When purchasing a nipple cream for breastfeeding, it is important to remember that you are looking for something therapeutic rather than cosmetic.
Even when it comes to other types of skin care products and makeup, it is best to avoid any artificial or added fragrances. They may smell nice, but the scent does not usually taste as good. This can deter your baby from breastfeeding properly.
Therefore, if you have sensitive skin or a sensitive baby, you definitely want to skip out on this ingredient.
Weak topical steroids such as hydrocortisone are commonly recommended for itchy or irritated skin. For those with more severe eczema or dermatitis, doctors may prescribe more potent corticosteroids.
Normally, steroid-containing creams are quickly absorbed and not strong enough to cause any harmful effects in a nursing baby.
However, overusing this type of cream makes the skin thin and fragile, which worsens nipple cracks and damage. Only use these creams on the necessary areas at the lowest effective potency. Avoid applying them directly to the nipple and areola area, as these are more sensitive.
Retinoids are vitamin A-derivatives that are often ingredients in many anti-aging products. Aside from smoothening out wrinkles, it can help with skin discoloration and stretch marks. Some women may try using their existing facial products in lieu of a nipple cream for breastfeeding.