Common nipples problems that usually cause real worries

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Kunle Emmanuel
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Common nipples problems that usually cause real worries

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The breast are a special part of a woman’s body and any distortion of this area affects her both physically, socially and psychologically.

Hairy Nipples:

Sure, we’re okay with them on a man, but is it normal to have hairs sticking out of your nipples if you’re a woman? Of course it is — it’s actually quite common, despite the fact you aren’t hearing much about it. Humans have hair everywhere, except our fingernails and eyeballs. Hairs around the nipple are nothing to worry about unless you have excess hairiness on other parts of the body and your periods are irregular. If this is the case, you may have polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and you should see your doctor.

How you can handle it: Cut or tweeze the hairs if they bother you. And if you have a large amount of hair growing around your nipples, you might want to consult your doctor to ensure your hormones aren’t out of sync. Do not pull them off as it will hurt usually. There’s also the tendency to cut and get ingrown thereby causing some infection. Issue again is that if you shave, it might grow again thicker and darker and you may not like this.

Inverted Nipples

An inverted nipple, sometimes called invaginated nipple is a situation where the nipple instead of pointing outwards, becomes retracted into the breast. Sometimes it is retracted only temporarily, but sometimes it stays in there permanently and this is the one that worries us. Flat or inverted nipples are actually pretty common.

About 10-20 percent of all women are born with them. Inverted nipples from birth are not medically harmful. But a nipple that has recently turned inward should be checked by a doctor.

Your nipples contain some erectile tissue that causes them to become more prominent. The biological reason for this is to aid breastfeeding.

Although your nipples may be flat or inverted a lot of the time, when the erectile tissue is stimulated, they stick out.

Common causes:

  • Congenital – you may have simply been born with inverted nipples.
    Breastfeeding – this can damage milk ducts and make them more fibrous and retract, pulling the nipple inwards.
    Surgery – scar tissue from previous surgeries may cause inversion.
    Breast cancer.
    Breast drooping – common as women age and the skin around the nipple becomes looser.
    Infection – this could cause inflammation and result in fibrous scar tissue pulling the nipple in.
What you can do about inverted nipples.

You can encourage them to be more permanently erect by rolling the nipples between thumb and forefinger frequently, perhaps several times a day over a period of time. Also, gently pulling on the nipple when it is erect can help make this state more permanent.

You can also buy nipple shields to use. These are designed really for women in pregnancy who want to improve their chances of breastfeeding, but there is no reason why non-pregnant women can’t use them.

They consist of a circular plastic disc with a central hole. The disc exerts pressure on the tissue around the nipple and encourages the nipple to protrude through the central hole. They can be worn at any time.


Nipple discharge refers to any fluid that seeps out of the nipple of the breast. For women who aren’t breastfeeding, the sight of nipple discharge can be alarming. But if you notice discharge from your nipple, there’s no reason to panic. While nipple discharge can be serious, in most cases, it’s either normal or due to a minor condition.

Nipple discharge in a woman who’s not pregnant or breast-feeding isn’t necessarily abnormal, but it should be evaluated by a doctor. Nipple discharge in a man under any circumstances could be a problem and needs further evaluation. One or both breasts may produce a nipple discharge, either spontaneously or when you squeeze your nipples or breasts.

A nipple discharge may look milky, or it may be clear, yellow, green, brown or bloody. Non-milk discharge comes out of your breasts through the same nipple openings that carry milk. Possible causes of nipple discharge include: You have a lump in your breast. Most of the time nipples discharges are nothing to worry about but if the following occurs, then you need to see a doctors immediately. They include:
  • If only one breast is affected
    The discharge contains blood
    The discharge is spontaneous
    The discharge affects only a single duct
    Other common causes of nipple discharge are;
  • Abscess
    Breast cancer
    Breast infection
    Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)
    Excessive breast stimulation
    Fibrocystic breasts
    Hormone imbalance
    Injury or trauma to the breast
    Intraductal papilloma
    Mammary duct ectasia
    Medication use
    Menstrual cycle hormone changes
    Paget’s disease of the breast
    Pregnancy and breast-feeding
Please note that color alone is not a good indicator of good nipple discharge. Both abnormal and normal nipple discharge can be clear, yellow, white, or green in colour

Itchy or scaly Nipples
Many women at some point experience itching of the breast or nipples. Most times it is relieved by the scratching which is usually the initial response to any skin discomfort. Women may develop itching skin on, around or under the breast, leading to the development of a rash, flaky skin and irritation. Itchy breasts may present a temporary discomfort or may indicate the presence of a serious underlying problem. So if the itching lingers for too long, then you need to see your doctor.

Common causes

Allergic reactions

The most common causes for breast itch are usually allergies caused by exposure to certain kinds of chemicals, dyes, detergents, cosmetics, metals, insect bites, food allergies and skin conditions like eczema. These allergies would cause irritation to develop in and around the breasts when they come in contact with the same (the condition is called contact dermatitis). For any of these the remedy could simply be moisturizing the skin, soaking in a bath or applying a hydrocortisone cream to relieve inflammation. If you checked and the itching cannot be explained by exposure to chemicals or allergens, or it persists for a long period of time, patients should seek medical attention to determine the underlying cause.


Breast infection like mastitis can cause serious itching. Many other skin infections also affect the breast and can cause itching. Psoriasis, chicken pox ,yeast infection, dermatitis, scabies, hives, chest acne and pin worm infection.

In breastfeeding or nursing moms, the nipples can get dry and eventually crack, and if not properly cared for could get infected as bacteria or viruses assess the wound. This causes breast and nipple itching.

Breast cancer

I know that this is the last thing anybody would ever want to hear concerning whatever health issue they have. Whenever there is a breast or nipple issue, many women get overly worried and their heart sometimes jumps as they think about breast cancer. Breast cancer can cause breast itch in some women. The presence of cancerous lumps inside the breast can lead to conditions like severe irritation, breast enlargement, painful breasts, flaky skin around the breast and leakage of lymphatic fluid from the breasts etc.

Jogger’s nipple

Jogger’s nipple is a common condition experienced by runners, caused when the nipples chafe against clothing during physical activity.

The symptoms of jogger’s nipple are irritation, soreness, redness of the skin and dryness. If the condition persists the nipples may crack and bleed.

It can be treated by using some antiseptic cream to treat the irritation and prevent infection.

Use some petroleum jelly or other barrier cream on the nipples to help prevent jogger’s nipple. Surgical tape can prevent frictional harm to the nipples.
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