The breasts are one of the most important parts of our body, whether we are male or female. There are a lot of different parts to the breast – these include:
- Lobes – Each breast has between 15-20 lobes (or sections). These lobes surround the nipple.
- Glandular tissue – These tiny sections of tissue found inside the lobes have tiny bulblike glands at the end that help produces milk.
- Mammary ducts – These small tubes, or ducts, carry milk from glandular tissue (or lobules) to the nipples.
- Nipples – The nipple is in the center of the areola. Each nipple has about nine mammary ducts, as well as nerves.
- Areolae – The areola is the circular dark-colored area of skin surrounding the nipple. Areolae have glands called Montgomery’s glands that secrete a lubricating oil. This oil protects the nipple and skin from chafing during breastfeeding for females.
- Blood Vessels – Blood vessels help circulate blood throughout the breasts, chest, and body.
- Nerves – The nipples have hundreds of nerve endings, which makes them highly sensitive to touch.
As for males, during puberty, the male hormone testosterone normally stops breasts from developing (unlike a female’s breast). On the lateral side, males have nipples and areolae. Internally, they have undeveloped mammary ducts and no glandular tissue.
The nipples are sensitive, and they can hurt for a number of reasons. Some include tight clothes, rashes, and infections that can irritate the skin. For women, sore nipples are common during periods, pregnancy, and breastfeeding. Jogger’s nipple (nipple chafing or runner’s nipple) is a condition in which chafing and bleeding of the nipple occur when your clothes chafe and rub against your nipples during running repetitively.
While running certainly does not make your nipples bleed, running without properly protecting all of your parts could result in an injury. Similar to running without proper shoes or other equipment, running without a proper shirt can cause nipple chafing. One of the most common fabrics to cause nipple chafing is cotton, however, other fabrics can also be the result of a jogger’s nipple.
What happens is your sensitive skin rubs against either your sports bra or t-shirt. This constant friction results in a skin irritation on and around a very sensitive area.