Home Women's HealthBreast Diseases Nipple flaking: causes and treatment

Nipple flaking: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on
Nipple flaking

The skin of the areolas and nipples is susceptible; when damaged, it can be very annoying and even painful, which infections can complicate if timely treatment is not carried out. The Peeling of the nipple can be caused by allergies, humidity, or contact with inappropriate materials for this very delicate area. In other cases, more complicated diseases, such as breast cancer or psoriasis, can also present with scaling.

Learn more about the possible causes of nipple flaking and how to treat it in the following FastlyHealarticle.

Causes of peeling nipple

Different pathological processes can cause Peeling of the skin of the nipples. Among them, we can mention:

Atopic dermatitis

Something may be causing nipple dermatitis or an allergic reaction: creams, lotions, or even underwear can cause the skin on your nipples to become swollen and flaky. You may have previously suffered this type of reaction in other body areas, often associated with dry skin.

Dermatitis during lactation

Especially in the early stages of breastfeeding, when the female body and baby are adapting to breastfeeding, redness, burning, itching, cracking, and Peeling of the nipples often appear. When the problem worsens, one speaks of mastitis, in which the entire breast is already inflamed, and general symptoms such as fever may occur.

Contact eczema

The skin of the nipple may become inflamed and flaky due to a foreign object, and it is very typical after the placement of a piercing in the area.

Ectasia of the mammary ducts

Lactiferous are typical structures of the breast, and these small ducts can become blocked and cause inflammation in the nipple. It can present without symptoms or redness, discharge that dry and appear scaling, increased tenderness, or pain in the breasts.

Friction dermatosis

The skin of the areola is very delicate. If it is subjected to pressure and friction, it can suffer from inflammation, accompanied by burning, pain in the nipple, and Peeling of the skin. This situation can be seen in those who run long distances.

sebaceous hyperplasia

Here appear multiple lumps that correspond to the increase in the size of the sebaceous glands. It is more common on other body areas (nose, forehead, or cheeks), but it can also happen on the nipples. It is often confused with acne breakouts, but, unlike this one, they appear depressed in the center, and there will be no material. If you squeeze them, there will only be more inflammation.


This inflammatory disease manifests itself as reddened patches of skin that shed thick, silvery scales. It usually affects different areas of the body. The nipples can suffer it too.

In the following article, you can learn more about psoriasis’s causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Hyperkeratosis of the nipple

It is a sporadic disease in which the nipple becomes inflamed and, over time, becomes thickened and darker.

Fox Fordyce disease

This is another rare problem. Apocrine (sweat) glands become clogged, especially in the armpit, but it can also occur on the nipple and other areas. There is excellent inflammation in the area, with redness of the skin and the appearance of very itchy lesions.


Some malignant diseases can present with inflammation and scaling in the areola and nipple area. This is the case of squamous cell lymphoma, Paget’s breast or breast cancer disease.

Peeling nipple

Diagnosis of peeling nipple

As has been seen, the reasons why the nipples can be swollen and flaky are very varied, some very simple, others more complicated to solve, which is why a good diagnosis is critical since, if the cause is more serious, you will get a diagnosis in time and the treatment will be more effective.

In general, when you go to the consultation of your trusted doctor, he will ask you questions to try to know the details of your problem, he will review you and, if he deems it appropriate, he will refer you to a specialist in dermatology or gynecology, depending on the case, who will give you more exhaustive examinations if deemed necessary. Among those medical tests will be, for example:

  • Improve the vision of lesions with dermoscopy.
  • Blood tests.
  • Taking a sample of the lesion.
  • Mammography.

With an accurate diagnosis, appropriate treatment can be started. There are cases in which the cause is more pronounced, for example, if you are breastfeeding, since probably, in that case, too many studies are not necessary, at least at first. If the discomfort persists, you should see your doctor again.

Treatment of peeling nipples

The specialists will direct the treatment according to the diagnosis they make:

  • If allergic contact or lactation dermatitis is observed, the most important thing is to reduce irritation and humidity in the area. Protective creams exposure to air and sun may be indicated in the affected areas.
  • Depending on the case, an anti-inflammatory cream or antibiotics may be indicated if considered necessary. Similarly, if the infection is significant, the mouth may require antibiotics.
  • Some diseases may require oral medication, as in the most severe cases of psoriasis or severe dermatitis.
  • Other possible treatments include ultraviolet light therapy and, in some cases, malignancy, surgery, radio, or chemotherapy.

For your part, you can take into account the following measures to avoid aggravating the Peeling of the nipple :

  • Do not scratch or squeeze the lesions. You can make them worse.
  • Keep the area clean.
  • Do not apply creams with antibiotics or corticosteroids on your own; it is better to have a good diagnosis and not waste time.
  • You can use chamomile, calendula, or honey infusions, as they are anti-inflammatory and healing, but consult your doctor if they do not improve after a couple of weeks.
  • Improve your diet: the healthier and more natural it is, the greater the possibility for your body to regain its balance. Your skin must not only heal from the outside. You must help it from the inside.

When to go to the doctor urgently for peeling nipple

If, in addition to the Peeling of the nipple, you have any of these symptoms, you should go to your trusted doctor urgently:

  • Fever.
  • Injuries that do not heal.
  • A lot of pain in the nipple.
  • Fluid discharge from the nipple: yellow, green, or bloody.
  • Red discharge or spots on the rash.
  • A nipple turned inward.
  • They were sinking in the breast.
  • Lumps in the chest.
  • I have been itching in the nipple for more than a month.
  • The injuries get worse.
  • Lesions do not improve with treatment.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Peeling of the nipple: causes and treatment, we recommend that you enter our category of Female reproductive system.

You may also like

Leave a Comment