Eczema on the nipple, areola and breast can be seen in breastfeeding mothers, whether they have had a previous history of eczema or not. The affected area may look like open blisters, wounds or scabs and may ooze some liquid. Mothers complain that this sticks to the breast pad or bra. The area may also look like dry scabs or elevated areas of red, dry skin. (see photos)
****Diagnosis and treatment of eczema of the nipple and areolae needs to be monitored by your physician, especially because you will be using a corticosteroids on the area.****
Eczema of the nipple and areolae is treated in the following way:
Dry lesions (no oozing) : use a 1/2 pea size of a very mild corticosteriod such as hydrocortisone 1% ointment and rub on the affected area after nursing or pumping, at least 4 x daily until the lesions clear. Expect significant improvement within the first 3 - 4 days, with full clearing after 1 - 2 weeks. Lesions with oozing: may clear with mupirocin ointment (prescription antibacterial) by itself or mixed with mild corticosteroids ointment such as hydrocortisone ointment 1% or betamethasone valerate ointment 1%. Expect significant improvement within the first 3 - 4 days, with full clearing after 1 - 2 weeks. Use ointments, not creams to treat eczema because creams can be drying and worsen eczema in this area. It is possible that the lesions may recur after the treatment is discontinued. To prevent the lesions from recurring, keep the nipples and areaole from getting too dry. Perhaps use a nursing mothers ointment once or twice a day. Make sure that you are not allergic to any of the products you use on the area, including lanolin.