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Learn about your cracked nipples, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your cracked nipples from our A.I. Symptom Checker. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Your Cracked Nipples May Also be Known as:
Nipple blister
Nipple change
Nipple sore
Nipple ulcer
Sore on nipple

Top 10 Cracked Nipples Causes

  1. 1.Viral (Norovirus) Infection

    Noroviruses are a group of related viruses that leads to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. These viruses cause gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines. When the diarrhea and/or vomiting is severe, dehydration can occur. Symptoms of dehydration include a dry mouth, dizziness, urinating less frequently and dark urine.

    You can safely treat this condition at home. Make sure you drink plenty of water and fluids (Gatorade, Pediatlyte) to replace what is lost with diarrhea. If symptoms of dehydration occur or you are unable to keep down any liquids, seek care at your primary care physician or an urgent care.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, headache, stomach bloating
    Symptoms that always occur with viral (norovirus) infection:
    hidden: gastroenteritis symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with viral (norovirus) infection:
    severe abdominal pain, throbbing headache, severe headache, tarry stool
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Breast Infection (Mastitis)

    Mastitis is an infection of the breast tissue that results in breast pain, swelling, warmth and redness of the breast. Mastitis most commonly affects women who are breast-feeding (lactation mastitis), although sometimes this condition can occur in women who aren't breast-feeding.

    You should visit your primary care physician to confirm the diagnosis and discuss treatment options, such as antibiotics.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, nausea, breast pain, fever, chills
    Symptoms that always occur with breast infection (mastitis):
    breast pain, hidden: cardinal sign breast inflammation
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Normal Case of Vaginal Discharge

    Vaginal discharge is a common issue many women experience and is likely nothing to worry about. Your vaginal discharge can change depending on your menstrual cycle. Recent initiation or a change in contraceptives can also cause a temporary change in discharge.

    You most likely have nothing to worry about. If the discharge becomes severe or you have other symptoms like itching or foul odor, you should speak with your primary care physician or OBGYN.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal discharge, mild vaginal discharge, white/gray vaginal discharge, clear vaginal discharge, severe vaginal discharge
    Symptoms that always occur with normal case of vaginal discharge:
    vaginal discharge
    Symptoms that never occur with normal case of vaginal discharge:
    vaginal itch or burning, painful urination, severe vaginal discharge, vaginal pain, abdominal pain (stomach ache), bleeding after sex, missed period
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch
  4. 4.Normal Case of Spotting

    Spotting is vaginal bleeding that occurs between periods. Many women experience spotting between periods and it is often nothing to worry about. Oral contraceptives (the pill) can cause spotting as a side effect, especially if they have a low estrogen dose, someone started on them recently or does not take them on the same time everyday. Additionally, hormone supplements that only contain estrogen (often used in menopause) can cause spotting as well.

    You most likely have nothing to worry about. If you take the pill, try to take it at the same time every day. If the spotting becomes severe or is bothersome, you should speak with your primary care physician or OBGYN.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal bleeding or bloody discharge, bloody vaginal discharge, mild unexpected vaginal bleeding, vaginal bleeding, vaginal discharge
    Symptoms that always occur with normal case of spotting:
    vaginal bleeding or bloody discharge
    Symptoms that never occur with normal case of spotting:
    severe unexpected vaginal bleeding, vaginal pain, vaginal itch or burning, bleeding after sex, severe abdominal pain
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch
  5. 5.Viral (Rotavirus) Infection

    Rotavirus is a virus that causes an infection of the gut, known as gastroenteritis. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting and fever. When the diarrhea and/or vomiting is severe, dehydration can occur. Symptoms of dehydration include a dry mouth, dizziness, urinating less frequently and dark urine.

