symptoms

Nipple Issues: When To Worry, When To Wait

PJ Hamel Health Guide April 14, 2009
  • All of us, at one time or another, have had nipple issues. Perhaps it’s discharge, with clear, milky, dark, or even bloody fluid leaking (or being squeezed) out. Often it’s pain—anything from slight sensitivity to a burning soreness. And sometimes it’s a rash, what looks like ...

111 Comments
  • Margaret
    Feb. 19, 2014
    I am 62 mother of 5 children all Brest fed. For the past month tissue around my left nipple as well as the nipple itself is painful to the point I must cover it on the shower . Even silky pajama's rubbing against it is painful. It seems to be getting worse. I had mammogram and sonagram , Doc said no cancer or infection noted but no clue what it is.
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Feb. 19, 2014

      Margaret, since your GP hasn't been able to diagnose this and help you get some relief, I suggest you speak with either a dermatologist, or a breast specialist (someone with special training in breast issues). Your doctor should be able to give you a referral. This doesn't sound like a typical breast cancer symptom, but it certainly sounds like it's impacting...

      RHMLucky777

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      Margaret, since your GP hasn't been able to diagnose this and help you get some relief, I suggest you speak with either a dermatologist, or a breast specialist (someone with special training in breast issues). Your doctor should be able to give you a referral. This doesn't sound like a typical breast cancer symptom, but it certainly sounds like it's impacting your life in a negative way; so it's worth pushing for an answer, rather than just hoping it goes away on its own, right? Good luck – hope you get some relief soon. PJH

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Feb. 20, 2014

      I agree with PJ that you should follow up on this with another doctor.  Breast pain that has lasted a month in just one breast means that something is wrong.  If you don't see any sort of rash or scaliness, then I would suggest that you ask for a referral to a breast specialist.  If you have visible skin symptoms, then the dermatologist might...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      I agree with PJ that you should follow up on this with another doctor.  Breast pain that has lasted a month in just one breast means that something is wrong.  If you don't see any sort of rash or scaliness, then I would suggest that you ask for a referral to a breast specialist.  If you have visible skin symptoms, then the dermatologist might be the best person to help you.  Sometimes doctors can't find the cause of breast pain, and there is nothing that can be done.  However, before you accept that outcome, it is worth seeing a specialist who has extensive experience with breast problems.  I hope you get ideas that bring you relief soon.

  • Tami
    Feb. 08, 2014

    Hello, I'm 53 years old, definitely not pregnant and still menstruating (although the periods are lighter these days...I recenthly had bloodwork done to see if i was menapausal but my Gyn said hormones were pretty good looking).  I came across this sight as my nipples have been extremely sensitive to the point of down right sore to where I cringe if I...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hello, I'm 53 years old, definitely not pregnant and still menstruating (although the periods are lighter these days...I recenthly had bloodwork done to see if i was menapausal but my Gyn said hormones were pretty good looking).  I came across this sight as my nipples have been extremely sensitive to the point of down right sore to where I cringe if I bump my breasts against something.  My nipples are constantly erect like they're cold.  These symptoms have been constant and going on 7 days now.  Any ideas?

  • ekta
    Feb. 06, 2014

    i am 16 yrs old grl.i am experiencing sudden pain in  my breast sumtyms .and i hve noticed tht my skin of my nipples are peeled.is there any serious problem? i apply a lotion of shea butter evryday shuld i stop using this product?

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Feb. 06, 2014

      Shea butter products are usually soothing to the skin, but the skin on and around the nipples is especially sensitive.  There may be something in the lotion you are using that is the problem.  Why don't you stop using this product and see what happens?  In the meantime, show the area to your mother to get advice on whether you also need to check...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Shea butter products are usually soothing to the skin, but the skin on and around the nipples is especially sensitive.  There may be something in the lotion you are using that is the problem.  Why don't you stop using this product and see what happens?  In the meantime, show the area to your mother to get advice on whether you also need to check with a doctor.  Finding the best cream to deal with skin problem can be tricky, and the doctor will have the expertise to know what kind of lotion you need to be using.

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Feb. 06, 2014

      Hi Ekta - The symptoms you describe aren't typical breast cancer symptoms. And at age 16, it would be extremely unlikely - almost impossible - for you to be dealing with breast cancer; please read our message to teens for more on that. The pain you're experiencing could very well be due to changes you're going through during puberty. Your breasts will grow,...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hi Ekta - The symptoms you describe aren't typical breast cancer symptoms. And at age 16, it would be extremely unlikely - almost impossible - for you to be dealing with breast cancer; please read our message to teens for more on that. The pain you're experiencing could very well be due to changes you're going through during puberty. Your breasts will grow, stop, grow again; your hormones are fluctuating, and all of this can be painful at times. Our teen guide to breast development has lots of useful information about this process.

       

      As for the peeling on your nipples - have you been swimming more than usual, started using a new shower gel, new laundry detergent, wearing a different bra...? Nipples are very sensitive, and easily react to slight changes in their environment. If they started peeling shortly after you started using the shea butter, then you might be allergic to some ingredient in it. Try stopping it for awhile, see what happens. Also, try to wear a bra that's a bit less confining; if you can wear a camisole for awhile, that would be great. But if the peeling doesn't get better within a week or so - or certainly if it gets worse - you'll want to see a doctor, OK? Good luck - PJH

  • Tami
    Feb. 06, 2014

    Hello, I'm 53 years old, definitely not pregnant and still menstruating (although the periods are lighter these days...I recenthly had bloodwork done to see if i was menapausal but my Gyn said hormones were pretty good looking).  I came across this sight as my nipples have been extremely sensitive to the point of down right sore to where I cringe if I...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hello, I'm 53 years old, definitely not pregnant and still menstruating (although the periods are lighter these days...I recenthly had bloodwork done to see if i was menapausal but my Gyn said hormones were pretty good looking).  I came across this sight as my nipples have been extremely sensitive to the point of down right sore to where I cringe if I bump my breasts against something.  My nipples are constantly erect like they're cold.  These symptoms have been constant and going on 7 days now.  Any ideas?

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Feb. 06, 2014

      Even though your last hormone check showed strong hormone levels, your lighter periods suggest that you are having some hormonal changes.  That could be related to your nipple changes.  This is not a typical breast cancer symptom, and because it's in both breasts, it is even less likely to be a change that signals cancer.  Still if it continues,...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Even though your last hormone check showed strong hormone levels, your lighter periods suggest that you are having some hormonal changes.  That could be related to your nipple changes.  This is not a typical breast cancer symptom, and because it's in both breasts, it is even less likely to be a change that signals cancer.  Still if it continues, checking in with your doctor would be a good idea.

  • Anonymous
    Momma3
    Jan. 22, 2014
    I'm a mother of three and have been breastfeeding for the past five years with a year break in between each child. I am currently breastfeeding my 4 month old and am very familiar with the discomforts of breastfeeding by now. However, for the past month I've been experiencing stinging on my left nipple (not from let down) and itchiness only on one spot and...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    I'm a mother of three and have been breastfeeding for the past five years with a year break in between each child. I am currently breastfeeding my 4 month old and am very familiar with the discomforts of breastfeeding by now. However, for the past month I've been experiencing stinging on my left nipple (not from let down) and itchiness only on one spot and always the same spot near that nipple. I don't have scaly skin in that area and the itchiness began before I was pregnant with my third. I also started feeling a burning or stinging feeling throughout that same breast. I can't pinpoint the pain though. At this point I do want to understand what possibly could be going on. However, with three young children I am busy and would like to avoid doctor appointments unless I can be certain that the discomfort I'm feeling is need of medical attention. Any thoughts on what I could be experiencing? Also, it does hurt my nipple to have my baby resting on it or when I am cradling her, but it doesn't hurt when I touch it with my fingers. I appreciate any thoughts or help you can give me.
    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Jan. 22, 2014
      Because this has lasted at least a month (longer counting the pre-pregnancy issues) and because you need to be careful about home remedy creams or ointments that might affect the baby, I think you do need to call the doctor or lactation consultant and at least discuss this over the phone. It will probably turn out not to be a serious problem, but getting the...
      RHMLucky777
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      Because this has lasted at least a month (longer counting the pre-pregnancy issues) and because you need to be careful about home remedy creams or ointments that might affect the baby, I think you do need to call the doctor or lactation consultant and at least discuss this over the phone. It will probably turn out not to be a serious problem, but getting the right kind of treatment could make you more comfortable and able to enjoy your baby. Paget't Disease of the Breast, a form of breast cancer that affects the nipple usually includes a scaly rash, so this isn't likely to be breast cancer. It is more likely to be a breast feeding issue you haven't encountered before like thrush, a yeast-type infection, or some other skin issue.
  • Michelle
    Jan. 02, 2014

