Nipples, both in men and women, are sensitive areas.
They’re quickly irritated and should be taken care of. Nipple pain can come from many causes, especially in women, and some of them are very serious (breast cancer), but…
…they can be benevolent as well. One of those benevolent causes is sweat.
So, why do your nipples hurt when you sweat?
Well, firstly, let’s take a look at the composition of sweat. We know that sweat contains urea, but also excess salt that your body exudes to prevent overheating and damage to your liver and kidneys.
Now, the reason your nipples hurt when you’re sweaty actually has nothing to do with sweating per se, but with the interaction of your sweat, skin, and clothing. Like we just said, sweat contains salt…
… and that salt is highly abrasive. The soreness comes from your nipples rubbing against your clothes. Again, this is more problematic for women, and if you’re working out…
…and wearing a sports bra, you need to make sure that your bra is a very tight fit, otherwise, your breast will move and rub against the inner side of the bra.
Also, if the problem is persistent, make sure that your bra is not made out of synthetic materials that won’t allow your skin to breathe.
The same can be said for men.
If you’re wearing a very tight shirt, also made of synthetic, non-breathable materials, will make you sweat even more profusely, which will cause a greater level of abrasion.
To prevent this, be sure you’re wearing a looser cotton shirt because it will, firstly, suck up the sweat, and, secondly, won’t rub against your nipples that hard.
Another thing you can do, regardless if you’re a man or a woman, is to wear a nipple cover over your nipples to prevent abrasion, or something as simple as a Band-Aid.
To prevent this, be sure you’re wearing a looser cotton shirt, because it will, firstly, suck up the sweat, and, secondly, won’t rub against your nipples that hard.
However, there is a more sinister cause behind your nipples hurting when you sweat.
Your skin is always littered with bacteria, and bacteria thrives in moist and wet environments.
Sweating profusely all the time might cause the bacteria to reproduce at an increased rate, which could ultimately result in a bacterial infection.
The same thing can happen with fungus, and you may contract a fungal infection, the symptoms of which are usually irritated skin, redness, itchiness, and pain.
This problem is also more viable to arise in women, and our suggestion is to change your bra daily and bathe regularly.
All in all, those are the two main causes of nipple pain during sweating. While one is of mechanical nature, and easily avoided, the other one can be more dangerous, and more persistent. But the main idea is to take care of what clothes you wear, and of your personal hygiene.