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Permanently cracked, weeping nipples

(24 Posts)
strumpet82 Mon 06-Dec-10 09:33:03

Not a very nice topic I know. blush

For about 3-4 months now, my nipples have been weeping a yellow oily substance.

At first, my nipples cracked, and then started weeping, and now the skin on whole nipple on both breasts is broken, red and weeping.

I've been to the doctor. He asked if I was pregnant/breastfeeding (no to both).

He gave me kamillosan (didn't work), then penicillin thinking it might be an infection (didn't work).

I dress my nipples with dressings, but the skin never seals itself as everytime I take the dressing off, it sticks with this oily substance and leaves them red raw again.

I've seen the nurse as well, she told me I'm using the right dressings, but nothing has helped.

Please, any advice for me?

I don't want to go back to the doctor for a third time :-(

SlightlyTubbyHali Mon 06-Dec-10 09:39:47

I think you need to go back to the doctor tbh. It sounds painful sad.

And I think your GP needs to refer you to a breast specialist. You can't go on like this.

strumpet82 Mon 06-Dec-10 09:42:10

It is painful slightlytubbyhali, I just wish I could get given a cream and have it go away.

I've read reviews online about lansinoh (cream for sore,cracked nipples for breastfeeding), do you think this would be any good?

SlightlyTubbyHali Mon 06-Dec-10 09:59:11

I'm not a doctor but I think you need proper medical treatment - a bit of lanolin is, I'd bet, not really going to help much.

Anti-bs don't always get rid of infections, sometimes other things are needed.

Do your symptoms match this? (don't be scared by the link to the breast cancer website - it just has a lot of info on breast problems).

Go back to the GP, and explain how sore etc this is, and that it needs to be sorted.

smee Mon 06-Dec-10 10:07:28

Go back to the Doctor and demand a referral to a breast clinic. Am not trying to scare you, as 9 out of 10 referrals to those places are nothing to worry about. GP's can't be experts on everything and the Breast Clinics are brilliant, as they know Breasts. grin

strumpet82 Mon 06-Dec-10 10:16:57

Thanks smee and slightly

I'd managed at one point recently to get the skin sealed, and thought hurrah, the first time in three months. I got into pj's and wearing a vest top (didn't dress nipples as sealed). Woke in the night with them weeping again, red raw, and stuck to the vest top. Pulling it off was not fun.

My doctor, and nurse, are sympathetic. He gee'd me up talking about the antibiotics like they'd be the miracle cure (didn't really want to take them as ttc). Once i'd completed the course and they had no effect it spiralled me down low again.

I have now booked another appointment with my doctor for Thursday. If he doesn't mention referring me to a breast clinic then I will.

strumpet82 Mon 06-Dec-10 10:19:35

slightly, my symptons do fit that link that you sent, so thank you :-)

SlightlyTubbyHali Mon 06-Dec-10 10:43:56

Print it off and take it with you to the GP - it says you should be referred to a specialist.

It might also be worth looking up where your nearest breast clinic is. Sometimes I've had GPs look a bit blank: "I don't know where to refer you for that...". And if you've done your research you can say "I want to go to [insert name], here are the contact details".

strumpet82 Mon 06-Dec-10 10:56:26

Yes, I will print it off. It's a shame, I have a good doctor, he just seems a little lost on this one. Hopefully I quick referral to a specialist will do the trick.

Thank you for all your help and advice, with something like this, it is nice to know people care enough to reply to my post.

Thank you smile

smee Mon 06-Dec-10 11:53:46

Course we care - that's why this place works so well. Hope you get a referral. Let us know. smile

strumpet82 Mon 06-Dec-10 12:06:04

Will do, Thursday is d-day with doc x

SlightlyTubbyHali Thu 09-Dec-10 16:53:27

Any update, Strumpet?

strumpet82 Fri 10-Dec-10 10:04:10

Hi slightly,

Saw the doctor again who prescribed steroid cream. I've asked to see a specialist, but he wants me to see MW first, so seeing her next Wed now.

Hopefully this cream will help!

Marlinspike Fri 10-Dec-10 10:07:46

Oh I do feel for you - I had the same problem many years ago. My GP wasn't much help either (he wondered if they were being irritated by a necklace - what, swinging around my nips FFS!) Anyway mine disappeared when I got pregnant - I put it down to raging hormones. Not much help to you OP, I know, but I do know how grim it is - I still wince at the memory of removing dressings each night!

strumpet82 Fri 10-Dec-10 10:17:34

Yes, the dressings isn't fun.

As absurd as it sounds, i've got wise to the dressings. Everytime I remove a dressing it pulls off the weeping and skin that is stuck to it, so now I use CLING FILM grin. Nothing sticks to it, so I remove it and don't pull anything away with it. Plus, you don't need surgical tape to keep it in place smile

smee Fri 10-Dec-10 11:11:23

Hope cream works, strumpet. Cling film is inspired. grin

Bert2e Fri 10-Dec-10 11:26:26

Cling film sounds a great idea - you need to be doing moist wound healing so that it doesn't stick to the dressing and reopen the wound when the scab is pulled off. Lansinoh would help but you might want to ask about jelonet dressings as they are designed for this sort of wound and don't stick.

strumpet82 Fri 10-Dec-10 14:05:34

Thanks Bert2e, I didn't know about jelonet dressings so i'll look them up now...

aftereight Fri 10-Dec-10 16:22:24

My friend went through months of what sounds identical. She's been wearing breast pads every day for a year or so now.
Eventually her GP referred her to the breast clinic, who did tests to rule out anything serious, then she was referred to dermatologist. It was diagnosed as excema, and allergy testing discovered an allergy to elastane or latex iirc.
Please go back to your GP as I know from my friend's experience that it's an uncomfortable and soul destroying problem.

billybunter Fri 10-Dec-10 19:34:24

Hi OP

sounds very awful. I can sympathise a little, I had wounds on my nipples during breastfeeding. Bleeding scabs to be precise.
I found moist healing didn't work well. As soon as I let fresh air get to them, there was much improvement.