    Hello, I'm a 34 year mother of 2 wonderful young boys. For years now both my nipples get constantly dried out, extremely itchy, to the point of scaly and crusty.Its not uncommon for me to suffer from dry skin but this only started after I had my second kid. He's now 2 1/2 years. It doesn't really seem to matter what detergent we use or don't use. I've go exzema...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hello, I'm a 34 year mother of 2 wonderful young boys. For years now both my nipples get constantly dried out, extremely itchy, to the point of scaly and crusty.Its not uncommon for me to suffer from dry skin but this only started after I had my second kid. He's now 2 1/2 years. It doesn't really seem to matter what detergent we use or don't use. I've go exzema problems in other areas but they don't recommend you use cortisoid creams on thin skin areas like nipples. My itchy symptoms seem to be constant for the 1-2 yrs. Yet none of the creams, etc seem to help. The little bumps around my areola get swollen too, oozy and sore. I'm sure its nothing serious and I'm not the the to worry about the bad "could be". I have sensitive on top of all that, with adult acne, ezema so I've very cautous of the laundry detergent and soaps I just for cleaser. I just use Kiss My Face Olive/Aloe bar in the shower and use the Kiss My Face Aloe/Olive moisturer or Aveeno. I've use this stuff faithly every for the past 7 yrs. So it can't be that causing the irritations. Do you think it could be a hormoral issue at my age already? 

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Jan. 02, 2014

      Michelle, have you ever spoken to a doctor about this? If so, and your GP hasn't been able to help, then ask for a referral to a breast specialist. We're not medically trained here, and aren't in a position to diagnose what's going on with any certainty; only a doctor can do that. So, rather than continue to deal with this uncomfortable issue, my advice is...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Michelle, have you ever spoken to a doctor about this? If so, and your GP hasn't been able to help, then ask for a referral to a breast specialist. We're not medically trained here, and aren't in a position to diagnose what's going on with any certainty; only a doctor can do that. So, rather than continue to deal with this uncomfortable issue, my advice is to see a doctor who can take action and give you some relief. Good luck - PJH 

  • Anonymous
    Tara
    Dec. 13, 2013

    Hello, I have read through many posts and the original article about itchy nipples.  I am trying to find out if there is a correlation between itchy nipple(s) and breast reductions.  I am a 30 year old who had severe itchyness on one nipple and waited it out for 2 weeks, did a self exam discovered a lump under my areola.  This was last year,...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hello, I have read through many posts and the original article about itchy nipples.  I am trying to find out if there is a correlation between itchy nipple(s) and breast reductions.  I am a 30 year old who had severe itchyness on one nipple and waited it out for 2 weeks, did a self exam discovered a lump under my areola.  This was last year, went to doc who said it was nothing but said for my own piece of mind, referred me to the breast center - had my first mammogram at 29, asked to go through an ultrasound same day......told them I had a breast reduction 5 years ago........radiologist came to see me to say she had another collegue look and both agree it is "fatty necrosis" - often in patients of breast reduction surgeries.  Never addressed my itchyness with them but dermotologist thought it could be caused by nerve damage after the surgery - I still to this day have itchyness...never any discharge or swelling.......but it often flares up when I am lying down.  Would love to know if I should new clinic look at t his again -another ultrasound or testing?  Any other women with itchy nipple after years of breast reduction surgery?

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Dec. 13, 2013

      Tara, hopefully someone whose had this surgery and is experiencing similar issues will respond. All I can add is, it sounds like you did the right thing pursuing this; as a result of the tests, your doctors aren't worried about breast cancer and are suggesting nerve damage as the cause of the issue; and any further action you'd take would be to try to assuage...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Tara, hopefully someone whose had this surgery and is experiencing similar issues will respond. All I can add is, it sounds like you did the right thing pursuing this; as a result of the tests, your doctors aren't worried about breast cancer and are suggesting nerve damage as the cause of the issue; and any further action you'd take would be to try to assuage the continuing anxiety you feel about this (and perhaps find a solution to the itching). So it's totally up to you whether you want to try to get a referral for a second or third opinion. Best of luck - I wish I could be of more help to you. PJH 

  • Claire
    Aug. 27, 2013

    I am 18 years old and just recently noticed a shallow line on only one nipple. I don't believe it's inverting as it's not pulling the entire thing inward and just appears to be on the surface, however, the line is a bit deeper than the surrounding nipple. I noticed it after I removed a very tight sports bra that I had been wearing for a long...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I am 18 years old and just recently noticed a shallow line on only one nipple. I don't believe it's inverting as it's not pulling the entire thing inward and just appears to be on the surface, however, the line is a bit deeper than the surrounding nipple. I noticed it after I removed a very tight sports bra that I had been wearing for a long time and assumed the skin had been stuck in a folded position due to the compression. I took the bra off and days later the line is still there, so now I'm not sure if it was the bra or if it had been there before without my noticing. I have no other symptoms of breast cancer but I am a hypochondriac and am wondering if this is the beginning of inversion. Should I be worried or visit a doctor?

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Aug. 27, 2013
      Claire, people are never exactly the same on both sides, so I don't think a shallow line on one side is a cause for concern. Your skin will be able to breathe better if you avoid tight bras, so I would suggest that you wear bras that allow for more circulation to prevent skin rashes. The next time you are at the doctor's office, you could ask about this line,...
      RHMLucky777
      Read More
      Claire, people are never exactly the same on both sides, so I don't think a shallow line on one side is a cause for concern. Your skin will be able to breathe better if you avoid tight bras, so I would suggest that you wear bras that allow for more circulation to prevent skin rashes. The next time you are at the doctor's office, you could ask about this line, but it doesn't sound like a true inverted nipple. If the entire nipple becomes inverted, or if you develop other breast changes, of course, you will want to make a special appointment with the doctor.
    • Claire
      Aug. 27, 2013

      Thanks so much for the quick response! It almost looks like a tiny gash or dent but doesn't look like anything is being sucked in. I'm relieved now, thanks so much!

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Aug. 28, 2013
      Glad to help. Come back any time.
  • Anonymous
    concerned
    Aug. 11, 2013

    I'm a 40 yr old female and my right nipple all of a sudden will become itchy, it comes and goes. This has been going on for about a month now, I have no other symptoms. Should I be calling my doctor to have this checked out?

     

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Aug. 11, 2013

      This doesn't sound like a breast cancer symptom, if that's what you're worried about; but it sounds uncomfortable, for sure. Since it's been going on for a month, why not just get it checked out? No sense waiting around and worrying, when help might be just a phone call and checkup away. Good luck - I hope you get some relief soon. PJH

  • kokogill
    Jul. 24, 2013

    im a thirty three year old mum of two and ive always had a 'strange' left nipple although recently it has become very inverted and itchy and ive also noticed that some fluid seems to be leaking from it and on one occassion there was blood too. my mum had breast cancer five years ago...should i be worried?

