7 Reasons Why do Women have Itchy Nipples During Pregnancy?

Itchy nipples

Some parts of our body are more delicate than others. There are more sensitive areas, and if we do not know the symptoms, it is possible to be alarmed when one of these anatomical regions is irritated, red or infected. The breasts are part of these sensitive areas and especially the nipples which may become irritated at time of pregnancy and breastfeeding. Itchy nipples during pregnancy are due to a variety of reasons which prevents us from giving a concrete answer.

In fact, the causes of itching of the nipples can range from the least severe to the most serious.  We will analyze one by one all possible causes of itching nipples, and of course, we will also explain how to treat them.

Itchy nipples

Are you pregnant and your breasts are itching and causing you discomfort? Do not worry, it’s perfectly normal. During your pregnancy, you should take care of your breasts so that you do not have unbearable itching and, of course, do not end up with sagging breasts afterward.

Possible causes of itchy nipples early pregnancy

During pregnancy, the size of the breasts increases considerably, and they become heavier. Do not neglect your breasts at this critical time. On the contrary, you have to care for them. When you get pregnant, the body experiences an amazing transformation, both inside and on the surface. Breasts which have become larger are probably the most visible physical change from the beginning of pregnancy. They gain volume, become harder, bulky and rounded.

Hormonal hypersecretion and hypertrophy of the mammary gland cause them to swell, and higher estrogen levels make them sensitive. In some women, bluish veins appear, and the areola surrounding the nipple becomes large. On the other hand, there is a discomfort that all women will feel at a given moment of the pregnancy – itchy nipples during pregnancy. Dilation of the blood vessels, liver malfunction, and dry skin can cause this irritating sensation. Often, expectant mothers find that they have to scratch their nipples repeatedly.

Friction with fabric can cause severe itching in the nipples. Irritated breasts may be the consequence of an allergic reaction to a detergent, deodorant or other products that come into direct contact with the skin. Always favor soft, natural soaps for cleaning clothes. This is an essential precaution to take during pregnancy, but also when the baby is born. Such irritations and allergies can be relieved with avocado or macadamia oil.

Possible causes of itchy nipples breastfeeding

You were breastfeeding, and things were going well. But now you have developed itchy nipples that make you suffer. The itching of the nipples can be very irritating and even painful sometimes.

The discomfort may vary from mild to severe and the desire to scratch from occasional to constant. Itching and/or pain can affect one or both of your nipples.

itchy nipples breastfeeding

Many mothers experience itchy nipples during pregnancy during the first few weeks of breastfeeding. Dry skin on and around the nipple can sometimes accompany this damage in the first few weeks. Minor cracks and dryness on the nipple can cause itching. The most common cause of pain and nipple damage in the first few weeks is suboptimal positioning and attachment of the infant’s mouth.

Despite the urge to scratch the nipples, it is crucial to avoid this as it may further damage them, making them more inflamed, swollen and cracked. So what could be itching for your nipples? Here are few reasons for itching nipples during breastfeeding.

  1. Candida Infection

If a nipple infection is present, a symptom may be itching. An infection of the nipple could be bacterial or fungal. If the nipple is damaged and the pus can be seen, a bacterial infection is more likely. In such a situation, the advice of a doctor should be sought, and topical antibacterial ointment is commonly prescribed.

Breastfeeding mothers with nipple pain (and possibly itching) that occur during and after meals may have a fungal infection of the nipples known as Candida or thrush.

The nipples can appear pink and/or shiny, and the areola may appear pink or dry. For treatment of nipple infection, you can use grapefruit seed extract or lily of the valley.

  1. Eczema (atopic dermatitis)

Another probable cause of itchy nipples is eczema. Nipple eczema can sometimes occur in nursing mothers, many of whom have a history of eczema or sensitive skin. An itchy red rash that has a tendency to spread but with a defined edge is often observed. If there is suspicion of nipple eczema, medical advice must be sought, and topical cream may be prescribed. Nipple eczema can be alleviated by maintaining the natural hydration of the skin and by lessening the use of soap and gel bars that can have a drying effect. Also, avoid prolonged contact with water.

  1. Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is caused due to irritation of the skin by the products such as creams, gels, soap, detergents or chemicals. Contact dermatitis can make the nipples and areola red, dry, cracked, itchy and painful. If contact dermatitis is suspected as the cause, medical advice should be sought.

Itchy nipples period or pregnancy

Sometimes the nipples itch and irritate at the time of period. The skin becomes red and peels off, and it is sensitive to touch. It’s embarrassing and sometimes disturbing. So why are your nipples scratching during your period? The answers are many and depend on the causes.

itchy nipples during pregnancy

  1. Hormonal causes

Most of the time, the nipples itch during a period for hormonal reasons. Menstruation, adolescence, menopause, and ingestion of contraceptive pills can cause itching of the nipples.

It is also one of the primary symptoms of pregnancy. This can be explained by the fact that, from the beginning of pregnancy, the nipples are more irrigated by the blood vessels, which can cause swelling, tension and therefore itching.

  1. Allergic reactions

Do you have itching, burning, redness, irritation and sometimes rashes at time of period? This itching can be due to an allergy whose causes are many ranging from reaction to a component of the laundry that you use for your clothes, a soap, a deodorant, a perfume or even a garment made of synthetic fiber. It is necessary to identify the product which causes these reactions to avoid it afterward and to substitute it with another product less aggressive or more natural. If in doubt or if you can’t find the exact cause, go see a doctor or an allergist who will make you do tests. How to heal chafing overnight? 10 Home Remedies

  1. Breast Cysts

Cysts are benign mass, well defined and at times sensitive to touch. It usually appears a few days before menstruation and may disappear with the end of menstruation. It is colostrum that has accumulated in a gland whose canal has become blocked. It is mainly seen in teenagers and premenopausal women who are subject to it. Some have cysts at each menstruation. If the mass does not go away or persists after two menstrual cycles, consult a doctor.

  1. Fibroadenoma

It is a well-defined mass of various sizes. It does not go away and may increase in volume or become more sensitive just before menstruation. It is a mass of flesh, resulting from the stimulation of fibroepithelial cells (fibrous tissues of the breast). The mass is benign and does not turn into cancer. Any new mass must, however, be evaluated by a doctor.

Effective natural solutions

When your breasts itch, do not wait and suffer silently. If your skin is naturally dry, apply organic shea butter daily to your breasts. Indeed, this product is widely recognized for its softening and nourishing properties. It instantly rehydrates the most sensitive and dry skin, without damaging them in any way. Being rich in vitamins A, E, and F, and also in fatty acids, shea butter also helps to fight against the appearance of stretch marks. Avocado oil is a natural remedy with the same properties.

itchy nipples period or pregnancy

The daily application followed by a light massage will allow deep penetration of the product. If you like macadamia oil, know that it is very effective against scars. You can use it as a preventive for itching and also to reducing stretch marks. It is safe for use during pregnancy can be used every day as skin care oil. Always prefer the natural cures, because they are hypoallergenic and do not risk or cause harmful consequences on your baby.


So far, we have only spoken of benign conditions which most certainly represent the vast majority of cases in which there are itchy nipples during pregnancy. However, it should not be forgotten that the answer to the question of why nipples itch maybe more serious such as some forms of breast cancer.

Many varieties of breast cancer cause itching, inflammatory pain and breast growth caused by an accumulation of lymphatic fluid. Inflammatory breast cancer evolves very quickly as shown by its symptoms, and for this reason, it is more than essential to go to the doctor as soon as possible if you feel that your breasts have changed. In order to stop cancer, it must be detected and treated immediately, and a quick visit to the specialist can be vital.


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