Last update June 16, 2020


Very Low Risk

Safe. Compatible. Minimal risk for breastfeeding and infant.

Lanolin is a wax secreted by the sebaceous glands of woolly animals. It is obtained by degreasing and washing the sheep's wool.
It contains cholesterol, lanosterol, alcohols and fatty acid esters. It is structurally related to beeswax and human sebum.

It is used to treat nipple irritation in nursing mothers.
It is contraindicated in mothers with a wool allergy.

- Standard lanolin contains 12 to 15% alcohol and 40 ppm of pesticides.
- Modified lanolin contains 6% alcohol and 3 ppm of pesticides.
- Highly purified or ultrapure Lanolin contains a minimum of pesticides, alcohol and detergent to reduce its allergenic potential. It is the safest to use on the nipple, without cleaning before breastfeeding (Scolnik 2017).

The application of lanolin to treat irritation and nipple cracks has not always shown to be more effective than the application of other products such as breast milk, warm compresses, olive oil, mint, aloe vera, purslane, dexpanthenol, vitamin A, collagenase, hydrogel, cream with mupirocin, betamethasone and miconazole or the air-dried or with nipple shields (Niazi 2019, Mariani 2018, Vieira 2017, Jackson 2017, Shanazi 2015, Dennis 2014 y 2012, Gungor 2013, Vieira 2013, Abou-Dakn 2011, Melli 2007, Mohammadzadeh 2005, Morland 2005, Dodd 2003, Brent 1998, Pugh 1996).

Suggestions made at e-lactancia are done by APILAM team of health professionals, and are based on updated scientific publications. It is not intended to replace the relationship you have with your doctor but to compound it. The pharmaceutical industry contraindicates breastfeeding, mistakenly and without scientific reasons, in most of the drug data sheets.

Jose Maria Paricio, Founder & President of APILAM/e-Lactancia

Your contribution is essential for this service to continue to exist. We need the generosity of people like you who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding.

Thank you for helping to protect and promote breastfeeding.

José María Paricio, founder of e-lactancia.


Main tradenames from several countries containing Lanolin in its composition:


  1. Niazi A, Yousefzadeh S, Rakhshandeh H, Esmaily H, Askari VR. Promising effects of purslane cream on the breast fissure in lactating women: A clinical trial. Complement Ther Med. 2019 Apr;43:300-305. Abstract
  2. Mariani Neto C, de Albuquerque RS, de Souza SC, Giesta RO, Fernandes APS, Mondin B. Comparative Study of the Use of HPA Lanolin and Breast Milk for Treating Pain Associated with Nipple Trauma. Rev Bras Ginecol Obstet. 2018 Nov;40(11):664-672. Abstract
  3. Scolnik D, Glatstein M. Lanolin for Nipple Pain in Breastfeeding Mothers. Am J Ther. 2017 Jul/Aug;24(4):e500-e501. Abstract
  4. Jackson KT, Dennis CL. Lanolin for the treatment of nipple pain in breastfeeding women: a randomized controlled trial. Matern Child Nutr. 2017 Jul;13(3). Abstract
  5. Vieira F, Mota DDCF, Castral TC, Guimarães JV, Salge AKM, Bachion MM. Effects of Anhydrous Lanolin versus Breast Milk Combined with a Breast Shell for the Treatment of Nipple Trauma and Pain During Breastfeeding: A Randomized Clinical Trial. J Midwifery Womens Health. 2017 Sep;62(5):572-579. Abstract
  6. Shanazi M, Farshbaf Khalili A, Kamalifard M, Asghari Jafarabadi M, Masoudin K, Esmaeli F. Comparison of the Effects of Lanolin, Peppermint, and Dexpanthenol Creams on Treatment of Traumatic Nipples in Breastfeeding Mothers. J Caring Sci. 2015 Dec 1;4(4):297-307. Abstract Full text (link to original source) Full text (in our servers)
  7. Dennis CL, Jackson K, Watson J. Interventions for treating painful nipples among breastfeeding women. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014 Dec 15;(12):CD007366. Abstract
  8. Vieira F, Bachion MM, Mota DD, Munari DB. A systematic review of the interventions for nipple trauma in breastfeeding mothers. J Nurs Scholarsh. 2013 Jun;45(2):116-25. Abstract
  9. Gungor AN, Oguz S, Vurur G, Gencer M, Uysal A, Hacivelioglu S, Uludag A, Cosar E. Comparison of olive oil and lanolin in the prevention of sore nipples in nursing mothers. Breastfeed Med. 2013 Jun;8(3):334-5. Abstract
  10. Dennis CL, Schottle N, Hodnett E, McQueen K. An all-purpose nipple ointment versus lanolin in treating painful damaged nipples in breastfeeding women: a randomized controlled trial. Breastfeed Med. 2012 Dec;7(6):473-9. Abstract
  11. Abou-Dakn M, Fluhr JW, Gensch M, Wöckel A. Positive effect of HPA lanolin versus expressed breastmilk on painful and damaged nipples during lactation. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2011;24(1):27-35. Abstract
  12. Melli MS, Rashidi MR, Nokhoodchi A, Tagavi S, Farzadi L, Sadaghat K, Tahmasebi Z, Sheshvan MK. A randomized trial of peppermint gel, lanolin ointment, and placebo gel to prevent nipple crack in primiparous breastfeeding women. Med Sci Monit. 2007 Sep;13(9):CR406-411. Abstract
  13. Morland-Schultz K, Hill PD. Prevention of and therapies for nipple pain: a systematic review. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2005 Jul-Aug;34(4):428-37. Review. Abstract
  14. Mohammadzadeh A, Farhat A, Esmaeily H. The effect of breast milk and lanolin on sore nipples. Saudi Med J. 2005 Aug;26(8):1231-4. Abstract
  15. Dodd V, Chalmers C. Comparing the use of hydrogel dressings to lanolin ointment with lactating mothers. J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2003 Jul-Aug;32(4):486-94. Abstract
  16. Brent N, Rudy SJ, Redd B, Rudy TE, Roth LA. Sore nipples in breast-feeding women: a clinical trial of wound dressings vs conventional care. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1998 Nov;152(11):1077-82. Abstract
  17. Pugh LC, Buchko BL, Bishop BA, Cochran JF, Smith LR, Lerew DJ. A comparison of topical agents to relieve nipple pain and enhance breastfeeding. Birth. 1996 Jun;23(2):88-93. Abstract

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