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Jul. 24, 2013

      If your nipple has only recently become inverted, then it could be a sign that something inside is pulling on it. That "something" could be a whole range of possibilities - including a cancerous tumor. Considering your family history, and this recent change in your breast, I'd suggest you see a doctor. Should you worry? No, because worrying doesn't accomplish...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      If your nipple has only recently become inverted, then it could be a sign that something inside is pulling on it. That "something" could be a whole range of possibilities - including a cancerous tumor. Considering your family history, and this recent change in your breast, I'd suggest you see a doctor. Should you worry? No, because worrying doesn't accomplish anything besides make you feel bad. Should you call the doctor and make an appointment? Yes, because action moves you forward: you'll find out the cause of this breast change, and deal with it. Most breast changes are NOT cancer; in fact, 85% of biopsies show no cancer. However, it's irresponsible not to rule cancer out; so pick up the phone and make the call, OK? Good luck - PJH

    • kokogill
      Jul. 25, 2013

      thank you for such a quick and informative response. i shall ring the doctors asap and make an appointment. thanks again.

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Jul. 25, 2013

      Remember, we're here to help - be well. PJH

  • Anonymous
    STaylor
    May. 23, 2013
    I don't know what it is but, there's wart looking things on both of my nipples.Not so much crusty, but more like, a cracked thing. They've been there for quite a while now BUT they do not hurt, I feel no pain from it whatsoever and I feel like my nipples aren't very sensetive to touch maybe because of it. They don't itch either but it would hurt if i was to...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    I don't know what it is but, there's wart looking things on both of my nipples.Not so much crusty, but more like, a cracked thing. They've been there for quite a while now BUT they do not hurt, I feel no pain from it whatsoever and I feel like my nipples aren't very sensetive to touch maybe because of it. They don't itch either but it would hurt if i was to pick at it, it would be extremely awkward to go to a doctor about this, especially because my mom would have to know, and it's kinda awkward just typing about it here, I want it gone but I don't know what to do. Any help?
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      May. 23, 2013

      Hi - We're not doctors here, just well-read breast cancer survivors; so we can't diagnose, simply advise. A few thoughts: you sound very young to be worried about breast cancer; if you're under 20, please read our message to teens. Breast cancer very seldom shows symptoms in both breasts at once; and what you describe isn't a typical breast cancer symptom....

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hi - We're not doctors here, just well-read breast cancer survivors; so we can't diagnose, simply advise. A few thoughts: you sound very young to be worried about breast cancer; if you're under 20, please read our message to teens. Breast cancer very seldom shows symptoms in both breasts at once; and what you describe isn't a typical breast cancer symptom. It sounds like you might have a skin issue of some sort, such as eczema.

       

      All of that said, I know it's embarrassing having to talk about your breasts with anyone – but there'll come a point in your life when you have to, so it would be best to start getting used to it. I don't know of anything you can do to treat this condition on your own; you really should have it looked at. Your best bet might be the school nurse, since she'd be easiest/quickest to see. Hopefully you'll consider that. Take care - PJH

  • Anonymous
    Dee
    Feb. 28, 2013
    Hi, I'm 27 and for the past day my breasts have been sore. That's not what's bothering me, my nipples are extremely sore! They feel like they contracted in the cold. At first I thought they might be dry, but I started applying cocoa butter and it doesn't seem to help. I'm supposed to start my period in three days, but I've never had this as a PMS symptom. I...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    Hi, I'm 27 and for the past day my breasts have been sore. That's not what's bothering me, my nipples are extremely sore! They feel like they contracted in the cold. At first I thought they might be dry, but I started applying cocoa butter and it doesn't seem to help. I'm supposed to start my period in three days, but I've never had this as a PMS symptom. I had my bf look at them and he says my right areola is darker and my right breast seems like its "swollen" for lack of a better word. Please help because the itching sensation is driving me crazy!
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Mar. 01, 2013

      Hopefully, Dee, this will all disappear once you get through your period. Even if you haven't experienced this as a PMS symptom in the past, it still could be just that. In the meantime, try to allay the itching with cold compresses. Don't scratch; just press down hard where it itches most, see if that helps.

       

      If the symptoms persist once you're through...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hopefully, Dee, this will all disappear once you get through your period. Even if you haven't experienced this as a PMS symptom in the past, it still could be just that. In the meantime, try to allay the itching with cold compresses. Don't scratch; just press down hard where it itches most, see if that helps.

       

      If the symptoms persist once you're through your period, then it's time to look at other causes. Are you using a new shower gel or laundry detergent? Did you buy a new bra? Are you swimming (chlorine) more than normal? Your breasts are sensitive, and small changes in the environment can affect them. Keep a special eye on your right breast, and if the swelling/"bruising" becomes more prominent - or doesn't dissipate soon - then it would be time to see a doctor to find out what's going on. Take care - PJH

  • Anonymous
    ivy
    Feb. 01, 2013

      hi im ivy, im 20 years old. my right breast is so painful and the surroundings of my nipple becomes dry and I do have a slightly brownish bruise on the right side of the nipple. and the upper part of my right breast is experiencing so much pain and I feel the lump inside, near in the middle of my breast. Do you think it was a breast cancer symptoms?...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

      hi im ivy, im 20 years old. my right breast is so painful and the surroundings of my nipple becomes dry and I do have a slightly brownish bruise on the right side of the nipple. and the upper part of my right breast is experiencing so much pain and I feel the lump inside, near in the middle of my breast. Do you think it was a breast cancer symptoms? or just a breast health realated issues? or should I go to the doctor and ask for a mammogram? I badly need your opinion. thank you so much

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Feb. 01, 2013

      Hi Ivy - I'm sorry you're having breast issues. You don't say if this is a recent problem, or if it's been going on for months. If the pain, swelling, and discoloration are recent (and constant), then you might have an infection, and you should see a doctor ASAP. If they've been going on intermittently for months - perhaps becoming more painful right before...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hi Ivy - I'm sorry you're having breast issues. You don't say if this is a recent problem, or if it's been going on for months. If the pain, swelling, and discoloration are recent (and constant), then you might have an infection, and you should see a doctor ASAP. If they've been going on intermittently for months - perhaps becoming more painful right before your period, the abating afterwards – then it's probably a hormonal issue, and you may have a painful cyst.

       

      Either way, though, this sounds painful enough that you'd want to see a doctor. Thankfully, the symptoms don't sound like breast cancer, especially at your age; being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 20 is exceedingly rare. Still, you want to find out what's causing the pain and lump; and get some treatment, if necessary. Good luck - PJH

  • Carol
    May. 01, 2012
    I am 41, and Having some nipple issues, for the 2nd time. The first time was last April, started with itching,burning, soreness and the sensation that I was lactating in both nipples. Since they both felt dry but showed no signs of rash, nor any discharge, I just kept applying baby oil, lotion, cortisone cream and even miconazole nitrate cream for relief. It...
    RHMLucky777
    Read More
    I am 41, and Having some nipple issues, for the 2nd time. The first time was last April, started with itching,burning, soreness and the sensation that I was lactating in both nipples. Since they both felt dry but showed no signs of rash, nor any discharge, I just kept applying baby oil, lotion, cortisone cream and even miconazole nitrate cream for relief. It only lasted 6-8 weeks, and by the time I got in to see my gynecologist it disappeared, so she wasn't really worried. My holidays were ruined by the news that my husband was losing his job, which meant our health insurance was gone too, and the symptoms returned sometime again in January. I was under so much stress that I really didn't pay attention to the time passing by, and the fact that this time the symptoms were more severe, and had lasted much longer. When I finally confided in a friend about my issues she urged me to see my doctor, which I did, but chickened out about telling him about my nipple issues. I scheduled my mammogram since I was overdue anyway, and figured if anything was wrong it would show. I did tell the tech about my issues, since they were so severe I could barely keep from scratching anyway, and even the pasties caused extreme discomfort. My results were negative, but I couldn't stand it anymore, so I ignored my embarrassment and made another appointment with my doctor. I explained all the symptoms, he did an exam, and decided on an antibiotic in case of infection, and a prolactin test, which came back normal. I am scheduled to see him again Friday, which will be my last dose of antibiotic. There has been no change in my symptoms after 4 days of antibiotics. Although the pain is a bit worse, it has been increasing in past weeks anyway, but their appearance hasn't really changed. The nipples are usually bright red; the areola are slightly pink, and have a rough, dry skin feel, but there is no rash on any part of the breast. The itching isn't constant but seems to flare up and is severe enough to send me to a private place to scratch several times a day, even though scratching is extremely painful now. Out of everything I've read, Paget's Disease of the Nipple stands out most in matching with my symptoms, but thankfully I'm missing the rash, discharge, and underlying breast cancer. Plus, from what I've read, it's extremely rare for it to show up in both nipples. I'm not sure what to expect on Friday, but in your opinion, should I request a biopsy? It almost seems a waste to me, but I'm at a loss...
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      May. 02, 2012

