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Breastfeeding is one of the easiest and best ways to provide nutrition to your infant. It nurtures your child and gives the required anti-bodies to fight various diseases. During this period most mothers face a common problem, that of sore painful cracked nipples. A condition which is characterized by painful nipples where the skin is cracked.

Causes of Cracked nipples :

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Painful cracked nipples. There are likely to be other possible causes also but in majority of cases the causes are these.

1.Improper breastfeeding technique - e.g.inadequate attachment of baby to nipple

2.Overuse of one breast when breastfeeding

3.Improper drying of nipples following breastfeeding

4.Prolonged contact of nipple with soggy breast pads

5.Eczema of nipple

6.Candidiasis of the nipple

7.Trauma with exercise

8. Pagets Disease of nipple.

Sore nipples can cause discomfort and pain. Usually mild soreness heals itself within few days.

Prevention and Home Remedies for Sore Nipples

Application of cool compress to your nipples, before nursing can help in alleviating sore nipple problem. Let the child suckle the nipple which is less sore as the first suckle is the most active. Keep switching sides with each feeding, thus avoiding pressure from the baby's mouth on the same part of the breast.

Do not discontinue nursing; they heal by frequent nursing with the passage of time. Exposure of nipples and breasts to air prevents growth of thrush. Avoid wearing bra for long hours of the day instead wear nursing bras with flaps. Expose your breasts and nipples to sunlight for minimum 30 seconds and gradually increase it to three minutes.

To prevent cracks, tears and chapping of nipples apply Olive oil, or Sweet almond oil, or Lanolin or Comfrey ointment. Use this throughout the latter part of the pregnancy and beginning weeks of nursing. Do not use soap, cologne, deodorant and powder on your nipples or breasts. Avoid washing nipples with soap as it leads to chaps or cracks.

Application of Comfrey ointment softens and strengthens the nipples. It is useful for sensitive nipples. Use of Yarrow leaf poultices - or Yarrow infused oil provides instant relief from cracked, sore and chapped nipples. For relief rub the nipples with resin of Balsam fir. Phytolacca Decandra is very useful in cases of breast infection, mastitis and cracked nipples.

Calendula cream or ointment is useful in treating cracked nipples, abscess or any other breast injury. Apply it right after nursing and clean it before next feeding. By cutting an Aloe Vera leaf, apply fresh gel to heal sore and cracked nipples. One should check for local senstivities and allergies before applying any of the above or better consult the doctor.

Homoeopathic Treatment : Following medicines may be of great help in the case of cracked, sore and fissured Nipples.

Nitricum acidum-Cracks: intensely sensitive nipples. -Sticking pains, like a splinter.

-Nipples discoloured.
-ACID. NIT. is chilly: hates fuss: craves salt and fat.
-Nipples inflamed and very tender.
-Can hardly bear the the pain of nursing.
-CHAM. is intolerant of pain: "cannot bear it!" Very irritable. (STAPHISAGRIA).
Croton tiglium
-Nipples very sore to touch.
-Excruciating pain runs round to scapula.
-Radiating pain runs round intercostal nerves.
Lycopodium clavatum
-Sore, fissures, covered with scurf.
-Bleeding from ducts: child draws blood from nipples, and seems to be vomiting blood (SILICEA).
-Itching, mealy covering of nipples.
Phytolacca decandra
-Nipples sore and fissured.
-Intense suffering on putting child to breast.
-Pain starts from nipple and radiates all over body.
-Breast feels like a brick, lumpy and nodular.
Pulsatilla pratensis
-Weeps as often as she has to nurse.
-Pain extends to chest, neck, down back.
-Changes from place to place.
Sepia officinalis
-Deep sore cracks across crown of nipple.
-In the the SEPIA patient.
-Pains when the the milk begins to flow.
-Nursing almost impossible.
-Emotional upset with partial suppression.
-Ill-humored and oversensitive.
-Broods on old injuries, or her past deeds.
-Least word seems wrong and hurts very much.
-After nursing, nipple smarts and burns: chaps badly.
-Breast looks unwashed.
-(In a SULPHUR patient:feels the heat: sinking at 11 a.m. : puts feet out of bed: loves fat: hungry: gets hot at night and uncovers.)

