What It Really Means When Your Nipples Itch

Occasional itching anywhere on your body is completely normal. While itching can have many causes, including allergies, medications, or diseases, it is generally caused by stimulation of itch-sensing nerve endings under your skin, notes Scientific American. If you don't notice consistent itching, inflammation, or peeling skin, then occasional itching in the nipples is nothing to worry about, according to Healthline.

However, there are times when your nipples may become itchier than usual, such as during pregnancy or your period, after a workout, or after a shower, notes Healthline. Even certain types of clothing can lead to itching, particularly if they are too tight, according to GoodRx.

Constantly itchy nipples may also be a sign of an underlying health condition, like mastitis, eczema, or a yeast infection of the breast. If your itching becomes intense or lasts longer than a few weeks, you should see your healthcare provider as it may be a sign of one of these conditions, or possibly even an early sign of breast cancer, warns GoodRx.

Itchy nipples may be a side effect of pregnancy and periods

When a woman is pregnant or is in the middle of her period, she may experience itchier-than-normal nipples. When pregnant, changes in estrogen and progesterone levels can cause itchiness. Another potential cause is stretched skin occurring from breasts growing larger in size, according to Healthline. Also, when pregnant, you may experience prurigo which causes small, itchy bumps on the chest and elsewhere on the body, explains Cleveland Clinic.

Hormones are also to blame for itching nipples during and immediately before your period (and even around the time of menopause). Changes in hormone levels can make your skin more sensitive and itchy, which can even lead to problems with inflammation or dryness, according to Healthline. Breasts can also swell during your period, causing irritation as your bras or shirts become too tight. Wearing loose-fitting clothes or applying a fragrance-free lotion can help relieve the itching.