This section is from the book "The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine. Volume 2.", by J. H. Kellogg, M.D.. Also available from Amazon: The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine, Volume 2.
This affection frequently occasions a great amount of inconvenience to a nursing mother. Slight fissures which at first appear on the nipple develop into serious excoriations which may become so extensive as to destroy the nipple. The chief causes are too frequent suckling, and failure to carefully dry the parts. The best treatment is prevention.
The nipple should be hardened by bathing in cool water daily for some time before its use is required. Equal parts of alcohol and water with glyceride, a weak solution of tannin, or a decoction of oak bark, and similar lotions, are excellent means of hardening the skin, and thus preventing the occurrence of fissures. Thorough cleansing of the breast is a matter of great importance. Bad excoriations should be treated with a solution of ten or fifteen drops of carbolic acid in an ounce of glycerine, the fissures being treated two or three times a day after being cleansed. When all remedies are ineffective, it is sometimes necessary to suspend nursing.