Jogger’s nipple is in effect a friction burn. It is caused by constant rubbing or chafing of a T-shirt over the nipple.
Jogger’s nipple symptoms
- The main symptom is a sore nipple which develops during a run.
- It may begin as mild discomfort and get progressively worse. Eventually, the pain becomes severe.
- Your nipple may start to bleed.
Friction causes Jogger’s nipple, in much the same way as a blister occurs on the foot. The skin on the nipple is thin and sensitive.
It is often more likely in cold and wet weather, particularly when running or exercising for long periods of time. This is because your clothing becomes heavy and coarse.
- Protect the injury from further trauma and allow it to heal.
- This should not take long. Cover the nipple with a dressing and allow it to heal.
How do I prevent Jogger’s nipple?
Prevention is always the best cure for this type of injury. There are simple ways you can prevent chafing, which we describe below.
- For women, wearing the correct sports bra can help prevent Jogger’s nipple.
- Cover your nipples with sticking plasters or zinc oxide sports tape. This will protect your skin from rubbing on clothes.
- In an emergency, if you have it to hand, apply petroleum jelly to the nipples. This will give good immediate protection, however, as soon as it warms up it will melt away leaving you unprotected.
Choosing sports bras
There are many types of sports bras available and what is most suitable for one person, is not necessarily the best for another. When choosing a sports bra you should take into account:
Support level – this will depend on your size (larger breasts need more support) and your sport. High-impact sports such as Tennis will require a bra with a higher level of support. A jogger’s nipple is more likely if your boobs move too much. Therefore, selecting the right support level is important.
Compression or encapsulation – compression bras basically compress the breasts against the chest and are usually crop-top styles. Encapsulation bras keep the breast separate in defined cups, more similar to a standard bra. Women with larger breasts should pick an encapsulation bra. Smaller-breasted women may feel a compression bra is sufficient. A few styles both compress and encapsulate.
Strap width – make sure the straps are wider than a standard bra. This will help support, and breasts and prevent the straps from digging in.
Material – make sure the material is breathable and comfortable to wear. Also, ensure that there are no seams on the cups which could cause jogger’s nipple chafing!
Read more: Does your sports bra fit?