Nipple fissures typically occur in runners and surfers, from chafing against clothing or the surfboard. It also occurs in women who are breast-feeding.
Symptoms include soreness, crusting, oozing, and bleeding of the nipple tissue.
Purified lanolin or a hydrogel dressing can soothe cracked nipples and help them retain moisture. If the nipple becomes infected, a topical antibiotic may help.