      Carol, this truly doesn't sound like Paget's - not in both breasts at once, and not occurring in two episodes a year apart. It does sound like either an allergy of some kind that's showing up as itchiness – with your nipples taking the brunt of it – or a hormonal issue.

       

      Rather than ask for a biopsy, I'd ask for a referral to a breast specialist....

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Carol, this truly doesn't sound like Paget's - not in both breasts at once, and not occurring in two episodes a year apart. It does sound like either an allergy of some kind that's showing up as itchiness – with your nipples taking the brunt of it – or a hormonal issue.

       

      Rather than ask for a biopsy, I'd ask for a referral to a breast specialist. This is a doctor or other medical specialist trained in dealing with breast issues of all kinds, from cancer to infection to hormonal problems. You need to get to the bottom of this very uncomfortable situation, but a double biopsy, statistically speaking, would probably do more harm than good; about 85% of breast biopsies are negative.

       

      So, don't ignore this; but I think your best bet is to focus attention on these symptoms from someone who deals exclusively with breast issues. Good luck - I hope you find some relief soon. PJH

    • Carol
      May. 04, 2012
      Update -No improvement as of today; in fact, they seem to be getting worse, so my doctor performed a 2nd exam and found that both nipples produced a milky white discharge when squeezed. He gave me a referral to a surgeon. I am still convinced it's nothing major, but I never thought to squeeze so I was shocked at the result. Since the antibiotics didn't touch...
      RHMLucky777
      Read More
      Update -No improvement as of today; in fact, they seem to be getting worse, so my doctor performed a 2nd exam and found that both nipples produced a milky white discharge when squeezed. He gave me a referral to a surgeon. I am still convinced it's nothing major, but I never thought to squeeze so I was shocked at the result. Since the antibiotics didn't touch it, could it possibly just be some type of infection of the ducts, in both nipples? Or something similarly simple? My appointment isn't until May 15th; haven't mentioned it to my husband yet - I am the only one working right now and I don't want to worry him over nothing.
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      May. 04, 2012

      Sorry things seem to be getting worse, Carol. This still seems hormonal; a white milky nipple discharge that's not spontaneous - i.e., you have to squeeze to make it appear – is often a sign of a hormonal issue of some kind. If the discharge is a dark rusty color, and happens without squeezing, then it might be a possible sign of breast cancer; but what...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Sorry things seem to be getting worse, Carol. This still seems hormonal; a white milky nipple discharge that's not spontaneous - i.e., you have to squeeze to make it appear – is often a sign of a hormonal issue of some kind. If the discharge is a dark rusty color, and happens without squeezing, then it might be a possible sign of breast cancer; but what you describe wouldn't be typical. Not sure what the surgeon will tell you; I wish you could see a breast specialist, who'd probably be able to nail down what's happening a lot more quickly than any other type of medical professional... Good luck with your appointment with the surgeon, and please do let us know what s/he says, OK? PJH

    • Carol
      May. 05, 2012
      Thanks, that's comforting to hear. I'm all for optimism at this point! Though I'm sure my imagination will get the best of me before then, I'll remind myself that i think my doctor is just being cautious. We are somewhat rural, too, so I'll do some research to see how far a breast specialist is, just in case. I will definitely let you know the outcome. Reading...
      RHMLucky777
      Read More
      Thanks, that's comforting to hear. I'm all for optimism at this point! Though I'm sure my imagination will get the best of me before then, I'll remind myself that i think my doctor is just being cautious. We are somewhat rural, too, so I'll do some research to see how far a breast specialist is, just in case. I will definitely let you know the outcome. Reading the posts here has been very informative for me.
    • Carol
      May. 05, 2012
      Thanks, that's comforting to hear. I'm all for optimism at this point! Though I'm sure my imagination will get the best of me before then, I'll remind myself that i think my doctor is just being cautious. We are somewhat rural, too, so I'll do some research to see how far a breast specialist is, just in case. I will definitely let you know the outcome. Reading...
      RHMLucky777
      Read More
      Thanks, that's comforting to hear. I'm all for optimism at this point! Though I'm sure my imagination will get the best of me before then, I'll remind myself that i think my doctor is just being cautious. We are somewhat rural, too, so I'll do some research to see how far a breast specialist is, just in case. I will definitely let you know the outcome. Reading the posts here has been very informative for me.
    • Carol
      May. 05, 2012
      Thanks, that's comforting to hear. I'm all for optimism at this point! Though I'm sure my imagination will get the best of me before then, I'll remind myself that i think my doctor is just being cautious. We are somewhat rural, too, so I'll do some research to see how far a breast specialist is, just in case. I will definitely let you know the outcome. Reading...
      RHMLucky777
      Read More
      Thanks, that's comforting to hear. I'm all for optimism at this point! Though I'm sure my imagination will get the best of me before then, I'll remind myself that i think my doctor is just being cautious. We are somewhat rural, too, so I'll do some research to see how far a breast specialist is, just in case. I will definitely let you know the outcome. Reading the posts here has been very informative for me.
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      May. 05, 2012

      Carol, even though they don't deal just in cancer, breast specialists are often found at Comprehensive Cancer Centers, which are cancer facilities designated by the government as "best in the U.S." Check out this list of Comprehensive Cancer Centers to see if you're near one - PJH

    • Anonymous
      Carol
      May. 16, 2012
      Hi, PJ. Just an update. The surgeon believes it's hormonal too. Most of my symptoms subsided by the time I saw her, but she listened, performed a thorough exam, reviewed the mammogram, and didn't think any further testing was necessary. She suggested Primrose Oil and Vitamin E, and said it works for most women. I just started them today, and am hoping for the...
      RHMLucky777
      Read More
      Hi, PJ. Just an update. The surgeon believes it's hormonal too. Most of my symptoms subsided by the time I saw her, but she listened, performed a thorough exam, reviewed the mammogram, and didn't think any further testing was necessary. She suggested Primrose Oil and Vitamin E, and said it works for most women. I just started them today, and am hoping for the best. Thanks again for putting my mind at ease!
    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      May. 17, 2012

      Oh, that's good to hear, Carol. Yes, I took vitamin E for some menopausal symptoms, and it did work a bit - hopefully the combination of that with primrose oil will work for you. I'm glad you've pursued it; and thanks for staying in touch here. Hopefully in a few weeks you'll be feeling much better. PJH

    • shivi25
      Sep. 10, 2012

      I have scaliness on my both the breasts. I dont feel itchiness or any sort of sensation. should i consult a doctor?

