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Why Do My Nipples Feel Sensitive

by Lyndon Langley
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Why Do My Nipples Feel Sensitive

Why Do My Nipples Feel Sensitive

You’re lying on your back with a cold compress over each breast. It’s not comfortable at all. You’ve been nursing your baby for two years now, but it still hurts to pump milk into bottles. Your breasts feel like they’re going to explode. In fact, they do — out come blood-filled blisters that ooze pus. Now what?
Your nipples may be painful, but don’t worry — there isn’t anything particularly wrong with them. They just need some attention. The cause of your discomfort is probably due to poor hygiene or an infection. And while your nipples might seem insensitive, they actually react quickly when irritated.
The skin around your nipples contains nerve endings called Meissner’s corpuscles. These nerves detect changes in temperature, pressure, and texture. When something touches this area, the nerve cells send messages to your brain about how much pressure was present, where the touch occurred, and whether the surface is warm or cool.
A person usually experiences sensations from only one nipple at a time, so when you touch the other side, it feels different. Both sides of your body contain similar nerve endings because everything we experience happens simultaneously throughout our bodies. Even though your left foot doesn’t know that your right hand has started playing the piano, both feet receive information about what’s happening.
Because these receptors are concentrated near the tip of your nipples, they respond best to light contact. If you grab hold of someone’s shirt too tightly while trying to open a jar lid, his or her nipples will begin to tingle immediately. This indicates that you’ve grabbed onto clothing fabric instead of skin. A tight bra strap can also give you a similar sensation.
When you play with your child by rubbing lotion into their skin, you aren’t touching the skin directly. Instead, you’re using a soft cloth to spread lotion across the surface of another object. The same thing goes for your nipples. Although you’re applying lotion to your chest, it’s the substance between your hands (or bras) that provides stimulation.
If you wear a new pair of underwear every day, they’ll likely become stiff after several washings. The fibers rub against the delicate skin, causing irritation. The same principle applies to your nipples. When clothes rub against them, they become irritated. Softer fabrics such as cotton are better suited to nursing bras than harder ones made of synthetic materials.
While most people associate sensitivity with aging, the opposite is true. As babies, our nipples are extremely sensitive. But as adults, we often cover them up with makeup, lip balm, deodorant, and even lipstick. Because of this, many older women find themselves suffering from dry, flaky skin.
Sensitive Nipple FAQs
Is my husband being mean when he pulls down my shirt whenever I’m changing diapers?
Yes. Men are typically unaware of how sensitive nipples can be until they see their partner change a diaper. Some men try to avoid this uncomfortable situation by folding down the top of the diaper before putting it on. Others take extra care to pull down the corners of the diaper rather than pulling straight down.
What causes cracked nipples?
Cracked, peeling, or bleeding nipples occur when your skin becomes inflamed or infected. Dryness, heat, friction, and tight clothing can all contribute to cracked, peeling, or bleeding nipples.
After giving birth, does it matter which way I nurse my baby?
It really depends on what works best for you. There are pros and cons to each method, including comfort, posture, and convenience. You should experiment with the position that gives you the most control over expressing milk, especially in early nursing. However, the general rule is to nurse facing forward so that you can keep your head upright. Also, never latch your baby on the front of your breast!
Can wearing pantyhose affect my sex life?
Pantyhose can create more problems than solutions. Wearing pantyhose restricts circulation, which can lead to varicose veins and hemorrhoids. Pantyhose also squeezes the skin in areas surrounding the crotch, creating unsightly dimples. Finally, pantyhose restrict movement of the legs, preventing exercise and possibly leading to obesity.
If you decide to use pantyhose, consider buying seamless stockings designed for extended wear. Seamless stockings won’t constrict circulation like regular hosiery. They also allow unrestricted leg movement, making it easier to exercise.
Are condoms harmful to my nipples?
Condoms shouldn’t pose any problem for healthy nipples. But if you have a history of broken or damaged skin, ask your doctor first. Using a condom on a cut or a sore could damage the protection.
Does shaving my underarms affect my nipples?
Shaving your armpits can aggravate sensitive nipples. This is because ingrown hairs can easily poke through the epidermis and reach the dermis. Shaving removes the outer layer of skin, increasing the chance of this occurring. Additionally, shaving strips off the protective fatty tissue beneath the skin. With no padding underneath, ingrown hairs can dig deeper, resulting in inflammation and infection.
To protect yourself from razor burn and ingrown hairs, apply moisturizer and shave with clean strokes. Use disposable razors and disposable blades to prevent spreading bacteria. Rinse the blade frequently and store away from heat sources. Don’t wax hair below the armspit; waxing weakens the hair follicles, leaving them vulnerable to injury.
How can I tell if I have chafed or injured nipples?
Chafed or bruised nipples are red and swollen. To treat minor abrasions, soak the affected area in water overnight. Apply a topical antibiotic cream and wait 24 hours to clear up the infection. Then soak the area again and apply a soothing ointment. After a few days, rinse the area thoroughly with soap and water and pat dry carefully.
For severe cases, consult a physician who can prescribe stronger medication.
If none of these remedies helps relieve your symptoms, you should visit your health professional. A small bump or rash could indicate a larger issue.

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