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Soreness of the nipples: when is the norm, and when is the pathology?
Soreness of the nipples: when is the norm, and when is the pathology?

Often pregnant and lactating women complain of nipple soreness. This is not surprising, because this unpleasant condition can occur already several days after the moment of conception of the child. It indicates the beginning of hormonal changes in the body. This significantly increases the production of the hormone prolactin, which enlarges the breast and prepares the milk ducts. And since the tissues of the nipples grow faster than the nerves, unpleasant sensations arise.

Soreness of the nipples and breasts during pregnancy is not considered as something pathological, but you still need to inform the observing gynecologist about it.

  1. Itching or burning may also occur. There is no need to resort to the use of medications. When the body adapts, the symptoms will go away on their own.
  2. The soreness of the nipples that occurs during feeding is due to the fact that the breast is exposed to mechanical stress. Although the aforementioned prolactin prepares the breast for the upcoming feeding of the child, and its skin coarsens a little, this still does not prevent the appearance of microtraumas, which, in turn, provoke the appearance of unpleasant sensations.
  3. Sometimes the pain occurs directly at the time of feeding the baby. In the overwhelming majority of cases, this is due to a congenital malocclusion in a child. Anatomical features do not allow him to correctly position his mouth while eating. When feeding, a woman should hold the baby's head and make sure that it captures not only the nipple, but also the halo.
  4. Discomfort can also occur due to the so-called milk bubble. The latter is formed when the external opening of the milk duct is blocked. A regular puncture will help get rid of the defect, but you cannot perform it yourself, you need to consult a doctor.
  5. Cracks, which often bleed, swell and redden, are another cause. To cope with an unpleasant situation will help not only pharmacy, but also improvised means: panthenol, natural and vitamin oils (olive, sea buckthorn, tocopherol), milk, etc.
  6. The injured area must be periodically treated with a drug and carefully monitored so that an infection does not get there. Otherwise, a serious disease may occur - mastitis - inflammation of the mammary glands.

The influence of external stimuli on the chest

If a woman is not pregnant and is not a nursing mother, she should first of all pay attention to factors that act from outside:

  • Bra. If the product is of poor quality, sewn or picked up incorrectly, squeezes strongly or the seam passes through the sensitive area, then most likely the cause of the discomfort lies in it;
  • Chemical reagents. Irritants can be fabric dyes, shower products, soaps, washing powders, cosmetics. If a woman has very sensitive skin, then the listed substances can severely injure the delicate areas of the body.

Getting rid of discomfort in such a situation is quite simple. First, you need to be more careful when choosing your underwear. Secondly, use proven cosmetics that do not contain harmful impurities and irritants. You can use special bra pads and creams to help wounds heal as quickly as possible.

Internal causes of nipple soreness

  1. For most women, the breasts become tender before and after menstruation. At the same time, she may ache a little. In this case, doctors talk about premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and associate such phenomena with hormonal changes.
  2. The unpleasant sensations that occur after menstruation may indicate either low sexual activity, or the presence of fibrocystic mastopathy - a serious disease that is accompanied by pain in the chest and axillary lymph nodes, lumps in the mammary glands and transparent secretions from them.
  3. A similar symptom is also characterized by a skin infection that has greatly spread throughout the body. This can be observed with psoriasis, herpes, eczema, candidiasis, impetigo. This symptom, caused by skin diseases, does not stop, since the course of treatment is directed to the root cause of the pathology, and when it disappears, the discomfort will disappear by itself.
  4. Nerve damage can also be the culprit, for example, during an impact, after an operation or an accident. The pain in this case has a stabbing and sharp character, it is observed only in the place that has undergone mechanical stress.
  5. Unpleasant sensations can arise due to muscle pathologies, for example, if a woman has the wrong posture, she wears an uncomfortable bra, sits in the wrong posture. Such situations and conditions sometimes provoke shooting pains in the nipples and chest in general. Similar symptoms occur with fibromyalgia, a complex disorder of the body.
  6. The most dangerous pathology that is included in its symptomatology of nipple pain is Paget's disease, a type of cancer. In the early stages, the ailment can be similar to eczema: the nipple and its halo swell, turn red, and begin to peel off.

It is worth noting that these symptoms appear very slightly and pass quickly. However, after a while they make themselves felt, but in a more severe form, then severe pains, burning and even bleeding from the nipples begin. The diagnosis is confirmed by biopsy.

Sore nipples in men

Unpleasant sensations disturb not only women, but also the stronger sex.

This symptom is characterized by a fairly large number of pathological conditions:

  • Adolescence. Discomfort occurs, as a rule, only when touched and is associated with hormonal changes in the body;
  • Injury, such as cuts, bruises
  • Infection. In this case, purulent inflammation develops in the affected area. Symptoms resemble mastitis in women;
  • Gynecomastia is an endocrine pathology that provokes breast enlargement. She becomes like a woman's. There is soreness in the nipples. Gynecomastia can be true or false. In the first case, the formation of full-fledged mammary glands occurs, in the second, simply the growth of adipose tissues. Discomfort in the nipples accompanies both cases. An endocrinologist can diagnose the disease and prescribe treatment;
  • Diabetes. The disease is also associated with endocrine disorders, therefore, discomfort in the chest area is disturbing;
  • Pathologies of the pituitary gland, adrenal glands, testicles. These glands are responsible for the production of male sex hormones. If for any reason they cease to function normally, the level of female sex hormones - estrogens - begins to rise in the body;
  • Breast cancer in men. This is a fairly rare occurrence, but, like women, it is characterized by pain and discharge from the nipples;
  • The phenomenon of rollback after the end of the course of taking anabolic steroids. The latter, as a rule, are analogs of testosterone, but entering the bloodstream can turn into estrogens. Anabolic steroids inhibit the body's production of its own. Many bodybuilders and athletes suffer from gynecomastia. Their nipples hurt and their testicles are shrinking.

As you can see, discomfort in the chest area can be triggered by both internal and external factors. A woman should first of all pay attention to underwear and hygiene products.

During pregnancy and lactation, this phenomenon is also very common, but it is worth checking with a doctor for pathology. Nipple pain in adolescent boys can be triggered by the usual hormonal changes characteristic of this period. However, both a teenager and an adult man must be examined by a specialist.

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