Is this thrush or something worse? UPDATE: Severe nipple trauma-help? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 32 Old 05-19-2012, 09:27 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So I am still BFing my 15-month-old but only at night. If you've read my other thread (lol) you know he HAS to nurse alllll night long. A few days ago I noticed when he latches it HURTS! Something that hasn't happened since he was a newborn.

 

I thought it was just his teeth until I looked today and saw my right nipple (the one that hurts) is all inflamed, pink and raw looking. My other one is fine. My first thought was maybe it was an infection. Then I thought thrush, because DS just got over a double ear infection and has been on antibiotics for 10 days, plus DS's rear end looks "splotchy", not a full-on rash but like the beginnings of something. I don't see anything in his mouth though.

 

I started Googling this morning and freaked myself out by reading about something called Pagets that is a rare form of breast cancer on the nipple. I have OCD and haven't had an attack like this is a while but I scared myself so bad I got diarrhea. I know logically it is unlikely but I always think worst case scenerio.

 

I went to the ER this morning and dragged my poor little guy so they could use him to dx me (check his diaper area, mouth etc). The doc barely looked in his mouth (didn't use a tongue depressor or anything) and refused to look at his diaper area to see if it was thrush. In fact she said if it is thrush it "would be in the mouth, not his behind"...?? I showed her my nipple and she said it could be the beginnings of a candida infection and wrote me a rx for nystatin. I asked her if it could be anything worse and she said well if it doesn't go away I might need antibiotics. Thanks doc duh.gif

 

What do you think? Can I get thrush when he's only nursing at night and is a toddler?? I am worrying myself sick here that it could be something else. My gut says it's thrush but my mind keeps saying "but what IF, what IF!!!!" uhoh3.gif


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#2 of 32 Old 05-19-2012, 11:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok I feel like a total idiot but I *think* I may have figured it out! I fell asleep next to DS2 after getting home and when I woke up my nipple was hurting and saw that my bra had "caught" right under my nipple, where it is swollen and irritated. Then I thought about it and realized that's where my bra ALWAYS "catches", every single day (I think I need a new bra!). I just looked and the crease of my nipple right where the bra catches has split open, like a large crack. So maybe this is it? I don't even think it's thrush anymore. I took off my bra and won't wear it anymore and see what happens!


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#3 of 32 Old 05-20-2012, 04:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ok I know I sound mental but I'm back to thinking it might be thrush. I didn't let DS nurse on the right side at all last night but this morning the right side was leaking and breast was engorged and uncomfortable so I let him nurse. Didn't hurt this time. But noticed afterwards nipple was dry and flaky looking, with peeling skin. It's just on the right side. Idk what to think anymore but I'm back to being scared...hope some experts can weigh in!!

 

Thanks!!


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#4 of 32 Old 05-20-2012, 05:46 AM
 
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I had a bra that 'rubbed' against my nipples so badly that i thought it was thrush too, friends at LLL even agreed with me - although baby had NO symptoms.  I went to the dermatologist who told me it wasnt thrush, just basically abraded and irritated skin - she said she would use hydrocortisone if i wasnt nursing -  Hydrocortisone is actually not bad for babies - i wasnt in such bad shape that i had to use it often - i think i used it twice and of course...stopped wearing that bra! 

i was better in a few days - but my nipples were as you described - pink, flaky, a bit sore.  If babe has no symptoms and you are feeling OK - just stop wearing that bra and see if clears on its own - if not, you have the Nystatin

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#5 of 32 Old 05-20-2012, 06:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for replying, motherhendoula!! Was your irritation only on one side of your nipple? Mine is just on the underside, although it is a tiny bit flaky on the top as well. The red/pink puffiness is only on the underside and it has spread a tiny bit onto the areola. And also, I only have 1 nipple affected- that's what also has me worried.

