Women are often affected by uncomfortable and sore nipples that generally develop during a period of breast-feeding their child-breastfeeding thus becomes a very painful ordeal for nursing mothers affected in this way. The nipple is affected by soreness as the skin around the nipples often turns itchy and flaky and may even crack, there is redness in the skin surrounding the affected nipples-this is usually the first sign of sore nipples.
As in all other disorders, the prevention of the condition from developing is the best cure even though the cracked skin generally heals within two days and the soreness tends to dissipate in a gradual manner. Cracks in the skin can be prevented by undertaking regular care of the breast and the nipples especially when nursing a baby. The breast are kept healthy by regular exposure to the fresh air, carefully rubbing oil on to the nipples over a long period of time and doing this repeatedly will prevent the skin from drying up-dryness in the skin increases the chance of cracks developing in the breast tissues. The natural oils in the skin offers protection from dryness, cracking and infection and if the skin is regularly washed these oils are removed and problems result. Women must make sure that breastfeeding children must take the entire nipple inside the mouth whenever they are nursing, also the baby must be nursed frequently so that there is less chance of injury to the breast tissues as the child will not be grabbed and bite the nipples out of hunger. Itchiness and scaly skin in the area of the nipple must be examined and investigated for a possible infection arising from conditions such as thrush and other disorders.
Supplements and herbs
An excellent supplementary nutrient for all manner of skin irritations is the use of the vitamin E; this compound is particularly helpful as it has a unique ability to repair tissue and aid in rapid recovery of the damaged tissues. The antioxidant action of this vitamin also aids in the active prevention of harmful free radicals from causing cellular damage in the tissues of the affected breast.
Sore nipples can also be effectively aided by many types of topical or external applications made from herbs-these herbal topical applications will aid in soothing, disinfecting and moisturizing sore nipples in the affected breast.
Keep the breast and nipples thoroughly cleansed using a clean cotton cloth after breastfeeding and an infusion of the calendula herb to moisten the cloth. The use of topical and warm compresses of herbal marigold will prove to be very beneficial and effective in dealing with soreness in the nipples. The anti-inflammatory and antiseptic actions of the marigold herb will prove to be of great benefit and the herb is also very soothing to dry skin and will help the skin in retaining its moisture content. After every breastfeeding session make sure that you apply the cream to the sore nipples for the most effective results. Dryness in the nipples can also be resolved by rubbing the dry nipples using a drop of the oils made from the St. John's wort herb or the tea tree oil which has been diluted in some olive oil. Inflamed nipples can also be treated using topical application of a pack of ground fenugreek seeds on a regular basis. The herbal tea made from the fenugreek is also very effective for general well-being and health, this herb also increases the protein absorption within the body and actively promotes the building of blood while aiding in the convalescence and recovery of the patient. Fenugreek seeds can be made into an herbal tea by using three tsp. of fenugreek seeds mixed in a cup of boiling water, this tea can be strained and the person can drink one to three cups of the herbal tea on a regular or daily basis. Heavy inflammation in the nipples can be resolved by drinking about forty or sixty drops of a tincture of Echinacea mixed in some water, this can be repeated four times every day and strictly followed for seven days, this herb is an antibiotic and will prevent infections from occurring in the affected area.
Commonly used essential oils for sore nipples:
Additional things you may do
An improper position while nursing is the reason for soreness in the nipples at times and this bad posture must be corrected to resolve the problem in some women. Changing the posture or the position can resolve the problem in some women-the soreness will simply and gradually disappear. Trying out a different nursing schedule can also rectify the problem in some cases and is the only solution for soreness in the nipples in some women. Sore nipples can also be due to a plugged milk duct, such problem usually clear themselves in about twenty-four hours and do not require treatment as such. By continuing breastfeeding the plugged milk duct will clear itself in no time. Ensure that all milk ducts are emptied of milk to prevent a plugged duct from occurring-this can be done after every nursing session by the mother herself. For a few minutes each day, the breast and the nipples should be exposed to the fresh air and mild sunlight as a means of clearing them and maintaining their healthy condition. To prevent the baby from biting and tearing the nipples because of hunger the mother should nurse the infant frequently at regular intervals. To prevent the skin around the breast from drying up, avoid the use of colognes, talcum powder or other deodorants in the areas of the skin close to the nipples-avoid washing it with soap as the chances of dryness increases with its use. Nipples can also be prepared before nursing, by topical applications of an ice-cold cloth in the region of the nipples. This application will dull the pain of nursing and it will also bring out the nipple for the baby to easily grasp and suckle.
Other beneficial herbs