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Women's Health Nipple Rash

Nipple Rash

At some point in their lives, most men and women will experience itchy nipples. Being one of the more sensitive parts of your body, nipples can be quite easily irritated. Many factors that can cause the condition, most of which are not cause for concern.

What is a nipple rash?

A nipple rash occurs when your nipples, and the surrounding skin of your chest, start to itch. Occasional itching usually isn’t anything to feel concerned about, especially if you don’t notice any inflamed or peeling skin. Just as other parts of your body might feel itchy from time to time, your nipples can get itchy, too — especially if you have dry skin or a sensitivity to a certain substance or chemical.


Persistent nipple itching, on the other hand, might have a more serious cause, such as eczema, yeast infection of the breast, or mastitis.


Who is affected by nipple rash?


Nipple rash can affect anyone, both men and women at any age.


Where is nipple rash commonly found?

This could occur on the nipple and the aerola (the dark circle of skin around the nipple).


Why does nipple rash occur?


There can be many causes of nipple rash, including but not limited to the following:

  • Chafing or friction due to attire worn

  • Breastfeeding

  • Eczema

  • Yeast

  • Changes to the weather

  • Soap

  • Paget's Disease


Some of these conditions are not a cause for concern, but scratching it may lead to further infection.

Nipple Rash and Itchy Nipples

How is nipple rash treated?

Depending on the root cause of the rash, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and examine the skin around your nipples to determine if it is eczema or if the rash requires further analysis. They will also look for signs of eczema on other parts of your body.

If you’re breastfeeding, tell your provider. People with eczema are more likely to get mastitis, an infection in your milk ducts that causes breast pain (mastalgia), redness and swelling.


Paget’s disease is a type of breast cancer that can have some of the same symptoms as nipple eczema. If your provider suspects these conditions, they may recommend a mammogram or additional tests.


There are a few things that you can do to reduce nipple itch. However, if you have done the following and the itch continues to persist, you should seek help from our doctor.

  • Avoid the substance (such as lotion or soap) that may cause your symptoms. They may also recommend avoiding certain foods if you have a food allergy.

  • Moisturize the skin around your nipple using an unscented cream or lotion. You can also use petroleum jelly to keep the skin moist.

  • Taking medications such as corticosteroids, which reduces inflammation and itchiness. They come in the form of creams that you apply to your skin. You can also take corticosteroids orally (by mouth) or antihistamine medications for severe itching. Your provider may also recommend immunosuppressant drugs to regulate your immune system or antibiotics to treat infection.

  • Trying phototherapy, which uses ultraviolet light waves from special lamps to relieve symptoms of eczema.


When should I see a doctor for nipple rash?


Nipple rash can cause extreme discomfort. In severe cases, the itchy rash and dry skin can make it difficult to move, wear clothing or sleep. If you have a rash on or around the nipples, see your doctor for a proper evaluation or treatment. It’s important to get a checkup, rule out other conditions and get treatment. 

Dr Jesse Hu: Breast Specialist in Singapore

Dr Jesse Hu is a breast specialist and experienced breast surgeon in Singapore. With a commitment to excellence and a focus on patient well-being, Dr Jesse Hu brings her expertise to the field of breast health. Whether you're seeking preventive consultations or surgical solutions, trust in Dr Jesse Hu's expertise for compassionate care that prioritises your needs.

Dr Jesse Hu
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