 

The affected area is shiny, pink, has that peeling, white-ish skin. I had stabbing pains when DS nursed for a few days in a row, but no stabbing pains this morning. I want to go to the OBGyn to get checked out but I have no health insurance right now (in the process of getting it back).

 

ETA: One more thing, I don't know if this means anything but my right breast was leaking allllll night long since I wasn't nursing from that side...do you think that has anything to do with the peeling?


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#6 of 32 Old 05-20-2012, 09:16 AM
 
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I'm nursing a 2 year old. About 6 months ago I had a sore nipple - it was a combo of a lazy toddler latch (now we always have a BIIIIG mouth and I pull in tight to latch) and thrush. I used monistat cream twice a day for a few days and the crack cleared right up. Interestingly it was both sore and kinda itchy at the same time. My 'home remedy' for my sore nipples is 1) check for a milk blister and deal with it if that is the issue, 2) correct latch 3) try some monistat if nothing else works and 4) wash well in the shower. My nipples can get overwhelmed by baby sweat and saliva, so keeping things well washed decreased irritation. So far it's worked every time. Sheepish.gif
 

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#7 of 32 Old 05-20-2012, 10:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Patiogardener!! What did your sore nipple look like, can you describe it? I mean was it like mine? Thanks!


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#8 of 32 Old 05-20-2012, 01:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I found something on Pagets disease in this scientific article http://dermatologycentral.typepad.com/files/nipple-and-areolar-eczema-i.pdf, at the top of page 3 it says it would be a rare event in a breastfeeding mother and has not been reported in literature.... do you think I can rule this out then, for the most part? It also says the average age is 50 (although I know many women get breast cancer in their 20s and 30s).

 

I keep checking it all day and it's starting to look like it's slowly clearing up....we'll see!


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#9 of 32 Old 05-20-2012, 03:44 PM
 
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My line of thinking goes: thrush = common; cancer = rare. It makes sense for it to be the most common thing. If it doesn't clear up, then I start to worry, but not before, as experience has taught me that it's not worth the energy to worry right away.

 

I think it is great news that it is clearing up! Hope you are feeling better (and also less worried) soon.
 

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#10 of 32 Old 05-20-2012, 03:45 PM
 
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Hi Patiogardener!! What did your sore nipple look like, can you describe it? I mean was it like mine? Thanks!


It has a crack (cracks are common with thrush) and was pinker than normal. Also it was only on one side.

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#11 of 32 Old 05-22-2012, 06:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Patiogardener!! I wish I could post a pic but don't wanna be flagged for pornography.

 

The crack has gone away, I've been using lansiloh since yesterday. No more dryness but pink, inflamed area still there. Doesn't itch or hurt. No discharge or anything. I decided not to use the nystatin b/c I'm not convinced it is thrush and I won't be able to nurse from that side if I use it (they didn't prescribe me the oral nystatin but the cream which baby can't ingest). I'm thinking (hoping) it's just contact dermatis (sp?) that made the crack, then maybe it got yeast inside or something and that's why it is inflamed? Idk... DS shows no signs of thrush though and seems totally fine. Man I wish I could get in to see a doc to give me peace of mind!


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#12 of 32 Old 05-24-2012, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just wanted to update that I've been having minor shooting pains in my rt breast/nipple. Last night it looked better but this morning it looked back to how it was. Now it is 2:30pm and it looks like it's getting better again...I only nurse at night, do you think this is why?

 

ETA: I also just had some shooting pains in my left as well... weird! I just started AF today, maybe that's why??


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#13 of 32 Old 05-24-2012, 04:44 PM
 
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Check out Dr Jack Newman's thrush protocol - you may see something there you'd like to try.

 

http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/content.php?pagename=doc-CP
 

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#14 of 32 Old 05-24-2012, 06:24 PM
 
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Sounds like thrush to me, something I have too much experience with. smile.gif  I would make homemade APNO - mix equal parts 1% hydrocortisone, polysporin, & lotrimin/monistat/miconazole ointment. I would put that on after every nursing session.  I would also sometimes put acidophilus powder on top of the APNO and then cover my nipple/breast with a breast pad under my bra.  I would give my little one some probiotics, too. 

