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Why Do My Nipples Hurt So Bad

by Lyndon Langley
Why Do My Nipples Hurt So Bad

Why Do My Nipples Hurt So Bad

You’re walking down a dark alleyway when suddenly a man grabs you from behind, puts his hand over your mouth and nose, and says “I’ve got something to say to you.” What do you do? If you’re like most people, you start screaming bloody murder until someone comes running to help. The same concept applies with nipples; we don’t want anything touching them that shouldn’t be there. And it’s not just strangers who should steer clear — even our own bodies may try to invade our space by doing things their way.
We mentioned this before, but let’s recap. We have four breasts, two on each side, and they form in different shapes and sizes. They also develop at different times throughout puberty and adulthood. As such, they have unique characteristics and sensitivities. It’s impossible to know what every individual nipple is going to feel like based on another person’s experience. Our body chemistry changes daily, so one day we might wake up with extremely painful nipples while another day the discomfort could fade away without any intervention. A lot depends on how much activity takes place under the surface, whether or not bacteria exists, and how well-hydrated we are.
The skin covering the nipple has tiny pores through which blood vessels enter and exit the area. When a woman isn’t nursing her baby, these capillaries contract together into larger blood vessels known as lactiferous ducts. This process creates milk-producing lobules within the glands near the skin. Lactation occurs when those ducts fill with milk and push it out through openings called ostia (orifices) located around the edge of the nipple. These ducts then connect to the surrounding tissue and become part of an extensive network of passageways that eventually lead to the mouth.
As long as everything runs smoothly, a healthy adult woman can produce about half a liter of milk per day. With this amount of fluid coming out, it makes sense that we’d want to keep it away from other parts of our body. But sometimes the opposite happens. Skin irritation, tight clothing, yeast infection, and bacterial infections can cause nips to swell and itch. Allergies, dermatitis, rashes, and sores from insect bites can also trigger inflammation. Some medical conditions, including diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and lupus can increase sensitivity. Breastfeeding mothers often suffer from sore nipples because of hormonal fluctuations associated with childbirth and nursing. Even cosmetic procedures such as liposuction can affect the skin underneath.
So why does all this bother us? Why do some nipples get more attention than others? Read on to find out!
Painful Nipple Conditions
While everyone experiences pain occasionally, it’s always important to consult a doctor if you suspect your symptoms could indicate a serious problem. In addition to swelling, redness, itching, and pain, some signs of infection include pus discharge, fever, and abscesses.
Sore nipples happen when the skin becomes irritated due to poor hygiene, trauma, or repeated exposure to sunlight. While sunburn hurts elsewhere, ultraviolet rays can actually damage skin cells underneath the surface. When exposed to UV light, the top layer of skin sheds off faster than normal. Because it doesn’t replenish itself quickly enough, the new skin appears thinner and drier. Dry skin tends to crack and peel, making it susceptible to scratching and picking. Sores that appear after overexposure to sun or wind burn worse because of the lack of protective oils.
Tight clothing causes friction between the skin and fabric fibers. Wearing uncomfortable shoes can further aggravate the situation. Loose-fitting bras can rub against sensitive nipples and create pressure points. Women with large cup sizes usually deal with this issue by wearing turtlenecks or sports bras. Men typically fix this problem by using looser shirts and avoiding hot showers.
If you wear makeup, use harsh cleansers, or regularly expose yourself to strong chemicals, you may need to wash your face twice a day instead of once to avoid dry patches. You should also consider switching to gentle facial products made specifically for sensitive skin.
To treat cracked, peeling, or inflamed skin, apply hydrocortisone cream to reduce redness and inflammation. Look for moisturizers with anti-inflammatory properties to ease soreness and flaking. Use topical ointments to relieve burning sensations. Avoid rubbing or squeezing affected areas, since this can spread bacteria and infect the skin further. Don’t pick at blisters or sores; allow them to heal naturally. Keep nails short to prevent scratching.
