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6 Fixes for Sore Nipples You Get From Running

sore nipples

6 Quick Fixes for Sore Nipples You Get From Running
By Will Lind
Image © tinx/ Dollar Photo Club

There are so many little bits and pieces to running. The craziest thing is that sometimes the smallest thing can cause the greatest havoc, like blisters. Enter nipple rash, usually experienced by men because they more often have straight contact between nipple and shirt. Chafing on the nipples can sting big time, and at a minimum will cause sore nipples, but can even cause bleeding nipples. Yup, that’s right, bleeding nipples. Look around at most fun runs and you’ll spot the giveaway two red dots of bleeding nipples.

If you’ve never had it, keep doing what you’re doing. If you have, you know the severe, irritating, run stopping pain this can be. Nipple rash is no laughing matter, though some of the solutions can be pretty funny. So, if this is a regular issue for you it’s time to address what could be going on:

  1. Ditch the pure cotton tees: Rough cotton seems to cause sore nipples or bleeding nipples more than others. If this is the case for you, it’s time to have a look at wearing something blended or synthetic.
  2. Be the Bear: Fellas, don’t shave the chest. I know, your rippling runner’s chest wants to break free but it’s possible the hairs on your chest are providing a little cushioning; just enough to prevent the dreaded rubbing that will give you the sore nipples.
  3. Tape it up: If you have a naturally hair free chest, or you won’t be denied in your chest shaving endeavors, tape over your nipples. I know, not the most inspiring of sights, but a crisscross of sports tape or medical tape over the nipples is scientifically proven to be 100 times better than sore nipples caused by chafing. Bandaids can be a pain, slipping off under the duress of a long run, and general tapes, like electrical tape or clear tape, tend to curl up at the sides or not stick on for long. If you have a hairy chest and you’re not into shaving you still might need to remove some patches to allow the tape to stick.
  4. Lubricant or Vaseline: Seems to work for some and not for others. For some, it’s just enough to prevent the rubbing and chafing that causes the pain. For others, they either don’t use enough or the lubricant isn’t thick enough and sweats off. If you go this option, goop it on. Don’t be shy now.
  5. Waist Belt: It could be your hydration pack adding extra friction to the rubbing on your nipples due to the pressure pressing down. If tape doesn’t fix the sore nipples, consider a waist belt to hold your water, gels, food and music maker.
  6. Run shirtless: Strip it off and run free! Running shirtless can cause it’s own issues though, like being exposed to severe sun, insect bites and so on.

Final note – if the nipple chafing continues or they don’t heal over a couple of days, see a doctor and make sure there isn’t something going on.

Will Lind
About Will Lind (168 Articles)
A minimalist runner that otherwise doesn't discriminate, Will Lind is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Functional Running. A true run lover, Will's passion encompasses the full spectrum of running and lies in the soul of the run. A Personal Trainer, Run Coach and romantic at heart, Will enjoys flipping from heartfelt run reflection to critical analysis on a whim.
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