 

I have also followed Dr. Jay Gordon's thrush treatment with grapefruit seed extract and that has helped, too.  I used that when my LO had thrush (mouth) and it worked pretty quickly.  I won't touch Gentian Violet, but that's just me. 

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#15 of 32 Old 05-26-2012, 06:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sounds like thrush to me, something I have too much experience with. smile.gif 

 

Thanks ladies!! Do you think it could be thrush even though it's only on one nipple and I have no pain or itching, and I've only had the shooting pains once or twice?


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#16 of 32 Old 05-26-2012, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I know ya'll are sick of hearing about this already (lol), but... so it looks like it's healing BUT there is still that white crust on the affected area. I tried to pull off some (pinpoint size) and it left a red raw area. What the heck is going on?? It's not oozing or bleeding or anything, and no nipple discharge at all (sorry TMI).

I may be getting health insurance in the next few weeks praying.gif so will hopefully be able to go to the doc and leave you guys the heck alone lol!


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#17 of 32 Old 05-29-2012, 05:04 AM - Thread Starter
 
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So I think continuing to nurse on my rt nipple has made it a ton worse... what started out as a "simple" crack in a nipple is now 3 huge, deep, cracks (on the side and base) that are raw and open after nursing and crust over in the hours after. My nipple looks horrible and I feel if I had let it "rest" it could heal but if I do I know my milk will dry up for good since I am only nursing a few times at night now (babe is 15 months). :( Like I said before I did lansiloh when it was just one crack and it didn't heal it. I think all the crusting over, then un-crusting (when nursing- I know, GROSS!), then crusting, etc caused those other cracks. What do I do? Can't pump- my body does not react well to a pump and it will be the same as quitting. Should I just keep nursing until my annual exam at the end of June (I DO have health coverage just for that visit!) and then see what the doc wants me to do then? Also, I know it's traumatized again b/c it HURTS BAD to nurse on it again. :(((


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#18 of 32 Old 05-29-2012, 11:22 AM
 
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Can you get someone to prescribe APNO? I had horrible problems nursing my son because of nipple pain and deep, bloody cracks. This stuff saved my life:

 

http://www.nbci.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=76:all-purpose-nipple-ointment-apno&catid=5:information&Itemid=17


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What have you tried to treat it?
 

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#20 of 32 Old 05-29-2012, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, alittlesandy, I will check that out!

 

Patiogardener- I haven't really done anything yet since I haven't been able to go to the doc and don't know what it is (yeast, bacterial, just damaged skin, something else, etc). I just keep nursing as normal. I looked at it after DS nursed tonight before I put him down for bed and the cracks/splits/gashes or whatever they are are now extending all the way around the nipple!! It's like it's getting worse, not better. And it hurts bad when he latches but stops hurting after 30 sec or so. What should I do?? Should I go back to the ER or just wait a couple of weeks for my health insurance to kick in??


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#21 of 32 Old 05-30-2012, 02:23 PM
 
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Patiogardener- I haven't really done anything yet since I haven't been able to go to the doc and don't know what it is (yeast, bacterial, just damaged skin, something else, etc). I just keep nursing as normal. I looked at it after DS nursed tonight before I put him down for bed and the cracks/splits/gashes or whatever they are are now extending all the way around the nipple!! It's like it's getting worse, not better. And it hurts bad when he latches but stops hurting after 30 sec or so. What should I do?? Should I go back to the ER or just wait a couple of weeks for my health insurance to kick in??