Castor equi: The clinical experience of Hering and his fellow-provers has shown this to be highly useful remedy in cracked and ulcerated nipples

Ratanhia: Cracks in nipples with few of striking mental symptoms these are :Sensitive, easily overturned with stress. Closed person with apprehension and fear. Anxiety about members of the family. Ailments from cares.

Sarsaparilla: Sore nipples with dry hard deep cracks on it.Dry itching and crusty Rhagades.

Causticum,Cundurango, Graphites, Merc cor, Sepia, Silicea,Paeonia, Hydrastis, fluor acid are also found to be very effective.

Please do suggest what more you want to add to this topic. So that the agony of mother can be reduced and both the mother and the child be benfitted.


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CHEST - CRACKS, fissures - Mammae - nipples

aesc. anan. arn. ars. aur. Aur-s. calc. calc-ox. calc-sil, calen. carb-an. carb-v. Castm. CASTOR-EQ. CAUST. cham. collod, Con. Crot-t. Cund. cur. Eup-a. Fl-ac. gali. ger. GRAPH. ham. hep. hipp. Hydr. Lyc. merc. Merc-c. Mill. nit-ac. Paeon. Petr. Phel. phos. PHYT. RAT. sarr, SARS. Sep. Sil. Sulph.


Thanks for your contribution Dr. Dushyant. Do you have some information on some kind of home remdies which are helpful in this case. if yes please do share. It might help many ailing mothers.

