Are you facing issues with an itchy nipple or nipple discharge or both? Read this article to know what could be the cause behind all these symptoms. These symptoms may appear on one or both the nipples. The itchy nipple is a thing which all of us have faced at some point in life. Sometimes it goes away but, sometimes it becomes a recurring thing. 

Factors that Can Cause An Itchy Nipple

Here are some factors that can cause an itchy nipple. 

1. Dermatitis

Dermatitis is one of the common reasons behind your itchy nipple. Why does dermatitis occur? The factors could involve allergies to fabric, your stress level, dry skin,etc.  This condition may further cause eczema.

With eczema, inflammation of the affected area occurs. Eczema may be induced as a result of reaction with water, rough texture of clothing, cleaning agents used on your clothing, etc. The other symptoms of eczema include redness, cracked, itchy skin and dripping discharge from the affected area in the nipple.

2. Dry Skin

A simple but possible culprit behind your itchy nipple is dry skin. Nipples when too dry can be itchy. So, moisturize them from time to time. 

3. Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the hormone levels are crazy. The breasts increase in size and as a result of stretching of the skin, the nipples may feel itchy. 

4. Breastfeeding

Mothers who are new to the world of breastfeeding may suffer from a breast tissue infection known as Mastitis. This is a complication as a result of a blocked milk duct or bacterial accumulation in the area.

Mastitis can lead to itching along with pain, swelling, and redness of the nipples. In extreme conditions, there may be some pus like discharge from the affected nipple. 

5. Nipple Chafing

If you are gym or workout freak, then friction between your nipples and your clothing may be another reason behind your itchiness. Activities like jogging or running are the culprits behind this condition. The symptoms which occur due to nipple chafing are dry and irritated skin, cracked skin with bloody discharge in severe conditions. Point to be noted, vigorous physical activities lead to nipple chafing. 

Nipple Chafing
Nipple Chafing

What About Discharge from Nipple But Not Pregnant?

Coming to the discharge from nipples, it is highly possible that women of any age may witness this condition. But if you are not pregnant or breastfeeding, discharge from nipples is a scary thing to see. No worries, it may be due to several reasons. 

1. Stimulation of the breast

Regular stimulation of the breasts may induce galactorrhea. As a result of galactorrhea, milk production occurs without being pregnant. The wonders of the human body, indeed!

2. Medications

Frequent use of drugs such as marijuana, opiates, cocaine may trigger lactation without conceiving a child.

3. Breast Cancer

Nipple discharge could be an early sign of breast cancer, but not necessarily. Paget’s disease a type of cancer occurring in the epidermis may cause yellowish bloody discharge from nipple, redness and crusty skin around the nipple. 

One thing is certain that bloody discharge is not a good sign. The nipple discharge may be clear, whitish, yellow, green, etc. Depending on the color of the discharge, some assumptions can be made on what could be wrong. Also, the consistency may vary from watery to thick discharge.  

Breast Cancer
Breast Cancer

The above table shared shows the possible cause according to the color of the discharge from the nipple. However, the color of the discharge cannot solely decide what is the problem going on. 

Is medical consultation necessary? 

In the case of an itchy nipple, if the self-care is not showing any results and the condition is progressing with new symptoms, then it is time to seek medical help. Also, itchy nipples with some discharge is not a good thing. The same goes for nipple discharge. Any form of discharge without being pregnant should be diagnosed by a medical expert immediately. 

Bottom Line

Itchy Nipple
Itchy Nipple

As you can see, there is not one single cause of these conditions. If such conditions arise once and disappear, then there is nothing to worry about. But if these conditions keep on showing every now and then, something is wrong!! The human body is quite resistant and strong. But just like anything else, our bodies have limitations. Once it crosses its limitations, recurring symptoms appear which is a reminder that our bodies need some special attention and care. 

So, if you see any such symptoms of an itchy nipple and discharge with or without squeezing the nipple, visit the doctor so that if anything is wrong, it can be treated immediately. Moreover, it is always good to stay informed and know the reason behind the symptoms.

Take care♥

Also Read: Guide To Breast Pumping