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Eczema of the breast may effect the nipple, areolae or the surrounding skin of the breast.  It can cause considerable discomfort and pain among the women, especially those nursing mothers during breastfeeding. Treatment approaches are almost similar to other type of eczema, but few precautions should be taken for nursing mothers.

Nipple Eczema is of the moist type. You may experience a burning, itching, and painful especially while breastfeeding. Oozing, crusting, swelling and painful fissuring  is frequently seen in breastfeeding mothers. Some experts agree that approximately 50% of breastfeeding women who developed nipple and areola eczema have previous history of eczema and the other 50% developed it as a contact dermatitis following introduction of solids to the infant’s diet. Usually both nipples are involved, sometime may involve only  one breast and resolves with in a few weeks with proper care. If the Nipple Eczema has persisted for more than 3 months  and especially if  it is unilateral( involving only one breast), you should immediately contact your doctor. Your doctor may perform a biopsy to rule out the possibility of Paget’s disease and other conditions of the breast.

How is Nipple Eczema treated

Low potency steroids are the first line of treatment for nipple eczema. Ointments are preferred over creams as they are well absorbed faster before your next breast feeding period. If the condition is severe your doctor may prescribed potent steroids, potent steroids must never be used more then 10 days. In some severe cases Intralesional corticosteroids are also being prescribed. If the nipple is infected your doctor may prescribe some antibiotics along with steroids ointments.

To apply, first allow your nipple to dry after your breastfeeding, then apply the ointment sparingly over your nipple. You don’t need to  rinse the ointment  off your breast in the next feed if your next breastfeed time  is more then 3 hours or so, as ointments are absorbed good. If you need to rinse before feed,  just gently rinse with water. Don’t use soaps as it may sometime be irritating.

Things you should know
  • Try to find out the possible precipitating allergens or irritants and avoid it completely
  • Avoid shampoos and soaps on the nipples, use normal water and bare hands to wash.
  • Avoid washing frequently, the more you wash the worst it gets.
  • Avoid use of any cosmetic products.
  • Avoid hot showers.
  • Use moisturizing creams on your nipple after bath.
  • Protect the area from friction from clothing, always wear soft cotton bras.
  • Never use warm tea bags on nipples or dry with hairdryer.

If you have any question regarding Nipple Eczema feel free to ask at out Skin Care Advice Forum


  1. Sherrie Berry
    April 1, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    I’ve found a great product for dealing with eczema called nEu-tone,

    “nEu-tone Balancing Healing Serum is an OTC treatment for eczema and has been known to improve eczema dramatically in just 2 days. The ingredients in nEu-tone Balancing Healing Serum are all-natural and have been proven effective for centuries in treating eczema. SkinAgain has taken these ingredients and synergistically formulated them into a serum. This formula is void of all irritants such as parabens, dyes, fragrances, dimethicone, PEG”s, as well as other ingredients known to irritate eczema and sensitive skin.”

  2. Ian Henderson
    April 29, 2010 at 1:26 am

    Eczema is really so itchy and i cant help but scratch it. Corticosteroid is a heaven sent because it can relieve the itchiness and redness. `

  3. Trackback: Nipple eczema treatment « Dermatalk SkinCare Blog
  4. bushra
    March 26, 2011 at 5:38 pm

    im unmarried why imsuffering from this?can u help me?

  5. worried
    October 6, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Hi, I have just been to the doctors as I have a sore weeping left nipple that I have treated over the last few weeks with eczema cream but did not get any better. The doctor wanted to take a swab but it was not weeping at the time, so he prescribed antibiotic cream but mentioned twice Pagetts disease.

    I had this about 15 years ago on the same nipple and eventually was prescribed antibiotics as my nipple had become infected.

    I am now worried as I have looked up pagetts disease, if it went away before do you think that I have nothing to worry about and it will go away again this time?

  6. llll
    May 12, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Excellent post at Dealing With Nipple Eczema | DermaTalk.com. I was checking continuously this blog and I’m impressed! Very helpful info specially the last part 🙂 I care for such info much. I was looking for this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  7. Lesa Ganguli
    June 3, 2012 at 6:58 pm

    Thank you, I have been browsing for info relating to this issue for a long time and this web site is the best I have discovered so far.

  8. Mia Gee
    November 14, 2013 at 1:20 am

    I suffered this condition for years and the steroid creams only managed it, but it didn’t cure it. What finally cured it, was locating the source of the eczema, as the article suggests. Turns out I am allergic to spandex, latex, formaldehyde and unnatural dying agents, all of which can be found in most bras and tees. Once I switched to organic untreated, non-dyed, spandex & latex free 100% cotton bras and tees, my eczema went away … For good! 🙂

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    May 10, 2016 at 12:42 am

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  10. Paige Crump
    October 25, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    i have had this on my left nipple for 4 months now .. been using prescribe strong steroid ointment and it is a little better but still have it. when i stop using the ointment it gets worse again.. PLease help!!! I have had a biopsy and came back fine. should i have another one??

  11. Amanda
    February 8, 2017 at 12:06 am

    My doctor said I had eczema on my left nipple, and I believe I have it on my right one too now. My breasts have been feeling kinda sore, and it’s been like this for the past few months. It flares up every once in a while, and I’m worried about breast cancer. I’m only 17, and am looking for other causes? Hope you can help!

  12. Kelly K
    November 13, 2017 at 4:29 am

    I have been dealing with my nipple eczema for about 3 years now. I hate that it won’t go away!! It’s only my right breast and it is so painful. My father was just dish kissed with breast cancer earlier this year. I described some symptoms that i have been having and he said those were the same symptoms he had been having also. The only problem is i went to two doctors about it, one said not to worry about it and prescribed a cream that made no difference, and the other did not care, and refused to do a mammogram on me seeing as i am on my 27 and my breasts are to dense. I’m so worried about it, But what can I do?

  13. Hazel
    April 9, 2018 at 8:20 pm

    I hv nipple eczema since am 20 years old. It’s been 8 yrs now. I guess what triggers it is the hot showers, stress, sports bras, hot and cold climate, swims in pool. I used a nursing cream, it’s like A petroleum jelly and it calmed the eczema. Still I hv to use it everyday and not miss a day. I used oil also. It has become a routine now. Sometimes it worsen, sometimes it is stable. I rarely used cortisone as it is toxic.

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