       

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Sep. 10, 2012

      Yes, if you have tried some common sense home remedies like moisturizer and skin care products designed for sensitive skin and they didn't work.  Usually problems on both breasts are not going to be cancer.  A scaly rash on the nipples can be a symptom of a type of breast cancer called Paget's Disease of the Breast, but it is more likely that this...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Yes, if you have tried some common sense home remedies like moisturizer and skin care products designed for sensitive skin and they didn't work.  Usually problems on both breasts are not going to be cancer.  A scaly rash on the nipples can be a symptom of a type of breast cancer called Paget's Disease of the Breast, but it is more likely that this is some other sort of skin problem.  Nevertheless, a doctor should always be consulted for any breast change that lasts longer than a month.  I hope you soon see an improvement.

    • shivi25
      Sep. 10, 2012

      Thank you so much. :) :)

    • jc
      jc
      Oct. 06, 2012

      i have been having problems with my rightbreast, sensitive and itchy nipple..it wenr awaya for a few weeks and now ots back. in thay timeframe my neck begin to hurt all the way to my shoulder. my gyn shuns it off and say its not related . i have had normal ultrasound and mammogram. whay could this be? i am 31

    • jc
      jc
      Oct. 06, 2012

      i have been having problems with my rightbreast, sensitive and itchy nipple..it wenr awaya for a few weeks and now ots back. in thay timeframe my neck begin to hurt all the way to my shoulder. my gyn shuns it off and say its not related . i have had normal ultrasound and mammogram. whay could this be? i am 31

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Oct. 06, 2012

      Your gynecologist is probably right in that the itchy nipple and sore neck aren't connected; although, if you're very worried about your breast, stress may be causing tense neck muscles and pain. When a mammogram and ultrasound are normal, but you're having nipple issues, you may want to see a breast specialist. An itchy, scaly nipple can be a sign of Paget's...

      Read More

      Your gynecologist is probably right in that the itchy nipple and sore neck aren't connected; although, if you're very worried about your breast, stress may be causing tense neck muscles and pain. When a mammogram and ultrasound are normal, but you're having nipple issues, you may want to see a breast specialist. An itchy, scaly nipple can be a sign of Paget's Disease, a rare form of breast cancer; but that's pretty unlikely, compared to the array of other possibilities that might be causing this – specifically hormones.

       

      If the itching feels like it's deep inside your breast, rather than more towards the surface; and if it's accompanied by pain; and if it doesn't go away this time, but keeps up for weeks, then it would be time to see a breast specialist - or at least get another opinion from someone other than your gynecologist. Doctors aren't all-powerful; and yours may not have as much experience with breast issues as someone else. So don't be shy about asing for a referral to another doctor if necessary, OK? Hopefuly (and probably) this is a hormonal issue that will soon subside. Good luck - PJH

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Oct. 06, 2012

      JC, since the problem went away for a few weeks, it is not likely to be breast cancer.  If following all the usual home remedies for breast itching like wearing soft, bras of breathable fabric washed in laundry products for sensitive skin don't help, then seeing another doctor might be your next step.  Since your neck and shoulder are hurting too,...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      JC, since the problem went away for a few weeks, it is not likely to be breast cancer.  If following all the usual home remedies for breast itching like wearing soft, bras of breathable fabric washed in laundry products for sensitive skin don't help, then seeing another doctor might be your next step.  Since your neck and shoulder are hurting too, a family practice doctor might be your best bet.  If you want to pursue each problem separately a dermatologist or a breast specialist for the nipple issue could give you some insight.  If the neck and nipple problem are on the same side, you might want to review in your mind whether you have had some sort of unusual activity that would cause muscle strain and skin chafing on that side.  These don't sound like they would be related, but be sure to mention both problems to any doctors you consult just in case.

       

      If you develop a scaly rash on the nipple, ask your doctor to take a biopsy to rule out Paget's Disease of the Breast.  From what you have said, I don't think you need to worry; but do keep an eye out and return to the doctor if the problem gets worse, or if you develop new symptoms.

  • jessical
    Apr. 30, 2012

    I have a basic question and this may sound silly for I don't have the knowledge.  Does the inverted nipple stay inverted?  Or does it go out when you get cold or goosebumps?

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Apr. 30, 2012

      It's not a silly question.  What you are looking for is a change in your normal.  So if you have always had an inverted nipple, it is no big deal.  If your nipples have always changed depending on the temperature or other stimuli, that is your normal.  If you have never had an inverted nipple before, a doctor needs to check it out whether...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      It's not a silly question.  What you are looking for is a change in your normal.  So if you have always had an inverted nipple, it is no big deal.  If your nipples have always changed depending on the temperature or other stimuli, that is your normal.  If you have never had an inverted nipple before, a doctor needs to check it out whether it is in all the time or just sometimes.  If the situation is the same on both sides, it is not likely to be breast cancer, which usually occurs on just one side.

  • Anonymous
    JustMe
    Jan. 16, 2012

    Hi im a 44 yr old female in oct i noticed that my nipples were leaking a yellowish /green discharge...when i looked closer at the left one i saw a red bump/spot in the center it freaked me out its shiny it doesnt leak i went to the drs she sent me straight off for a mammo and it came back all clear...she did blood work and my prolactin lvls came back high so...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Hi im a 44 yr old female in oct i noticed that my nipples were leaking a yellowish /green discharge...when i looked closer at the left one i saw a red bump/spot in the center it freaked me out its shiny it doesnt leak i went to the drs she sent me straight off for a mammo and it came back all clear...she did blood work and my prolactin lvls came back high so sent me to endo which in all honesty was a waste of time as she stated she cant help me! anyways i do ache in both breast but the one with the spot hurts more like a burning hurt kwim? and now there is shotting pains in that nipple...ive been back several times to the drs and even mentioned pagets but she said no it wasnt...can you just look at it and know? ive tried creams and nothing works

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Jan. 16, 2012

      Paget's usually presents with a scaly rash on the nipple, so your doctor's opinion that this is not Paget's sounds reasonable to me.  With the pain in both breasts, the chances are that this is a hormonal problem even though one breast is worse than the other.  However, if you want to pursue this further, it is time to see doctors at a comprehensive...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Paget's usually presents with a scaly rash on the nipple, so your doctor's opinion that this is not Paget's sounds reasonable to me.  With the pain in both breasts, the chances are that this is a hormonal problem even though one breast is worse than the other.  However, if you want to pursue this further, it is time to see doctors at a comprehensive cancer center.  I'm not sure what your time line has been with all these tests, but you might want to take a break for a month or two to see if the problem resolves itself or gets worse.  If it clears up, all well and good.  If you develop new symptoms, the doctors will have more information to work with to make the correct diagnosis.  I hope that you are soon better.

  • Anonymous
    Kim
    Jan. 13, 2012

    hi, i'm a 17 year old female and i'm really scared because I have a visible bump on my areola of my left breast and its itchy.  It's not painful.  I've had it for almost three weeks now.  It all started when I got a haircut at the mall and hair fell into my bra and made my boobs itchy but I wasn't able to shower until a few hours later.  Later...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    hi, i'm a 17 year old female and i'm really scared because I have a visible bump on my areola of my left breast and its itchy.  It's not painful.  I've had it for almost three weeks now.  It all started when I got a haircut at the mall and hair fell into my bra and made my boobs itchy but I wasn't able to shower until a few hours later.  Later on, I noticed a bump on my areola that was kind of wrinkled looking and rough and dry.  I left it alone for a week to see if it would go away but it didnt.  Then, i started applying lotion and vaseline to it and the rough, dryness went away.  It started peeling.  For the past two weeks, it has been smooth and less itchy, but the bump is still there and it still itches occasionally, especially after I touch it(after applying lotion).  I want to wait a little longer before I go to the doctor, but I was wondering if I should be concerned.  Is this cancer?  If not, is there any home remedies or over-the-counter medicines?  It's really hard for me to take time and go to the doctors.

