Treating and Preventing Surfer’s Nipple

Also known as nipple excoriation, this common skin irritation affects many surfers. Here are the best ways to remedy ongoing cases and avoid recurrences.

Apply Antiseptic Cream

Treat open sores with over-the-counter antiseptic like neosporin to prevent infection during healing. Reapply after surf sessions.

Speeds Natural Wound Closure

Antibacterial properties fight microbes prolonging inflammation.

Use Hydrocolloid Dressings

Moist bandages form protective seal over wound, drawing out fluids. Accelerates repair vs scabbing repeatedly.

Comfortable All-Day Cover

Waterproof and low-profile for seamless surfing/lifestyle.

Take Oral Antihistamines

Itch-relieving meds like Benadryl reduce swelling/scratching that disrupts natural healing.

Minimize Irritation Triggers

Especially helpful in histamine-sensitive surfers.

Apply Hydrocortisone Cream

Mild corticosteroid reduces inflammation when rash is severe. Spare for acute episodes to avoid dependence.

Fast-Acting for Flared-Up Nipples

Tapers use quickly once area has calmed.

Wear Nipple Bandages

Blister band-aids specifically protect nip area seamlessly under wetsuits.

Dedicated Waterproof Barrier

Prevents friction that irritates skin throughout sessions.

Use Polysporin Triple Antibiotic

Thick cream bolsters repair in chronic, stubborn cases with broad-spectrum antibiotic/antifungal properties.

Strong Prescription-Grade Option

Ikely needed only short-term until healing sustained.

Wear Wetsuit Sleeves

For beginners, these cover torso avoiding direct neoprene contact while learning to surf topless.

Gentle Introduction to Wetsuit Use

Avoids nippleSensitivity flares that could develop into excoriation.

Prevention Strategies

Diligent exfoliation before suiting up removes dead skin prone to maceration. Always rinse suit/ Skin thoroughly after surfing.

Avoid Tight/Cold Suits

Opt for correct size; consider seasonal or dedicated summer suits.

Comfort Minimizes Chafing

And neoprene’s irritant effects on delicate nipples.

Stay Hydrated

Drink water regularly so skin surface does not crack as easily.

Proper Body moisturization

Especially after surfing when skin is dehydrated.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long until surfer’s nipple heals?

Most cases clear within 7-10 days with diligent at-home care.

Is surfer’s nipple contagious?

No, it results from mechanical irritation/inflammation not transmitted between individuals.

Can I still surf while it’s healing?

Test tolerance and protect nipples, but mild exercise aids repair; sit out in bad flare-ups.


With proper wound treatment, preventive strategies, and care in returning to surfing, chronic surfer’s nipple exacerbations can often be avoided after the initial episode resolves. But recurrence risk remains, so continued diligence is ideal for long-term nipple health in avid surfers.

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