Sore and bleeding nipples during nursing.
Agaricus muscarius
Nipples itch and burn, look red.
Arnica montana
During first days of nursing nipples feel sore and bruised.
Borax veneta
APHTHOUS NIPPLES; contractive pain in left breast when child nurses the right; disagreeable sensation of emptiness in mammae after nursing, obliging her to compress the breast with her hand.
Calcarea carbonica
Ulcerated nipple, discharging pus; mammary glands pain as if they were suppurating, especially on touch.
Castor equi
CRACKED, SORE NIPPLES in nursing women, excessively tender; cannot bear touch of clothing; even in neglected cases where the nipple is nearly ulcerated off and only hangs by small strings; areolae and nipples turn red as in erysipelas, very painful on left breast.
Nipples inflamed and tender, can hardly endure the pain of nursing; milk cheesy, thickened, mixed with pus.
Colchicum autumnale
Nipples dark, brownish-red, protruding; unbearable pain by slightest touch from child; breast full, skin hot, pulse strong.
Croton tiglium
Inflamed, hard, swollen breasts, threatening to gather; PAIN FROM NIPPLE THROUGH TO BACK; nipple very sore to touch, excruciating pain running from nipple through to scapula of same side when the child nurses.
Soreness of nipples, with small corrosive blisters or ulcers, oozing a limpid serum, or a thick glutinous fluid, which forms a crust that is removed by nursing, when the same formation again occurs, and so on. Disposition to fissures and cracks.
Hamamelis virginiana
Sore nipples, where Arn. fails; bleeding nipples; great prostration from nursing.
Helonias dioica
Nipples very sensitive, cannot bear clothing to touch.
Lycopodium clavatum
Nipples sore, fissured and covered with scurf; the child draws so much blood from the nipples that when it vomits it seems to be vomiting blood, milk thin and blue or thick and cheesy, child does not thrive on it.
Mercurius solubilis
Nipple very raw and sore; sensitive gums, sore teeth, enlarged cervical glands, and other mercurial symptoms.
Nipples hot and sore; goneness in stomach; much heat in lower part of back across the renal regions.
Phytolacca decandra
Nipples sore and fissured, with intense suffering on putting child to breast; pain seems to start from nipple and radiates over whole body.
Pulsatilla pratensis
Mother weeps as often as she has to nurse; the pain extends into chest, up into the neck, down the back, changes from place to place.
Sepia officinalis
Nipples crack very much across the crown in various places, cracks very deep and sore.
Silicea terra
Nipples ulcerate very easily, are sore and tender; pain in small of back while child nurses.
After nursing the nipple smarts and burns, it chaps badly about the base and bleeds.
For DEFICIENCY OF MILK: 1, Agn., Asa., Calc., Caust., Dulc., Puls., Rhus, Zinc.; 2, Acon., Bell., Bry., Cham., Chin., Cocc., Iod., Lac can., Merc., Nux m., Sep., Sulph., Urt. ur. If the deficiency be caused by WANT OF VITAL ACTION (in the breasts, of the organism generally), give: Agn., Calc., Caust., Puls., Rhus. If the secretion of milk should be prevented by AN EXCESS OF VITAL ACTION in the breasts, with tension, redness and throbbing in these parts, and if considerable milk fever should be present, give: 1, Acon., Bry., Cham.; 2, Bell., Merc. LUMPS OR NODES in the breasts require: 1, Dulc., or, 2, Agn., Bell., Cham., Rhus. If the deficiency of milk depend upon some unknown cause, and no particular remedy be indicated, try: 1, Dulc.; 2, Agn., Calc., Zinc.
PAGE 790
MILK FEVER, if medical interference should be at all necessary, requires: Acon. or Coff., alone or alternately. If these remedies be insufficient, try: Bell., Bry. or Rhus. Arn. is sometimes useful, especially when, in consequence of hard labor, the sexual parts have been injured.
For RETROCESSION OF THE MILK, give: 1, Bell., Bry., Dulc., Puls.; 2, Acon., Calc., Cham., Coff., Merc., Rhus, Sulph. If this retrocession should be caused by VIOLENT EMOTIONS, give: 1, Bry., Cham., Coff.; 2, Acon., Bell. If by a COLD: 1, Bell., Cham., Dulc., Puls.; or, 2, Acon., Merc., Sulph.
A METASTASIS to the abdominal organs requires: Bell., Bry., Puls., Rhus.
The CHRONIC consequences of the retrocession of the milk require: Rhus; or, Calc., Dulc., Lach., Merc., Puls., Sulph.
BAD, THIN milk, or if the infant refuses to take it, give the mother: 1, Cham., Cina, Merc., Sil.; 2, Bor., Carb. an., Lach., Nux v., Puls., Rheum, Samb.
Borax veneta
The milk coagulates readily. If Bor. be insufficient, give Lach.
Silicea terra
The child throws up after nursing, and refuses the breast.
Puls. is the best remedy to arrest the secretion of milk after WEANING the child, or to prevent the secondary ailments of weaning., Bell., Bry., Calc. are likewise useful.
galactorrhea requires Calc., especially when the breasts are turgid with milk. Try, moreover: Bell., Bor., Bry., Rhus; or, Chin., Con., Lyc., Phos. ac., Phos., Puls., Stram., Sil., Sulph.
Deterioration of mother's health from nursing: Calc., Chin., Lyc., Oleand., Phos. ac., Phos., Sil., Sulph.
Aconitum napellus
Mammae congested, burning hot, hard and distended, with little or no milk; anxiety, restlessness.
Aethusa cynapium
Child takes breast with avidity, nurses well and then vomits copiously, and is exhausted, but soon rallies and cries for a fresh supply; the child's bowels either costive or loose, it cries much and does not thrive; mother not well, lochia thin and watery, she is nervous, has a bitter taste, milk disagrees with her; abdomen swollen and hard.