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Jan. 13, 2012

      Luckily, at your age breast cancer is very uncommon; your chances of having it are less than 1 in a million. So odds are, this isn't cancer, but some kind of skin condition. If it gradually seems to be getting better, just keep your eye on it, and see if it continues to improve. If it doesn't - or certainly if it gets worse - then it would be a good idea to...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Luckily, at your age breast cancer is very uncommon; your chances of having it are less than 1 in a million. So odds are, this isn't cancer, but some kind of skin condition. If it gradually seems to be getting better, just keep your eye on it, and see if it continues to improve. If it doesn't - or certainly if it gets worse - then it would be a good idea to see a doctor to find out what might be causing it, and if it needs treatment. Good luck - I hope this goes away on its own soon. PJH

  • Anonymous
    J W
    Dec. 13, 2011

    I've had eczema on my right hand for most of my life; three months ago I noticed that eczema-like symptoms had spread as nickel-sized spots on my arm, face, and groin. At the same time, my left nipple became extremely itchy, flaky, and wept clear fluid. As well, it is constantly hard with a small lump in the areola on the left side of the nipple, making it...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I've had eczema on my right hand for most of my life; three months ago I noticed that eczema-like symptoms had spread as nickel-sized spots on my arm, face, and groin. At the same time, my left nipple became extremely itchy, flaky, and wept clear fluid. As well, it is constantly hard with a small lump in the areola on the left side of the nipple, making it noticeably larger than my right nipple. This lump is only apparent to sight and touch when the nipple is erect. There is no pain, no redness, the flakiness responds to my eczema medication, and it doesn't itch as much as it did at the beginning. I suspect that this could have been caused by new laundry detergent, but the lump in the areola and hardness of the nipple concerns me. I plan to see a doctor this week. What are your thoughts?

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Dec. 13, 2011

      Hi - My initial thought is that, as a 23-year-old male, your chance of this being breast cancer is well below 1 in several millions; just under 2,000 men a year are diagnosed with breeast cancer in the U.S., and most are older. So you can see, the odds are definitely with you. Also, breast cancer wouldn't respond to eczema lotion. That said, it's worth speaking...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Hi - My initial thought is that, as a 23-year-old male, your chance of this being breast cancer is well below 1 in several millions; just under 2,000 men a year are diagnosed with breeast cancer in the U.S., and most are older. So you can see, the odds are definitely with you. Also, breast cancer wouldn't respond to eczema lotion. That said, it's worth speaking to your doctor about this lump if it doesn't disappear within a few weeks. It's always good to know what's causing any change in your health. Take care- PJH

    • Anonymous
      J W
      Dec. 13, 2011

      Thank you PJ for your quick response. Even though the odds are against me having Paget's disease, someone has to get it out of all those millions. The fact that these eczema symptoms are on other parts of my body make me think that it is just eczema or some other reaction. I should have added that these symptoms occured after I bought a new brand of laundry...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Thank you PJ for your quick response. Even though the odds are against me having Paget's disease, someone has to get it out of all those millions. The fact that these eczema symptoms are on other parts of my body make me think that it is just eczema or some other reaction. I should have added that these symptoms occured after I bought a new brand of laundry detergent and bought some new clothes. I'll share what my doctor says on Thursday.

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Dec. 14, 2011

      Thanks for writing back - I'll be looking for further information from you once you see the doctor. Good luck - PJH

    • Anonymous
      J W
      Dec. 17, 2011

      The doctor thinks that it is just eczema. He did find a small lump by my left nipple, but he says it is merely fatty tissue. I asked him about Paget's disease and he said that I definitely didn't show symptoms of it. He said male patients with Paget's Disease typically have a larger breast to begin with and suffer from bone loss which can be detected through...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      The doctor thinks that it is just eczema. He did find a small lump by my left nipple, but he says it is merely fatty tissue. I asked him about Paget's disease and he said that I definitely didn't show symptoms of it. He said male patients with Paget's Disease typically have a larger breast to begin with and suffer from bone loss which can be detected through blood tests. I should also add that ever since I switched laundry detergent I've noticed the eczema-like symptoms reduce every day.

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Dec. 17, 2011

      JW, thanks for the update.  Your doctor seems knowledgeable about male breast cancers and Paget's disease of the breast.  Fatty tissue tumors are called lipomas and they feel different to trained doctors from solid tumors that need a biopsy.  As I'm sure you know from your long experience with eczema, there can be many triggers for it, and it...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      JW, thanks for the update.  Your doctor seems knowledgeable about male breast cancers and Paget's disease of the breast.  Fatty tissue tumors are called lipomas and they feel different to trained doctors from solid tumors that need a biopsy.  As I'm sure you know from your long experience with eczema, there can be many triggers for it, and it sounds like you are narrowing down to your laundry detergent as a likely culprit.  I'm glad you are seeing an improvement.

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Dec. 17, 2011

      JW, thanks for the update.  Your doctor seems knowledgeable about male breast cancers and Paget's disease of the breast.  Fatty tissue tumors are called lipomas and they feel different to trained doctors from solid tumors that need a biopsy.  As I'm sure you know from your long experience with eczema, there can be many triggers for it, and it...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      JW, thanks for the update.  Your doctor seems knowledgeable about male breast cancers and Paget's disease of the breast.  Fatty tissue tumors are called lipomas and they feel different to trained doctors from solid tumors that need a biopsy.  As I'm sure you know from your long experience with eczema, there can be many triggers for it, and it sounds like you are narrowing down to your laundry detergent as a likely culprit.  I'm glad you are seeing an improvement.

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Dec. 17, 2011

      JW, thanks for the update.  Your doctor seems knowledgeable about male breast cancers and Paget's disease of the breast.  Fatty tissue tumors are called lipomas and they feel different to trained doctors from solid tumors that need a biopsy.  As I'm sure you know from your long experience with eczema, there can be many triggers for it, and it...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      JW, thanks for the update.  Your doctor seems knowledgeable about male breast cancers and Paget's disease of the breast.  Fatty tissue tumors are called lipomas and they feel different to trained doctors from solid tumors that need a biopsy.  As I'm sure you know from your long experience with eczema, there can be many triggers for it, and it sounds like you are narrowing down to your laundry detergent as a likely culprit.  I'm glad you are seeing an improvement.

  • Anonymous
    eliza
    Oct. 19, 2011

    I am 28. I've noticed getting an itchy right nipple as of the past few menstural cycles. Seems to mostly come before and after my menstrual cycle. Sometimes I will notice dryness around the nipple but lotion seems to fix that. No other abormalities except that sometimes I will notice a small white zit looking thing at the tip of my nipple. But it comes and...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I am 28. I've noticed getting an itchy right nipple as of the past few menstural cycles. Seems to mostly come before and after my menstrual cycle. Sometimes I will notice dryness around the nipple but lotion seems to fix that. No other abormalities except that sometimes I will notice a small white zit looking thing at the tip of my nipple. But it comes and goes! Have only noticed this since the weather has started getting colder. But concerned as I haven't noticed issues with my left nipple. Reading about Paget's has me truly freaked out. I don't have health insurance. Could the itchiness be related to hormones?

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Oct. 19, 2011

      Usually, with cancer, the symptoms quickly change from annoying to truly concerning. If this has been appearing off and on for several menstrual cycles, without getting noticeably worse, then it could be hormonal (maybe one nipple is simply more sensitive than the other); or it could just be a random irritation of some kind, like your bra, and as your nipples...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Usually, with cancer, the symptoms quickly change from annoying to truly concerning. If this has been appearing off and on for several menstrual cycles, without getting noticeably worse, then it could be hormonal (maybe one nipple is simply more sensitive than the other); or it could just be a random irritation of some kind, like your bra, and as your nipples become more sensitive over the course of your cycle, one starts "acting up."

