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Using coconut oil for cracked nipples? Breastfeeding moms should know this

Be it for skin or hair problem, you can always rely on coconut oil. It is brings back moisture in your hair and skin. But is coconut oil good for cracked nipples, especially when you are breastfeeding?
breast massage
Using coconut oil for cracked nipples? Breastfeeding moms should know this. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Updated: 17 Oct 2023, 06:36 pm IST
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Got dry hair or skin? Coconut oil comes to the rescue! You just have to take a few drops of it and use it to make your hair or skin moist and hydrated. But is coconut oil safe to treat dry nipples? It’s something that you must have wondered about, especially if you are breastfeeding. Coconut oil works really well. But when it comes to dry nipples, you should use them with caution. Women who are breastfeeding need to be more careful while using coconut oil for cracked nipples.

dry nipple
Dry nipples happen due to many reasons. Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

HealthShots consulted Delhi-based dermatologist and hair transplant surgeon Dr Navnit Haror, who says dry or cracked nipples can happen due to various reasons. It can be due to something as simple as constantly rubbing against rough clothes. You can even blame yeast infection, which can arise due to antibiotic reaction or from breastfeeding. Eczema is also one of the causes of dry or cracked nipples. Also, you can’t put all the blame on winter season which often causes skin dryness.

Is coconut oil good for dry nipples?

Coconut oil is often used by women for stretch marks or chapped lips. Dr Haror says that coconut oil is great for soothing your skin. You just need to apply a small amount of coconut oil to nipples, and gently massage. It can bring much-needed relief to cracked, sore or itchy nipples. Since it is a moisturising agent, it’s a great natural ingredient if you are breastfeeding. Coconut oil helps to promote healing as it contains antimicrobial, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties. It has lauric acid, which is also found in breast milk. It can be a great way to treat bacterial and fungal problems if you are facing them. While it can help to prevent dry nipples and allow them to heal, it also keeps them safe from infection.

Coconut oil for breastfeeding moms and pregnant women

Coconut oil can inactivate several bacteria during pregnancy and also prevent common bacterial as well as viral infections. Use it in moderation when you apply it on your nipples then coconut oil will be safe even if you are breastfeeding newborns, says the expert. But this doesn’t mean that your little one should be ingesting it on own. It’s just that if you have a little bit of coconut oil on your breasts to help with cracked or dry nipples, it’s not going to cause any harm to your baby. If you notice your child has sensitivity to it then you should stop using it immediately and check with your doctor before you use it again. Dr Haror says that coconut oil is a natural product and 100 percent safe unless you are allergic to it.

dry nipple
You can apply coconut oil on dry nipples. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

How long will coconut oil help to heal dry nipples?

You don’t have to wait for long. Just after first few applications of coconut oil, you will find relief. Regular use will not only heal the affected nipples, but will also prevent recurrence, says the expert.

Other oils for dry nipples

Besides coconut oil, olive oil can be used for nipple fissures or cracks or dryness, says the dermatologist. You can apply just small amounts of diluted peppermint, Lanolin oil or Menthol essence on your nipples to soothe nipple pain and help in healing. Wipe with if off with antiseptic creams or lotions before you nurse.

While these are natural remedies, make sure you check with your doctor to avoid any problems.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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