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What are Cracked Nipples?

Description of the condition

Cracked nipples are the condition where the skin of the nipples becomes cracked and painful. This condition often occurs in women during pregnancy and breastfeeding.


  • First-degree cracked nipples - superficial skin wounds;
  • Second-degree cracked nipples - deeper wounds that may cause bleeding;
  • Third-degree cracked nipples - deep wounds with scars.


  • Pain and discomfort when breastfeeding;
  • Bleeding;
  • Sensitivity and inflammation of the nipples;
  • Formation of crusts and scars on the nipples.


The main causes of cracked nipples are improper attachment of the baby to the breast, incorrect use of feeding shields, dryness of the nipple skin, and mechanical injuries.


The diagnosis of cracked nipples is usually made by a doctor after examination and discussion with the patient. In some cases, additional tests may be required to detect possible infections.


Treatment of cracked nipples includes proper attachment of the baby to the breast, the use of special means for healing cracks, as well as the elimination of possible infections.


  • Proper positioning of the baby during feeding;
  • Use of special moisturizing and protective agents for the nipples;
  • Avoidance of mechanical damage to the nipples.


A gynecologist or lactation consultant can help in the diagnosis and treatment of cracked nipples.

Note: This material is provided for informational purposes only and is not medical advice.