       

      At any rate, if this itching comes and goes and doesn't get worse, then it's probaby nothing to worry about. But if it comes and stays - and/or if your nipple seems infected (oozing, very itchy, painful, red), then you'd definitely want to find out what's causing it. I know it's tough without insurance; check with your hospital social workers to see if there's any program you can access for those without insurance. Good luck- PJH

       

  • Anonymous
    SuperMommo
    Jun. 23, 2011

    Dear PJ,
    I am 33, a professional working mom, am not pregnant and have a 13 month old daughter that I stopped giving breastmilk to at 6 months.  (I exclusively pumped thanks to the hospital grade pump, as my daughter was in the NICU for 2 weeks but is fine now.) During that whole time I was on the pump i never had a nipple or breast issue.

     

    I went...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    Dear PJ,
    I am 33, a professional working mom, am not pregnant and have a 13 month old daughter that I stopped giving breastmilk to at 6 months.  (I exclusively pumped thanks to the hospital grade pump, as my daughter was in the NICU for 2 weeks but is fine now.) During that whole time I was on the pump i never had a nipple or breast issue.

     

    I went to my doctor (an internist, not a gyno or breast specialist) last week as my right nipple became extremely red and hurts when touched from directly head-on. It's very sensitive and you can notice a raised red bump on the bottom part of the nipple "end".  Left nipple is completely normal.  I just noticed this 1.5 weeks ago and got right in to see my doctor as it hurts! The doctor said it was "only irritated" and to put Neosporin on it and a bandage to stop any further irritation from rubbing on bra/clothes and it should heal up.  Also, dont touch it and put hot compresses on it (hard to do when i work, but i stand extra long in the shower :-)

     

    Unfortunately, it hasn't gotten better, only worse and more red.  Thing is, it's not "open" and hasn't oozed anything when pressed since that first day i noticed it, and when it did ooze with pressure, it was an amount the size of a pinhead with no blood. So it was almost like a mini infection had set in one of the ducts near the top or something.  I've neosporined it and bandaged it, but no relief yet.  How long do i let this go before i either call that doctor back, call a breast specialist, my gynocologist, or perhaps my dermotologist would be a better bet?  Do you know what could be going on?    I'm terrified of Paget's, which from what i gather usually occurs in tandem with an IDC, and dont know if it could be periductal mastitis or what.  Thank you!

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Jun. 23, 2011

      Because the redness is getting worse, not better, with the treatment the doctor suggested, it is time to call back right away.  Some people are allergic to Neosporin, so that could be the reason the problem is worse.  If an infection is deeper in the milk ducts, then a surface antibiotic might not be sufficient.  Usually Paget's is described...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Because the redness is getting worse, not better, with the treatment the doctor suggested, it is time to call back right away.  Some people are allergic to Neosporin, so that could be the reason the problem is worse.  If an infection is deeper in the milk ducts, then a surface antibiotic might not be sufficient.  Usually Paget's is described as looking more like eczema that an infection.  It usually presents with an itchy, scaly rash.

      Probably your doctor will step up efforts to find out what is going on when this first treatment didn't work.  Be assertive about getting this properly diagnosed.  It doesn't sound like a typical breast cancer symptom, but there is no reason to suffer continued pain.  Let us know how it turns out.  I hope you are soon feeling better.

    • SuperMommo
      Jun. 25, 2011

      Thank you for such a quick reply, PJ! I went to my internist doctor again yesterday who brought in another doctor during the same time to get her opinion. Neither had seen a red bump quite like this.  They did not lance it b/c "there is no head presenting" and they weren't sure it would have drained any of that yukky stuff if they did, but possibly just...

      RHMLucky777

      Read More

      Thank you for such a quick reply, PJ! I went to my internist doctor again yesterday who brought in another doctor during the same time to get her opinion. Neither had seen a red bump quite like this.  They did not lance it b/c "there is no head presenting" and they weren't sure it would have drained any of that yukky stuff if they did, but possibly just blood.  So, I am on 10 days of antibiotics as they are treating this as an infection.  I am going back in 5 days to chart progress / response.  If that doesnt work, they will refer me to the apparent best breast specialist (say that five times fast!) in my area.  Both doctors agreed it wasn't Paget's given that its not scaly, and also that it is not itchy and has only been apparent for less than 2 weeks.  I really appreciate your response, it is extremely helpful! ~E

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Jun. 26, 2011

      Glad to help.  It sounds like your doctor is being appropriately aggressive about treating this and will follow up if the antibiotics do not work.  i hope you soon see a distinct improvement.

      Phyllis

    • SuperMommo
      Jul. 27, 2011

      PJ - Everything healed by July 1st so I'm in the clear.  Of course the antibiotics had that awful unwanted side effect some women experience, but I'll take temporary inconvenience over a giant red sore nipple bump any day!  I really appreciate your advice, you and my doc gave me peace of mind.  Much appreciated!

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Jul. 27, 2011

      Glad you found us, and that everything turned out OK. Thanks to my fellow expert patient, Phyllis Johnson, for her timely and excellent advice. (We're both "PJ," so it gets a bit confusing at times!) Take care- PJH

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Jul. 28, 2011

      I'm delighted to hear that the antibiotics cleared up your symptoms.  We are always pleased to help so let us know if you have other questions.  Thanks for letting us know the outcome.

       

  • DB
    DB
    May. 20, 2011

    Hi There
    I'm 28 and 6mths pregnant with my 2nd child.
    Approx 2 wks ago I noticed that my right areola and nipple were slightly darker than my left. Then 2 days ago, I noticed that this nipple 'leaked' very slightly.
    I did speak with the Midwife about this who mentioned that this could be because one of my breasts is ready for the new Baby to arrive and the other...

    RHMLucky777

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    Hi There
    I'm 28 and 6mths pregnant with my 2nd child.
    Approx 2 wks ago I noticed that my right areola and nipple were slightly darker than my left. Then 2 days ago, I noticed that this nipple 'leaked' very slightly.
    I did speak with the Midwife about this who mentioned that this could be because one of my breasts is ready for the new Baby to arrive and the other breast will catch up soon, however, I'm still a little worried!
    Any help/advice would be gratefully received
    Thanks, DB

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      May. 20, 2011

      Hi - Congratulations, mom-to-be! We're not doctors here, just well-read breast cancer survivors. I'd guess that the symptoms you describe have something to do with your pregnancy, as your midwife suggests; they sound hormonal. However, your best information would come from a doctor; so if you're worried about this, I'd suggest you call and make an appointment...

      RHMLucky777

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      Hi - Congratulations, mom-to-be! We're not doctors here, just well-read breast cancer survivors. I'd guess that the symptoms you describe have something to do with your pregnancy, as your midwife suggests; they sound hormonal. However, your best information would come from a doctor; so if you're worried about this, I'd suggest you call and make an appointment with your regular doctor or your gynecologist. Take care- PJH

  • Anonymous
    danielle
    May. 02, 2011

    i'm a teenager and have had an itchy nipple for the past 4/5 weeks now. it started off crusty and now is just inflamed and dry with flaking bits. It covers my areola partially, but my nipple is much bigger and inflamed compared to the other.

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      May. 02, 2011

      Danielle, the chance of you having breast cancer at your age is probably less than 1 in a million, so please don't stress. But you should edefinitely see a doctor about this; you may have a localized infection, eczema, or something else that would respond well to treatment. So please don't keep watching and waiting; after 4-5 weeks, this definitely qualifies...

      RHMLucky777

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      Danielle, the chance of you having breast cancer at your age is probably less than 1 in a million, so please don't stress. But you should edefinitely see a doctor about this; you may have a localized infection, eczema, or something else that would respond well to treatment. So please don't keep watching and waiting; after 4-5 weeks, this definitely qualifies as a breast change and, like all breast changes, should be checked by a doctor. Take care - PJH

    • Anonymous
      danielle
      May. 21, 2011

      Thanks for the advice, I went to the doctors and was told it was a fungal infection and given some cream, I was told it would go away in a week with it. It's about 3/4 weeks later now, and although its better and less inflamed, it is still itchy, slightly redder than the other areola, and the nipple is bigger and inflamed. It also still can get dry and flakey....

