Why Do I Have Dry Nipples During Early Pregnancy?

Do you experience dry nipples during early pregnancy? You’re not alone.

Most women during their first-trimester report having experienced dry nipples accompanied by some itching and sensitivity.

But what’s the real deal behind this occurrence? Is it normal or are you having some kind of odd symptom that’s a cause of alarm?

Let’s shed some light into this problem that a number of expecting moms go through and what can be done about it.


Possible Causes of Dry Nipples During Early Pregnancy

If you experience your nipples are a little itchy, dry, and sensitive overall, it is mainly due to hormonal changes taking place in your body. You may also feel that your breasts are a little larger than usual, along with a slight heaviness.

The nipples may become a little sore and itchy because of an increase in blood flow. Just like when you are having PMS where there is a surge in hormones in your body, a sensitivity of your nipples during pregnancy is due to the same culprit.

During the first trimester, your body is still adjusting to the changes it is going through. This is why an influx in hormones and blood flow occurs, followed by concerns with the breast.

Other Potential Reasons Behind Dryness of Nipples 

There are other common reasons why your nipples may become dry during pregnancy. One of these is what we call areola dermatitis. 

1. Areola or Nipple Dermatitis

These may either be allergic dermatitis or eczema. Nursing moms aside from pregnant women may suffer from eczema. But the chances are higher among those who had atopic dermatitis in the past.

Eczema is a type of skin condition affecting various parts of the body the comes into contact with an allergen. It may also affect the breast specifically the nipples as a result of things that trigger this condition. For instance, harsh clothing, detergents and soaps that irritate your skin may lead to eczema in some pregnant women.

There are also others who experience eczema from using perfumes, chamomile ointment, and products containing non-purified lanolin. 

Symptoms linked with nipple eczema include pimples in the affected area, scaling or crusting skin, lesions that leak fluid, pain, burning, and itching.

2. Yeast

A fungal infection that affects the breast may also cause dry of nipples during early pregnancy. Candida albicans, a type of fungus, can infect the breast, causing thrush or yeast infection. 

It is also possible for the thrush to occur from unknown causes. In nursing women, thrush can cause damages and pain to the nipples.

Nipple yeast comes with a few symptoms including a deep shooting pain in the nipple, a burning sensation in the breasts, nipple stinging, dry areola, pink or reddish nipples, a white rash, cracked nipples that heal slowly.

If you are breastfeeding, your baby is at risk of developing thrush if you have this skin condition. Symptoms linked with thrush among infants include a tongue rash, red diaper rash, and a white coating inside the mouth.

What To Do If You Have Dry Nipples During Early Pregnancy

The treatment for dry nipples during early pregnancy depends on the cause of the problem.

For instance, if it is because of hormonal changes, then you may use a lotion free from chemicals or harsh substances. Lotions or creams that contain natural products such as cocoa butter or vitamin E help moisturize the skin.

You can also apply petroleum jelly to the affected area to help retain moisture. This is particularly advisable after taking a shower. Massage the nipples with a small amount of petroleum jelly twice a day.

Stick to detergents that are mild, ideal for sensitive skin, and free from fragrance. 


If your nipples are feeling very dry and painful because of your bra, make sure you wear one that is made from pure, natural cotton material. Go for a maternity bra that fits you well as this provides a good amount of airflow to your breasts.

Treatment for Areola Eczema

In case you suffer from dry nipples due to areola eczema, the treatment involves avoiding anything that can worsen your skin’s reaction. Avoid scratching the area as this can worsen the condition and even result in an infection.

Your skin also needs to be constantly hydrated. Apply natural skin creams prescribed by your doctor.

If you need to use topical steroids or prescription medication, be sure to consult your doctor first. Hydroxyzine and antihistamines are commonly used as directed. When there is an infection in the area, antibiotic treatment may be recommended.

Nipple Thrush Treatment

Nipple or breast thrust can be treated using oral medications and antifungal creams. Always check with your doctor before taking medications. You may be advised to take other solutions for your condition.

When washing your clothes, warm soapy water can help prevent the condition from getting worse. Avoid using chemical and harsh detergents.

Never use lanolin or creams to your dry nipples if the cause is a yeast infection. Such creams will do more harm than good to you.

Additional Tips for Dry Nipples During Early Pregnancy

It is very important that you consult your doctor for the right treatment to take for your dry nipples. Any medication must be taken as directed to ensure quick, positive results.

If you have sore and dry nipples, make it a point to never touch them at all. This will only cause the area to hurt more. You may want to air the nipples out or expose them to the air to help them to heal. Wearing a bra, particularly a tight one is not advisable.

Dry nipples can be very uncomfortable and painful. Unfortunately, it is something that some expecting moms experience.

However, this is a condition that can definitely be treated with the right medication and practices. There are creams and techniques that go together in helping your condition. So be sure to consult your doctor if you experience dry nipples during early pregnancy for the proper treatment you need.

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