    You can safely treat this condition at home. Make sure you drink plenty of water and fluids to replace what is lost with diarrhea. Eat as normally as possible. If symptoms of dehydration occur, or you are unable to keep down any liquids, seek care at your primary care physician or an urgent care.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain (stomach ache), headache, loss of appetite
    Symptoms that always occur with viral (rotavirus) infection:
    hidden: gastroenteritis symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with viral (rotavirus) infection:
    constipation, tarry stool
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

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  6. 6.Indigestion (Dyspepsia)

    Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a condition that causes pain or discomfort in the stomach after eating. In some cases, indigestion also causes heartburn, burping, and nausea. Indigestion or dyspepsia is a very common complaint. Every year, about 1 in every 4 people will experience an episode of dyspepsia, of which most cases do not have a serious underlying cause.

    You can treat this at home with antacids. Many people find simple dietary changes to be beneficial such as avoiding spicy or fatty foods and drinking less tea or coffee.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, stomach bloating, bloating after meals, vomiting, pain below the ribs
    Symptoms that always occur with indigestion (dyspepsia):
    hidden: dyspeptic symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with indigestion (dyspepsia):
    hidden: signs of upper gi bleeding, rectal bleeding, bloody diarrhea, fever
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  7. 7.Mononucleosis Infection

    EBV Mononucleosis is a clinical syndrome characterized by fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes.

    You should visit your primary care physician within the next 24 hours. Diagnosis is confirmed by looking for antibodies against EBV. Treatment involves supportive care (hydration, antipyretics, and analgesics, such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen). Aspirin should not be given to children because of the possibility of Reye syndrome. It is also recommended that you do not do any strenuous physical activity and contact sports in the initial 3 to 4 weeks of illness due to the potential for splenic rupture.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, loss of appetite, abdominal pain (stomach ache), cough
    Symptoms that never occur with mononucleosis infection:
    rectal bleeding
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Gonococcal Cervicitis

    Gonorrhea is a common STD and 350,000 cases occur each year in the United States. It is transmitted through unprotected sex.

    You should visit your primary care physician to get tested as soon as possible and discuss treatment options. Please make sure you have protected intercourse until you have been tested.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding, painful sex, yellow pus vaginal discharge, heavy menstrual flow
    Symptoms that never occur with gonococcal cervicitis:
    improving vaginal discharge
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Normal Variation of Constipation

    Constipation is a very common condition affecting the large intestine. It is characterized by difficulty passing stool, or passing stool less often. Commonly it is linked to not eating enough dietary fiber, not drinking enough fluids, or not getting enough exercise. Some medications can cause constipation as well.

    For the short term, an over-the-counter laxative can help with your constipation. You can try to make changes at home to help prevent these symptoms. Dietary changes are typically effective: drink more fluids and eat more fiber (found in bran, root vegetables, nuts, and whole-grain flour). There are also over-the-counter fiber tablets that can help increase your dietary fiber.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, stomach bloating, constipation, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps)
    Symptoms that always occur with normal variation of constipation:
    constipation
    Symptoms that never occur with normal variation of constipation:
    vomiting
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  10. 10.Ovarian Torsion

    The twisting, or torsion, of the ovary around its surroundings. This may result in loss of blood to both the ovary and the fallopian tube. When diagnosed, this condition is considered an emergency and requires immediate surgery.

    You should go to the emergency room immediately. Diagnosis is made by ultrasound and surgery is required if the diagnosis is confirmed.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea or vomiting, nausea, moderate abdominal pain, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps)
    Symptoms that never occur with ovarian torsion:
    diarrhea, pain below the ribs, mild abdominal pain
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Cracked Nipples

  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Have you had any changes in your weight?
  • Q.Have you experienced any nausea?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our cracked nipples symptom checker.

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Cracked Nipples Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced cracked nipples have also experienced:

    • 8% Bloody Vaginal Discharge
    • 6% Abdominal Cramps (Stomach Cramps)
    • 6% Vaginal Bleeding
  • People who have experienced cracked nipples were most often matched with:

    • 12% Viral (Norovirus) Infection
    • 12% Breast Infection (Mastitis)
    • 7% Normal Case of Vaginal Discharge

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