Dear cow chaser, After surgery an incision as well as the area beneath takes time to heal, and the time of that varies. You should see as time goes on that the pain lessens. If that is not the case, or you are experiencing signs of infection (redness, swelling, pain, fever) make sure to let your surgeon know so they can evaluate.
You didn't say how recent the surgery was. In any case, you should be asking your surgeon, since he knows what was done, and would be able to look to see if it's normal healing, or if there's infection, etc.
I had a similar experience of what I can only describe as exquisite tenderness and soreness for over a month with both the skin and the nipple. Like you, I put a cotton non-stick gauze bandage square over it to reduce the friction. I was also doing hot compresses for hematoma, which was also soothing for the soreness, but it's a real effort to keep it up.
What amazes me is that even when one asks one's surgeon beforehand what to expect during recovery, he doesn't mention these aspects, which are disturbing to the patient when they occur and haven't been previously identified as to be expected, but which he probably considers "nuisances" or insignificant. Recovery definitely takes weeks, even longer if you count the time when shooting pains occur. This reality was quite different from what I had been led to believe would be the case.
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