Agnus castus
Despairing sadness of mother, hence scantiness of milk.
Apis mellifica
Mammae discharge bloody milk (Ipec., Phos.).
Asa foetida
Tardy and scanty appearance of milk, especially in primipara.
Borax veneta
Milk is too thick and tastes badly, often curdles soon after it has been drawn; babe will not nurse the breast; unpleasant feeling of emptiness in the sucked-out breast; pain in opposite breast while infant nurses.
Bryonia alba
Milk fever with rheumatic pains in breasts; STONY HEAVINESS OF MAMMA, rather pale, but hard and painful, tensive burning, tearing; SCANTY SECRETION OF MILK; infant screams after nursing, passes wind, has slimy green diarrhoea; instead of milk, babe sucks air from empty breast; rash of mother and babe.
Calcarea carbonica
Mammae distended, but milk scanty, from want of vital activity, she is cold and feels the cold readily; or the breast is full of milk, with steady flow, or it cakes in the breast; hectic sweat, followed by prostration; profuse SECRETION OF WATERY MILK WHICH THE BABE REFUSES TO TAKE.
PAGE 791
Calcarea phosphorica
Child refuses the breast, as the milk tastes saltish, acid, or thin and watery; pains and burning in mammae, which are sore to touch.
Carbo animalis
MILK THIN AND OF SALTY TASTE; painful nodosities in breasts; nursing causes stitching pains in them and they are sore to touch; goneness and empty feeling in pit of stomach, not amel. by eating, every particle of food taken distresses the stomach.
Milk almost disappears on account of overfatigue, night-watching and anxiety; sensation in stomach as if lime were slaking; constipation; pulsation and noises in ears; threatening amaurosis.
Mammae hard and tender to touch, with drawing pains; is fretful, cross and irritable; insomnia.
China officinalis
WHEN MOTHER PUTS BABE TO THE BREAST SHE GETS TOOTHACHE; cannot bear touch, feels better by heat, especially in women who had much haemorrhage during confinement.
Cina maritima
Child refuses to nurse; constant gnawing sensation in stomach, does not sleep well, feels cross and is not easily satisfied.
Croton tiglium
IRRITABLE NIPPLE WITH SUFFICIENCY OF MILK; nipple very sore to touch; excruciating pain running from nipple through to scapula of same side, when the child begins to nurse.
Cyclamen europaeum
At every nursing, mother suffers from COLICKY BEARING-DOWN pains, each pain accompanied by a gush of blood, which relieves the pain momentarily.
Suppression of milk from exposure to cold and damp air; mammae swollen, inactive, painless and itch; lochia suppressed from same cause.
Fragaria vesca
Mammae diminished in size and the secretion of milk ceases.
Excessive flow of thin, watery milk, great weakness and rapid emaciation; atrophy and relaxation of mammae, suppression of milk.
Kalium bichromicum
The milk, as it flows from the breasts, has the appearance of being composed of stringy masses of water.
Mercurius solubilis
Milk repulsive to babe, being scanty and spoiled; mammae swollen, hard, sore; glandular swellings; syphilis; ptyalism.
Nux moschata
Mammae too small; hysteric flatulency.
After nursing, emptiness in pit of stomach, even after eating; sudden sinking in pit of stomach, nausea and vomiting; wants brandy which relieves.
Palladium metallicum
NURSING WOMEN WHO MENSTRUATE; transparent, jellylike discharge, aggr. before and after menses; heaviness and weight in pelvis; pain and weakness as if uterus were sinking down; subinvolution.
Phellandrium aquaticum
Pains come on or exist chiefly DURING THE INTERVAL between nursing (Crot. tigl.: pain sets in as soon as the child begins to nurse; Bry.: dragging pain during nursing, as child nurses from a nearly empty breast).
Phosphoricum acidum
Scanty milk from nervous exhaustion, debility and great apathy.
Phytolacca decandra
Violent pains in breasts whenever milk gushes in; severe stinging pains, somewhat relieved by pressure with both hands; babe worries continually day and night.
PAGE 792
Pulsatilla pratensis
MILK THIN AND WATERY, containing hardly any milk-globules; milk suddenly suppressed, lochia become milky-white; breasts swollen; rheumatic pains over chest and arms, change from place to place during nursing; cramps in abdomen and back every time the child nurses (Cham.); craves fresh air.
Rheum palmatum
Almost immediately AFTER NURSING BABE HAS A LOOSE STOOL, smelling sour and accompanied by colic.
Rhus toxicodendron
Mammae swell from catching cold or getting wet, and milk ceases to flow; vitiated lochia.
Ricinus communis
Increases the quantity of milk in nursing women.
Secale cornutum
Breasts do not properly fill with milk, there is much stinging in them; in women from venous haemorrhages.
Sarsaparilla officinalis
Retraction or flattening of nipples in nursing women; withered nipples; shrivelling and withering of skin, which hangs in folds; atrophy of nipples, which are flaccid and insensible.
Silicea terra
Infant refuses the breast or vomits immediately after nursing, it does not grow as it should; mother is out of health, constipated, has discharge from uterus after nursing.
Urtica urens
Agalactia without any other symptom and without apparent reason.

Thanks a lot Dr. Saraswat for your additons.

Dryness of nipples : Castor Equi.



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