Men's Nipple Chafing


Experience From - Rob Mark , John Carey , Kevin , Rocky Waters, Norm Yarger , Randy Rhodes , Bob , David Sill , Jay Anderson, Unknown , Rich Schick , Ken Greenaway , Al Howie , John Thieme , Kevin Sharp , Jim Nelson , Skip Eastman , Mike Franusich , Chris Rios ,

Rob Mark

Does anybody know if the new light-weight cool max T-shirts help alleviate the dreaded "rubbed raw nipple rash"? My sweat soaked cotton t's don't do a very good job protecting my tender little nubs on my long runs. Don't those things ever toughen up?

John Carey

I have a lightweight CoolMax singlet that seems to cause more friction in the nipple area than cotton! I use a small piece of clear first aid tape. It stays on even in a 100 miler and isn't that much of a problem to take off.


Have your tried Matt's 60 grit sandpaper approach? Oh wait, that was for the feet, wasn't it? Never mind ;-)

Anyway, I have good luck with CoolMax, either mesh or plain - better luck with the plain (use petrolatum with the mesh). There are some that use duct tape...

Rocky Waters

I have not worn cotton shirts in longer runs for quite some time. This is because I sweat lots and run in the rain quite a lot making the cotton shirts feel real heavy and sag on the body. I generally wear nylon shirts (made by my wife) or Cool Max. The nylon shirts seem to cause the least nipple rubbing. Cool Max does a better job at whisking away the moisture from the body. In all cases, though, I find that I do best by using tape on my nipples. Currently I use just a small piece (about a quarter inch square) of quarter inch Micropore tape (available at ordinary drug stores). I have worn it through 50 miles (longest I have run thus far) and showers without it coming off. Some other tapes I have used have worked very poorly and others have worked well. Since it only needs to cover the nipple, one roll lasts a long time.

Norm Yarger

I wear duct tape to prevent nipple rash. I did it again at Voyager and it stays on well plus it's not too hard to remove without screaming. Great stuff. I just tear off two squares and slap them on my chest.

Randy Rhodes

No, those things never toughen up. I use Band-Aids and never have any problems with my tender little nubs anymore. CoolMax (or other synthetic) shirts are far superior to cotton for other reasons. It drys more quickly than cotton and is less abrasive on the skin. Don't suffer anymore!

Bob ?

I have been wearing a Cool Max T-shirt during my longer runs and have only had one occurrence of nipple rash. It was a 2.5 hr run during humid weather mixed with light rain. The shirts work very well for me and I prefer them over cotton shirts for the longer runs.

David Sill

I use tape in races. It is always effective though care is needed when removing afterwards. Lots of people use Vaseline. I've never done it but it is so simple it is worth a try. Runners put it under there arm pits on hot days too, as well as in other places where body parts meet!

Jay Anderson

I have some silk shorts for running and I know that silk is often used as underwear for arctic expeditions because of its ability to wick away water and keep it away from the skin (where it may freeze). I have noticed that my silk shorts stay dry no matter how much I sweat and they are light as heck. They have silk underwear built in that have elastic legs and all so nothing 'flops' around. As a matter of fact, every now and then I find myself looking down to be sure in fact that I am wearing anything at all. Ha. They do make silk shirts and I wonder if anyone has tried silk?


Moleskin patches have worked very well for me; you have to shave the area first, and cut them large enough so they adhere firmly, but they work very well, even in rain.

Rich Shick

My solution is to apply a small amount of Vaseline directly to the nipples only, then duct tape which overlaps past the Vaseline area by 1/4 - 1/2". The Vaseline keeps the tape from sticking to the more sensitive areas for pain free removal of the tape.

Ken Greenaway

Ever tried Dr. Scholl's corn pads? At least I think that's what they're called. Those thick pads with a hole in the middle anyway.

Al Howie

Well I just thought of something; Quite a few calloused vets recommend a touch of cross-dressing, namely knee high nylons, as the best form of blister preventing foot care!! How about a body stocking or itty-bitty-titty club sports bra!!

Seriously a bare chest, measy petroleum jelly or a coolmax type shirt is probably your best bet! Generally the problem diminishes with time, or gets lost among more serious problems. However the awesome Don Ritchie, who ranks among the fastest and most prolific ultrarunners anywhere, anytime is renowned for charging by, his singlet drenched with blood from bleeding nipples!! So your in good company!!

John Thieme

Where I run shirts and singlet stay wet from sweat all year round. I have no magic cure and I have never been able to take the pain of sore nipple long enough to learn if they "toughen up" by repeated exposure to abrasion.

I've had real good look with those little round bandaids. I think they're called "spots." Despite wearing them for up to 36+ hours I've never had them come off. In fact I put a dab of kleenex under a bit of the sticky part so I can more easily peel them off afterwards.

Kevin Sharp

I use a moisture permeable dressing, kind of like a second skin, you can probably pick it up at a medical supply store. I get mine from work (a hospital), Just a small square on each nipple and you chafing problems are over for up to two months. It is clear and if you trim it right you can not even tell it's there.

Jim Nelson

The nipples never 'get used to it'. if anything they get more suseptible to it. Bandaids come off too easily. Duct tape peels up on the edges and causes irritation around the periphery on the rest of your chest. I found some clear medical tape at the grocery store that works great. It even can stay on for several days. Perhaps a little bandaid dot under it would make it peel off more easily.

Skip Eastman

Being a prodigious sweater, all the bandaid-type solutions were quickly flushed away. An ultra friend suggested duct tape, but it neither breathes, nor is particularly flexible. He's a pharmacist, however, and gave me a bag of random tape selections from his shelf, and one, in particular, has become my tape of choice.

TRANSPORE! Breathable, tears across the pores, so no knife/scissors are needed, is available at a drug store near you, and lasts and lasts. It doesn't wash off in the shower, and is almost transparent, so I sometimes realize several days after a long run that I still have it on. Not in one occasion has it slipped or come off, including my rather pedestrian almost 12-hour 50-milers.

Find it and you'll never need anything else.

Mike Franusich

I have a lot of trouble with bloody nipples, in fact, one time I did the ultra-runner boneheaded thing of running about 15 miles to a hash and getting a double bleeder. The OnSec gave me the hashname of "Bloody Nipples", but then got too drunk to record it. Anyway, I digress...

What works like a champ for me is to daub the area with a bit of Tincture of Benzoine (on a Q-tip), let it dry a few minutes, and cover it with 1" wide J&J waterproof tape. For Western States it lasted the whole run.

Lately I've done fine with that pushup stick runner's lube from Road Runner Sports. It lasts me for a whole 50-miler.

Losing weight to reduce jiggle works pretty good, too, but that's a whole different thread.

Chris Rios

A friend, not a runner, he cycles, hikes, sent me an order form for some thing called NipGuards. Found it in Los Angeles some where. Any one heard of or used these? They look pretty good. Little round pads to stick over your nipples. Some time back there were some posting on this subject but I don't remember seeing NipGuards. Am interested if any one out there has used them.

The order form reads:
new product announcement. Protection from painful nipple abrasion. Clean, safe, & convenient to use. Website: Protective outer layer stays on to create the nipple cavity and also helps prevent resistance with the shirt, etc. Pack of 10 pairs, $8.95 or bulk pack, 100 pairs, $84.95. Don't have any financial interest with NipGuards. While I'm on, Goals. Hoping to stay injury free for Leadville this year.