Nipple Eczema (also known as Breast Eczema) affects the nipples, areola, and/or the surrounding skin. Signs and symptoms include the skin being erythematous (red), scaling, crusted or cracked and may cause the area to become itchy, tender, or painful affecting one or both nipples.
Individuals at risk for nipple eczema include nursing mothers with an increased risk with those with a history of eczema; individuals who have allergic reactions to lotions and/or creams; and individuals who have irritation from friction from clothing during physical activity.
What you can do to reduce the risk of nipple eczema:
- Avoid using any irritating lotions, creams, soaps, and detergents
- Apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly for dry and cracked irritated areas
- Apply over-the-counter 0.5% hydrocortisone as directed to reduce the irritation
Your physician may recommend topical corticosteroids if no signs of infection are present. If there are signs of infection, your physician may prescribe antibiotics for bacterial infections or antifungals for fungal infections.