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Jogger's Nipple (Nipple Chafing) & How to Prevent It

As John, one of Avanza Skin founder's friends, hit his stride during her morning run, the rhythmic rubbing of his shirt against her nipples turned from minor irritation into an uncomfortable burn.



Ignoring it initially, he soon realized she had a jogger's nipple – a common affliction among runners. This relatable anecdote sets the stage for an in-depth exploration of the causes, symptoms, and effective strategies to prevent and treat jogger's nipples, offering insight and relief to those facing similar discomfort during their exercise routines.



To find out more about chafing, our blog post: Chafing - The Complete Guide for Athletes, explains in detail the causes, prevention, and treatment.



What is Jogger's nipple?


Jogger's nipple, also known as nipple chafing, refers to a common condition often experienced by runners. It occurs when the repetitive friction between clothing, like shirts or running vests, and the nipples leads to irritation and discomfort.


The constant rubbing weakens the skin's protective barrier, resulting in redness, soreness, and even small abrasions or bleeding if not treated. 


While prevalent among runners, joggers' nipples can affect individuals engaging in other physical activities that involve continuous movement.

If you still have questions you can read Dermatologic Disorders of the Athlete to learn more.

Understanding this condition involves recognizing its causes and implementing preventive measures like using anti-chafing creams, wearing suitable moisture-wicking clothing, and employing protective strategies to minimize friction.


Addressing joggers' nipples ensures comfort, enabling individuals to maintain their exercise routines without the distraction of nipple-related discomfort.



What causes Jogger's nipple (nipple chafing)?


Jogger's nipple, or nipple chafing, is primarily caused by the repetitive rubbing of clothing against the nipples during physical activity like running. The friction weakens the skin's protective barrier, leading to irritation and discomfort. Sweat exacerbates the problem by further softening the skin and “breaking” the skin barrier. 


Some other factors that can contribute to this frequent skin condition include rough or abrasive fabrics or improper-fitting sports bras.


But the main cause is simply having an active lifestyle and enjoying running. Understanding these triggers helps active people take preventive measures to continue to run without skin concerns and maintain comfort during exercise.



Side effects & symptoms of Jogger's nipple (nipple chafing)


Jogger's nipple, or nipple chafing, progresses through distinct discomfort levels. It starts with a tingling or itchiness around the nipples due to friction during exercise. As irritation intensifies, the affected area becomes increasingly sensitive and might feel sore

In more severe cases, the pain can escalate, leading to heightened sensitivity even outside of physical activity. The skin might become red, inflamed, and, in extreme instances, even bleed. Never seen the finishing line of a marathon with plenty of people with bleeding t-shirts? 



What does Jogger's nipple (nipple chafing) chafing look like?


Jogger's nipple, or nipple chafing, is visually characterized by redness and inflammation around the nipple area. The skin might appear irritated and feel tender to the touch. With continued friction, the irritation can lead to small abrasions or even scabbing

In some cases, there might be swelling due to the skin's response to constant rubbing. These visual indicators highlight the extent of irritation caused by chafing. 




How to prevent Jogger’s nipple (nipple chafing)?


To prevent jogger’s nipples, always use anti-chafing cream pre-workout, opt for moisture-wicking and soft clothing fabrics, and ensure proper sports bras for support.

Nevertheless, sports bras need to be on the tighter end as they need to prevent breast bounciness to avoid damage to them, so this highlights the need for a body block to fight fiction, on all the areas that your bra feels tight. 


Staying dry and taking breaks during prolonged activities reduces chafing. These strategies alleviate discomfort, ensuring an uninterrupted and pain-free active lifestyle.


Avanza Skin’s a body block to fight friction is an excellent anti-chafing balm that creates a protective barrier to minimize friction and prevent joggers' nipples. Its formula is based on coconut oil that provides performance with a natural ingredient and a non-mess application.


The following tips and how to execute them will prevent jogger’s nipples:



Use a body block to fight friction

Using a body block to fight friction creates a protective barrier between skin surfaces or skin and clothing, minimizing friction.

This balm is formulated with lubricating agents that reduce irritation and discomfort.

By applying it before exercise, you can reduce the risk of chafing.

a body block to fight friction is particularly effective in scenarios where moisture and movement intensify friction. It offers a simple yet effective way to prevent nipple chafing and ensure a more comfortable experience during physical activities.





Wear moisture-absorbing clothes

Wearing moisture-wicking clothing is essential to prevent a jogger's nipple. These fabrics pull sweat away from the skin, reducing moisture accumulation that can weaken the skin's barrier.


By keeping the skin drier, friction between skin surfaces and clothing is minimized, effectively reducing the risk of chafing and promoting overall comfort during physical activities.



Use adhesive bandages or nipple covers 

Using adhesive bandages or nipple covers creates a protective barrier between clothing and the nipples, reducing friction during exercise. This preventive measure minimizes the risk of jogging nipples, ensuring comfort and allowing individuals to focus on their workouts without the discomfort of nipple chafing.


Applying adhesive bandages or nipple covers can also minimize friction but they can hurt and damage when removed or in skin that is already chafed. 



Maintaining proper hygiene

Maintaining proper hygiene is crucial in chafing prevention. Post-workout showering with proper cleaning of areas with high humidity like armpits, groin area, and in between toes is essential to remove sweat, bacteria, and fungus that exacerbate friction.

Pat drying these areas thoroughly without rubbing after washing is equally important, as damp skin is more susceptible to chafing and the sensitive skin on your nipples can get irritated if aggressively rubbed. 

You can find more information on why to shower after a workout in our blog post: Showering After Workout - Essential for Skin and learn how this simple step might be the solution you were looking for.

How to treat Jogger's nipple?


Treating a jogger's nipples involves several soothing strategies.


First, cleanse your body post-workout with a syndet soap, like an after workout body wash, designed for sensitive skin including your nipples, that removes sweat, dirt, and bacteria without damaging your skin’s integrity.

After showering, pat dry carefully to avoid damaging the chafing skin, and be sure to remove all moist areas, as moisture makes it worse. 


If you can let it air dry and afterward apply a body block to fight friction, its coconut oil creates a barrier that allows your skin to breathe while making it stronger by hydrating your outer skin layer. Keep applying the anti-chafing cream pre-workout until your skin is recovered and as a preventive measure.



These strategies, combined with patience, help soothe and heal nipple chafing, restoring skin health and comfort after friction-related irritation.



When to see a doctor?

If you don’t see improvement despite following the previously mentioned strategies you need to seek medical attention. Other skin signs that might alert you to consult your medical provider are: oozing, bleeding, pus (white discharge), or signs of infection like increased redness, swelling, warmth, or fever

Additionally, if chafing hampers daily activities despite home care, medical advice is essential. Severe cases may require prescription ointments, antibiotics, or specialized wound care. Prompt medical intervention prevents complications and ensures proper healing, especially when chafing leads to open sores or infection risk.




Athletes should always apply an anti-chafing balm to prevent a jogger's nipple during running or any other physical activity that promotes friction between clothes and nipples. This creates a protective layer, reducing friction between skin surfaces or clothing, ensuring a more comfortable and irritation-free workout experience.


Avanza Skin’s a body block to fight friction creates a protective barrier to minimize friction and prevent jogger’s nipples. Based on coconut oil, it creates a thin layer that protects the skin from friction. It also helps with irritation, blisters, and raw skin caused by friction.

Avanza Skin has products to prevent and treat chafing. Find the right products that meet your skin and hair needs - in less than a minute. Take our quiz to find out!