Insect bites can leave welts filled with venom. To remove dead insects, pull gently and rinse with warm water. Apply ice packs to reduce swelling and pain. Antihistamines can help manage allergic reactions. Take acetaminophen to control fever. Call your doctor if the rash persists longer than 48 hours.
Once you figure out the underlying cause, take steps to improve hygiene, choose comfortable clothing, and adopt healthier habits. Remember that your breasts aren’t meant to be used as playthings for anyone else, regardless of gender.
Next time you reach for a pair of scissors, think again. See the next page to learn about alternative ways to trim hair.
One type of female hormone, estrogen, increases the size of mammary tissues, allowing them to grow bigger and stronger. Testosterone, however, encourages fat deposits inside the breasts, causing them to enlarge and sag. This condition is referred to as menopause-related atrophy. Eventually, both types of hormones decline and production levels drop. During early menopause, women lose about 40 percent of bone density, but breast tissue loses less mass. After age 65, bone loss accelerates drastically, resulting in osteoporosis. Osteoporosis weakens bones and makes them vulnerable to fractures.
Alternative Hair Removal Methods
Trimming your armpits, legs, and bikini line is a great way to save money on waxing sessions. However, cutting close to the skin can result in ingrown hairs. To minimize risk, trim hair above the skin’s surface, where follicles live. Trim hair below the surface with sharp scissors or single-edge safety razor. Try shaving first to soften hair and deactivate sebum. Shaving strips the epidermis’ natural lubricant away, leaving the skin rough and prone to irritation. Be sure to shave only wet hair. Wash your skin thoroughly and pat it dry before applying antiseptic soap. Choose gentle exfoliating scrubs instead of abrasive ones. Follow up with toner and oil to seal moisture in and lock in hydration.
Although you’ll never be able to completely eliminate the possibility of getting a hickey, you can lower the odds significantly by being cautious. Never put lipstick directly onto a wound. Instead, wipe lipstick on lips with tissue paper, wait five minutes, and blot excess liquid with a clean towel. Make sure to ask your partner to inspect cuts, scrapes, and bumps before putting any kind of dressing on them. Also, refrain from licking or sucking on blisters.
For more information on nipple health and related topics, visit the next page.
Itching is caused by excessive sweating, allergies, and fungal infections. Although many factors contribute to the unpleasant sensation, it’s possible to relieve itching and stop perspiration. Moisturize your hands and feet several times a day with emollients, petroleum jelly, or petroleum-based creams. Rubbing alcohol on the soles of your feet can also work wonders. If you sweat heavily, wear thick cotton socks to bed. Consider treating eczema with moisturizing cream, zinc oxide, or corticosteroids. Stop scratching immediately to avoid spreading the problem further.
More Pain Relief Resources
Stop Masturbating: How to Tell Your Partner About Masturbating
Masturbation: Is There Such Thing As Good Or Bad Touch?
Sex Tips for Couples: Masturbation Techniques That Will Help You Last Longer
How to Get Started Having Sex Again After Pregnancy
Topical Anesthetics
When you go to the dentist office, you probably notice that certain parts of your body receive extra care. One reason why is because these areas tend to react strongly to anesthesia. Anesthetic gels contain benzocaine, lidocaine, tetracaine, procaine, and prilocaine. Each drug works differently, but they all numb the area beneath the surface of the skin. The higher concentrations of anesthetic agents produce more intense results. Most gels consist of 1% to 3% benzocaine. Gels applied to hairy parts of the body require higher doses to achieve deep sedation.
Anesthesia injections come in three forms: local, regional, and general. Local anesthesia numbs specific areas without affecting consciousness. Regional anesthesia covers a wider range of muscles than local anesthesia. General anesthesia requires patients to stay awake and alert. Its effects are similar to taking medication, except that it lasts longer. Doctors administer injections of drugs and steroids intravenously, intramuscularly (through muscle), subcutaneously, and orally.
General anesthesia is commonly used for surgery and dental treatment. Patients undergoing general anesthesia must follow strict rules, such as having their vital signs monitored closely.

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