’t seem to scratch, you are not alone. Although most feminine itch focuses on the wonderful world of yeast infections (I’m not sorry, because it’s true), sometimes you might find that a whole other world of itchiness that awaits. If you’ve ever found yourself screaming into the sky, or the Google, “WHY ARE MY NIPPLES SO ITCHY?” you are not alone. Those fuckers can itch to high heavens.
If you’ve experienced it, you’ll know what I mean — the question is what can you do about it. But here’s the thing, first you have to diagnose the problem — and there are about 10,000 different reasons you might find that your nipples are itchy. Seriously, from the most innocent and weird reasons to the more serious ones, our nips are a very sensitive area. They tend to act up from time to time. If you have finicky nipples — either as a chronic problem or occasionally — getting to the root of the issue will let you know what to do next. Also, finicky nipples would be a great band name. Just saying.
So here are the reasons your nipples might be itchy (and yes, sometimes you do just need to wash your damn bra).
1. You have an allergy
This is one of the easiest fixes — sometimes, you might find an allergy sets your nips a-itching. It might be the fabric in your bra or shirt, a new laundry detergent, even soap or shampoo that you’re using. If you don’t normally have problems with itchiness and you’ve switched products recently, that might be the culprit.
2. You’re pregnant or breastfeeding
Ah, the joys of motherhood — pregnancy and breastfeeding can both do some pretty obvious damage to your nipples. When your breasts get bigger, the stretching skin can itch — and breastfeeding can cause all kinds of problems. Usually it’s just irritation, but if you think you might have mastitis — an infection — you should talk to your doctor. Pain in your breasts, discharge, or flu-like symptoms are a sign you should give them a call.
3. You have a skin condition
Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis are often associated with arms and legs, but they both cause itchy nipples if they spread to your breasts or chest area. And, in rare cases, thrush can occur on your nipples and breasts as well — and it itches like hell.
If you have any treatments that you currently use, make sure they’re OK to use on more sensitive areas like nipples — and when in doubt, always talk to a professional.
4. It’s just dry skin
Sometimes, it’s just dry skin. Even if you haven’t struggled with dry skin before, it can attack at any time — especially when you’re dealing with cold weather. If this is the case, a simple moisturizer should you sort out.
5. You’re undergoing radiation or have a form of breast cancer
If you’re undergoing radiation, that can make your nipples itchy — as can rare breast diseases and cancers. If you’re undergoing radiation, then talk to your doctor or radiotherapists for advice, but keeping the area moisturized is key.
It’s also important to know the signs of Paget’s Disease, a rare form of breast cancer. Paget’s Disease can look a lot like eczema, but also often comes with discharge, a flattened nipple, a lump, or changes to the skin’s appearance. If you notice any of these symptoms, talk to a doctor immediately.
6. You need to wash your damn bra
Sometimes, it’s on you. Who’s been guilty of wearing their bra for a few days/weeks/months without a wash? Too many of us. For some reason, it’s really easy to not think of bras like real articles of clothing — but if they’ve gone a little grizzly, that can affect your skin.
Also — make sure that your undergarments fit properly because too much friction can lead to… you guessed it, itchy nips.
7. You’re on your period
Yup — your period can increase all sorts of breast senstivity. For a lot of people, that means that their boobs feel a little more tender or even painful during their periods (I have yelped in the shower more than once). But yes, itchy nipples can be another side effect of having your period. Because periods just insist on being the gifts that keep on giving.
8. You have a thyroid condition
If you have a thyroid condition, namely hypothyroidism, you may suffer from dry skin — and therefore, itchy nipples. Luckily, it’s another case where some moisturizer should make a big difference, but your doctor can always advise you on the best way forward.
9. New medications
Some medications have also been linked to dry skin and itchy nipples, so make sure to check the side-effects list if you’ve started taking something new.
Dealing with itchy nips definitely isn’t fun — but the good news is that, normally, a little pampering and some lotion can make a huge difference. If you have other symptoms, like a change in your skin’s texture, flu, discharge, or lumps, you should always check with your doctor. But, more often than not, there’s just some irritation or dryness at play — so make sure your nips are getting the TLC they deserve.
Originally posted on Bellesa Collective