Here's what I would do. Let air get to your nipples as much as possible. If necessary cut an old bra so that 'the nipple is exposed and wear a very loose shirt over, not allowing it to rest long on the skin.

Once the skin has healed apply lansinoh to prevent the discharge from drying and sticking to the skin.change dressing frequently.

strumpet82 Sat 11-Dec-10 17:45:32

Thanks aftereight and billybunter for your suggestions.

During my trip at the GP, I said to him about referral to specialist, he said he didn't know who it would be. I suggested a breast clinic, to which he didn't reply. He said he thought maybe a dermatologist, but then hasn't referred me. I asked him to me on the list for dermatologist, but he said he wants me to see MV first. angry

I'll give this steroid cream a try, I hope it works. If not, i'm straight back to GP to get referral.

Thank you everyone for suggestions, it really is nice to have people give me advice on it, as embarrassing as it is. blush

PhoenixJ Thu 06-Dec-12 00:38:18

Hi. Ive read all the above messages without realising the fact this was a mums website. Im actually a male aged 17 and I currently have the exact problem described by strumpet82. Although I understand she is a woman and I am a male therefore this might be different as she was maybe breastfeeding. But I am currently going through these problems with weeping nipples and I have steroid cream used dressings my GP has said it was because my phone in my shirt pocket was rubbing off it and then it went to the other nipple now they are both in a bad way. Ive also got a powder which does dry up weeping and stops it from sticking to the dressings .He also suggested it was the material of my shirts so Ive started to wear Cotten vests to bed and during College. I am still in the same position as it first started although it has progressed to the right nipple also it has started to interfere with my everyday life. Ive now had this problem since July so you could probably understand my frustration with this matter. ,

any info would be great and also much appreciated . Thanks PhoenixJ

chocolateteabag Mon 10-Dec-12 17:14:09

Hi Phoenix - you certainly don't have to be a mum or a woman to post on here (despite the namegrin)

As was advised to Strumpet above - I would go back to your GP but armed with print outs from slightly's link. it's ben 6 months so you need to get a specialist to look at it now. And if your GP isn't helpful, make an appt with another one (maybe take along a bossy friend/sibling/Mum if you need some extra horsepower to get a referral?)

In the meantime (and this is weird I grant you) Tesco sell an own brand haemorrhoid cream which is comprised of 1% lidocaine and white petroleum jelly - the lidocaine is just enough to take away the stinging of sore nips for me to stop me scratching them. It's only a short term thing til you get a proper specialist to help you out though.

Hopefully you'll get some more advice here - but if not then just start your own thread and you should get some more people messaging

LucifersTear Thu 03-Jul-14 09:04:50

Hi there ladies (and gents),

I've had been suffering with this same issue for over a year myself.
I'm a male in my 20's and this is an incredibly embarrassing issue (especially for me, having to wear a white shirt as part of my uniform with all this oily ooze seeping out)

I can confirm that in most cases seen here this is a dermatological issue. It's basically excema/allergy/irritant related.

The Cure:
- Ensure you're hydrated, drink plenty of water.
- Have a quick shower and gently wash the area to remove any seepage/mess, try not to rub the area.
- Pat yourself dry and allow yourself at least 4 hours where you can have nothing but fresh air touching your nipple. Remain topless until the raw area dries out completely.
- Be very gentle and mindful at all times from now on
- Use a 1% strength haemorrhoid cream DO NOT use steroid creams (if your Doctor has prescribed these for this issue, he/she's an idiot, feel free to let them know) The haemorrhoid cream will provide a layer of protection and reduce the inflamed tissue underneath.
- Use a high-zinc content, non-fragranced, non-sticky nappy-rash cream for the next few days and only wear cotton tops to keep the healing nipple moisturised and ensure lots of air gets around the area with minimal contact for at least 3 days (with skin issues 3 days is a usual rule of thumb to notice deterioration/improvement).

Important:

- This is caused by an allergy/irritant on already dried-out nipples. It's common for this issue to arise after heavy drinking and other dehydrating activities. Mine was set off by allergy to a certain fabric softener (I'd never recommend using any fabric softener if you have any form of sensitive/dry skin) which was exasperated by my rough polyester work-shirts.
- Dressings rarely improve the situation. Your nipple is a sticky-out bit and is almost constantly moving/changing shape so anything touching it will cause more problems, allowing your body to heal on it's own is the best medicine.

I wish you all the best of luck and hope you can all get on top of this issue just keep your sensitive areas moisturised once cured, whenever you get that initial soreness/itch in future get some gentle moisturiser out.
Regards,

Tony.
(Mastocytosis Sufferer)

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