 

Thrush commonly causes cracks that go around the base of the bottom of the nipple. As I said in an earlier post, when my nipple got 'thrush-like' cracks, I used monistat cream twice a day. I bought it from the pharmacy - I didn't have to see my doctor. I figured for $8 a tube, if it worked that was great and if not there weren't any bad side-effects and I hadn't lost too much money and I would see a doctor. La Leche League talks about Monistat here: http://www.lalecheleague.org/faq/thrush.html

 

I'm not recommending this for you - just letting you know my story. You know your situation best and will know what's best for you. I do feel your pain though, and hope you feel better soon!

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Absolutely get all purpose nipple ointment if you can. If not, mix polysporin with hydrocortisone and try that. I had he same thing happen. I'd post a photo But don't want to get flagged either. I never found out exactly what it was but the APNO got rid of it and the GSE made it way worse. Apparently it is frequently contaminated and shouldn't be used (too late for me). Good luck...I had freaked myself out about cancer too.
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#23 of 32 Old 06-03-2012, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Good luck...I had freaked myself out about cancer too.

 

I'm glad I'm not the only one!!! lol

 

Thanks APToddlerMama & PatioGardener!! Thanks for the tips too. Did your nipple cracks form whitish/yellowish crust (sorry TMI!!!!)? Mine were just on the underside and now extend all around and the crusting is going all the way around too now (as well as the cracks). :( Does is still sound like thrush?

I am def going to try some of your suggestions, first I want to get in to see a doc once my insurance goes through...should I see a Gyn or go to a dermatologist??

 

Also- did your affected nipple have a rough red/pink area around the base?

 

Thank you SO much ladies for responding to me, I've been a paranoid mess!!!


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So as of this morning no more peeling or crust, but the 3 deep cracks are still there and open, and I still have that rough, red area around the base of the nipple.... AND, I think I now see the very beginnings of a crack on my other nipple. Did you guys have the same??

 

ETA: whoops- crust/peeling still there, spoke too soon :(


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#25 of 32 Old 06-27-2012, 05:36 PM
 
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How is your nipples now? Any healing since your last post?


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#26 of 32 Old 06-27-2012, 05:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi ladies!! No healing whatsoever but my other nipple is now just as affected so I am pretty sure it is thrush. My DS also has been scratching his bottom constantly even though there is no visible rash, he was just at the pediatrician and she said it's possible he could have a mild case of thrush (since he just got off his 3rd round of antibiotics in 2 months for an ear infection). I'm going in tomorrow morning to see my doc about my nipples (finally have insurance!!!!!!!) and I will def report back!! If she agrees that's what this is I will def be trying some of your remedies!!


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#27 of 32 Old 06-28-2012, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The verdict is in! My doctor said thrush and prescribed nystatin!

 

I'm going to use the meds but would like to try some of your remedies as well. Thanks so much!!!


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#28 of 32 Old 06-28-2012, 01:00 PM
 
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I hate to burst your bubble but nystatin isn't working too well for many people these days. It's been a while since I researched but I think it only helps around 50% of the time. Diflucan is much more effective though even with that you typically have to be on a loading dose and then maintenance for several weeks. If this doesn't help within a few days you should ask for diflucan. Good luck!
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#29 of 32 Old 06-29-2012, 06:57 PM
 
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Olive oil on nipples work for yeast on nipples, also vinegar rinses on your nipples, sunlight on your nipples. Also wash all your bra's in hot water and add 1/2 cup vinegar and hang them up outside to dry in the sun so it will kill yeast. If you have thrush on your nipples and you nurse your child will need to be treated as well or you will keep passing it back and forth.


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#30 of 32 Old 07-10-2012, 09:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I hate to burst your bubble but nystatin isn't working too well for many people these days. It's been a while since I researched but I think it only helps around 50% of the time. Diflucan is much more effective though even with that you typically have to be on a loading dose and then maintenance for several weeks. If this doesn't help within a few days you should ask for diflucan. Good luck!

 

It's def lot better now, but still not 100%. Is diflucan the pink pill you take when you have a yeast infection? Haven't had a YI in years but I remember calling my doc for those pills and they were life savers!


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