13 Solutions to Painful Runner’s Nipple

Are you struggling with runners nipple?

It may be your first time experiencing this painful inconvenience… or perhaps it’s happened enough for you to become frustrated and in search of solutions to nip it in the bud (pun intended) and prevent it from happening again?

Whether you are dealing with it for the first time, or a repeat offender… the bottom line is runners nipple can be painful enough that it eventually wreaks havoc on your desire to run.

We understand. As runners, we’ve all been there… and we can help. 

In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about runners nipple and how to treat and prevent it.

What is Runners Nipple?

A painful case of runners nipple typically occurs when the clothing you wear rubs and chafes against your nipple. It goes by many names, including jogger’s, gardener’s nipple, surfer’s nipple, red eleven and raver’s nipple.

Common symptoms of a runners nipple include:

  • Dryness
  • Redness of skin
  • Pain
  • Bleeding

Jogger’s nipple is more common in people who run long distances. Weather conditions, such as extreme heat or cold, can be factors as well.

Proper clothing also plays a big role in the causes and treatment of runners nipple.

Small things, such as wearing a sports bra or avoiding clothing made of coarse material, can offer some prevention.  

However, if you already have runners nipple, there are several ways that you can use to treat them… which we will cover here.

Products for Prevention of Runners Nipple

1. Apply cream to your nipples.

One of the best ways of preventing runners nipple is by using a cream or lubricant to reduce the friction between your clothing and skin. When you dab cream on your nipple, it will prevent the clothing from chafing your nipples. If you can’t find a cream, you can always use petroleum jelly as well. 

2. Avoid running in coarse clothing.

Another way of reducing the chances of hurting your nipples is by avoiding coarse clothing. This means anything that is made from tight-knit fabric, is breathable, and wicking… providing every level of runner with the comfort they need to go further.

Running clothes should be lightweight and designed to move with your body. The seams of your clothes should be in areas where they won’t make running difficult for you.

Also, it’s good that your clothing is light so that they don’t rub against your nipples easily. Avoiding cotton is another good idea.

3. Create a barrier between your nipple and shirt. 

You can try using a bandage to create a barrier between your nipple and shirt.  It can be worn so that the shirt you are wearing doesn’t cause any friction on your skin. One of the easiest ways to use bandages is by wrapping them around your chest then using adhesive to keep it there.

4. Wear a sports bra.

Another great way to avoid runners nipples is by buying a sports bra. It’s no surprise that women runners who wear a sports bra rarely get a runner’s nipples. Perfect bras are semi-synthetic, soft, and tight. So look out for those qualities when you choose a sports bra for your running

PS, men can wear them too! And while specific lines of sports bras for men have been created, there is very superficial differences between those and then ones marketed towards women.

Make sure choose a bra designed for running or other high-impact sports. Don’t run without trying it on and running in place or by jumping up and down. A good sports bra should fit properly and not be too stretched out. 

Products/Methods for Treatment of Runners Nipple

5. Allow your runners nipples to heal.

As much as it pains me to say this, there may come a time when you need to take a break from running for a couple of days to allow your runners nipples to heal naturally.

Ideally, you should rest for five to seven days and only resume your training once your nipples have healed.  During this time, you can maintain your fitness by doing your daily stretches or cardio exercises. Or focus on leg day workouts.

6. Use an antiseptic cream.

You can also use antiseptic cream to treat irritation on your nipples. It will help you prevent infection and help make your nipples heal faster. If you see that your nipples are not getting better, don’t overuse the cream. Instead, try to consult a doctor as soon as you can. 

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7. Use talcum powder.

Consider using talcum powder with aloe to treat your painful nipples. It will dry them slightly and prevent the clothing from gliding on your nipples. Plus, this talcum powder smells good, which will soothe your senses as well. Remember, talcum powder won’t last long on your nipples, so be mindful of the time you spend on the road. 

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8. Use coconut oil.

Scientists have found out that coconut oil is one of the best remedies for treating inflammation, including runner’s nipples as well. Coconut oil-based products will help you treat irritation on your nipples and prevent them from growing potentially harmful bacteria. Apart from that, coconut oil will soothe the chafed areas to be less painful.

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9. Try argan oil.

You can also use this African oil to treat your runner’s nipples. It will hydrate the skin and heal the irritation on your skin. The Moroccan Argan oil has the properties that keep the skill free from bacteria. It is also rich in Oleic (C18:1) and Linoleic (C18:2) essential fatty acids.

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10. Use Aloe Vera.

Another option for you is aloe vera gel, a remedy that has been used for decades to treat the skin. Most dermatologists trust it, and we don’t see why you should use it on your nipples as well. What we like most about it is that it doesn’t leave stains on your clothes. It has simple, all-natural ingredients to care for even the most sensitive skin. 

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11. Give cornstarch a try.

You can also consider applying cornstarch to treat chafed nipples and allowing them to absorb extra moisture. Interestingly, cornstarch has antibacterial properties as well. 

12. Try using water and salt remedies. 

There are home remedies that you can use to treat your runner’s nipples.  For instance, try mixing 2 teaspoons of salt with lukewarm water. Then soak your nipples in a small bowl for one minute.

13. Order a NipStrips Best Nipple Chafing Solution.

If everything doesn’t work, consider getting the NipStrips Nipple Chafing Solution for long-distance runners. It has clear adhesives that are discreet and painless…  and can be delivered right to your doorstep next day.

These strips are the best protection you can find that prevents painful chafing. The good news is, they can stay on for your entire run and peel off without pain. They are also waterproof and sweat proof.

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Final Thoughts on Prevention and Treatment of Runners Nipple

Runners nipple won’t always be obvious after a typical run… or even after a week of running. In most cases, it occurs over time, through a progression of events.

If you pay attention to your running patterns, you may be able to notice some of those things that lead to a runners nipple.  Be sure to plan your workout schedule and pay close attention to the weather conditions and your clothing.

By utilizing the prevention suggestions outlined here, you should likely be able to stay out of harm’s way.

For more insight on how to stay motivated to run, check out this article on Enduracely.com filled with some great mantras!

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