Evaluation of a dressing to reduce nipple pain and improve nipple skin condition in breast-feeding women

Nurs Res. 1995 Nov-Dec;44(6):347-51.


This study was designed to evaluate whether maintenance of a moist environment on the nipple skin during the first week of breast-feeding would improve damaged nipple skin condition, as indicated by the presence of eschar, erythema, and fissures, and reduce pain. Fifty White women applied a polyethylene film dressing with a perimeter adhesive system to a randomly determined nipple. The dressing was present at all times except during feeding. Subjects were assessed every 48 hours (four times) over 7 days. Serial photographic slides were obtained and assessed for skin characteristics. Nipple pain was self-rated with a verbal descriptor scale. Use of an occlusive film dressing on nipple skin during the first week of breast-feeding appeared to have limited influence on improvement in damaged skin condition. Summary scores indicated significant reduction in the amount of eschar on the surface of the nipple. There were no differences in erythema intensity or fissure severity. Use of a dressing significantly reduced nipple pain during the study period.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding*
  • Erythema / etiology
  • Erythema / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nipples / injuries*
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Occlusive Dressings / standards*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Photography
  • Polyethylenes
  • Skin Care / methods*


  • Polyethylenes