      RHMLucky777

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      Thanks for the advice, I went to the doctors and was told it was a fungal infection and given some cream, I was told it would go away in a week with it. It's about 3/4 weeks later now, and although its better and less inflamed, it is still itchy, slightly redder than the other areola, and the nipple is bigger and inflamed. It also still can get dry and flakey. What do you reccomend I do now?

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      May. 21, 2011

      Danielle, your best bet is to call the doctor back and describe what your breast is like now, after treatment - just as you have to me. S/he should be able to suggest and implement another course of action. Don't let this linger; if it's an infection that the cream didn't quite take care of, you may need antibiotics. So, keep pursuing this with your doctor...

      RHMLucky777

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      Danielle, your best bet is to call the doctor back and describe what your breast is like now, after treatment - just as you have to me. S/he should be able to suggest and implement another course of action. Don't let this linger; if it's an infection that the cream didn't quite take care of, you may need antibiotics. So, keep pursuing this with your doctor until everything's back to normal, OK? Good luck - hope whatever it is disappears soon! PJH

  • mary06
    Jan. 04, 2011

    I am a 37 year old female. My left nipple has been itching along with yellow, greenish, black discharge. I have family history of breast cancer. Should I be alarmed??? I have had this problem for a couple months now. My nipple also burns and stings.

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Jan. 04, 2011

      Any breast change that lasts longer than a month should be checked by a doctor. In general, nipple discharge doesn't signify breast cancer; but it still needs to be checked, and cancer ruled out. So call the doctor and make an appointment, OK? Take care- PJH

  • FabulousJ
    Dec. 27, 2010

    I'm 47 and my right nipple has been itchy for over a year.  I recently had both a mammogram and an ultrasound which came back negative.  I've seen a dermatologist who said she didn't see anything on the skin and gave me an antifungal cream to use.  It's only been a few days but I'm not sure if I feel a difference.  I'm very worried. ...

    RHMLucky777

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    I'm 47 and my right nipple has been itchy for over a year.  I recently had both a mammogram and an ultrasound which came back negative.  I've seen a dermatologist who said she didn't see anything on the skin and gave me an antifungal cream to use.  It's only been a few days but I'm not sure if I feel a difference.  I'm very worried.  Should I get a biopsy?

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Dec. 27, 2010

      If this were cancer, it would have progressed noticeably into something much worse over the course of a year. Since all your diagnostic tests are negative, and your body isn't showing signs of cancer (growth, change), then you'd have to assume it's something else. Have you seen a breast specialist? PJH

    • FabulousJ
      Dec. 27, 2010

      Thanks for your quick response.  It was my gynecologist that sent me to have the tests done and referred me to the dermatologist.  What is a breast specialist?  I'm trying not to worry and think I have something awful.  I just want to find out that it is nothing to worry about. 

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Dec. 27, 2010

      If by "something awful" you mean cancer, then you can almost certainly stop worrying. Cancer just doesn't go on that long without getting very noticeably worse. A breast specialist is just what it sounds like - a doctor specializing in breast issues, everything from mastitis and infections to hormonal issues and cancer. They're usually found at cancer centers,...

      RHMLucky777

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      If by "something awful" you mean cancer, then you can almost certainly stop worrying. Cancer just doesn't go on that long without getting very noticeably worse. A breast specialist is just what it sounds like - a doctor specializing in breast issues, everything from mastitis and infections to hormonal issues and cancer. They're usually found at cancer centers, simply because that's where a lot of the issues are addressed; but they do cover any kind of breast condition, not just cancer. Maybe your gynecologist could refer you? Take care- PJH

  • Anonymous
    angela
    Dec. 27, 2010

    hello,i`m a 27 year old lady. i`ve been dealing with an itchy nipple for 9 months now.it`s always the left nipple that itches. i`ve been to my doctor many times as she always says that it might be a fungal infection. tried all sorts of cream and even took a pill that is supposed to kill off any fungal infection. the thing is that i can go for days without itching...

    RHMLucky777

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    hello,i`m a 27 year old lady. i`ve been dealing with an itchy nipple for 9 months now.it`s always the left nipple that itches. i`ve been to my doctor many times as she always says that it might be a fungal infection. tried all sorts of cream and even took a pill that is supposed to kill off any fungal infection. the thing is that i can go for days without itching but than it always returns. two months ago i had a breat ultrasound and every thing came back clear but i`m really scared that doctors are missing out on something as when i search " itchy nipple " on the web it always refers to paget`s disease.thanks for your help!!

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Dec. 27, 2010

      Hi - If this were Paget's disease, it would have progressed in the past 9 months; and you'd see external signs that something was wrong - scaling, flaking, redness, something beyond itching. Since it comes and goes, it sounds hormonal; I think, to get some relief, you need to see a breast specialist. S/he could possibly do some tests and try to pin down what's...

      RHMLucky777

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      Hi - If this were Paget's disease, it would have progressed in the past 9 months; and you'd see external signs that something was wrong - scaling, flaking, redness, something beyond itching. Since it comes and goes, it sounds hormonal; I think, to get some relief, you need to see a breast specialist. S/he could possibly do some tests and try to pin down what's causing this. Good luck - hope you get some relief soon. PJH

    • Anonymous
      angela
      Dec. 28, 2010

      Many thanks for your reply..........it helped to put my mind a bit at rest. me and my husband are longing to have a child together but at the mean time i`m scared of getting pregnant beacause of this itchy nipple.!!!

  • Anonymous
    siena
    Oct. 27, 2010

    im 22 and noticed this morning that my right nipple is darker and the area around it is slightly darker and larger than on my left breast, i know that my right breast has always been slightly larger than the left, i'm just now concerned what this change means, im not due on my period and it is unlikely that i'm pregnant as i always use protection, any...

    RHMLucky777

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    im 22 and noticed this morning that my right nipple is darker and the area around it is slightly darker and larger than on my left breast, i know that my right breast has always been slightly larger than the left, i'm just now concerned what this change means, im not due on my period and it is unlikely that i'm pregnant as i always use protection, any help on this would be appreciated.

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Oct. 27, 2010

      Siena, at your age breast cancer would just be extremely unlikely. This is probably hormonal; for whatever reason, your hormones may be out of whack at the moment. Keep your eye on it; if you still have these symptoms in a month, best to see a doctor and find out what's up. Or certainly, if they worsen - if your breast seems infected (red, hot, swollen, itchy),...

      RHMLucky777

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      Siena, at your age breast cancer would just be extremely unlikely. This is probably hormonal; for whatever reason, your hormones may be out of whack at the moment. Keep your eye on it; if you still have these symptoms in a month, best to see a doctor and find out what's up. Or certainly, if they worsen - if your breast seems infected (red, hot, swollen, itchy), then see a doctor ASAP. Good luck - PJH

  • Karilyn
    Oct. 25, 2010

    Hello! I am a 24 yr old women.  I have just recently noticed that my left nipple  has become noticeably larger than my right. My nipples have always been pretty sensitive but lately my left one has been more so than the right...ever since I have noticed that is was larger. Its been about 2 or 3 months since I have noticed it. Its not getting...

    RHMLucky777

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    Hello! I am a 24 yr old women.  I have just recently noticed that my left nipple  has become noticeably larger than my right. My nipples have always been pretty sensitive but lately my left one has been more so than the right...ever since I have noticed that is was larger. Its been about 2 or 3 months since I have noticed it. Its not getting much worse from what I can tell, but not going away either. Should I be concerned?

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Oct. 25, 2010

      Hi Karilyn - While this isn't a typical breast cancr symptom, it qualifies as a breast change; and every breast change that lasts longer than a month should be examined by a doctor. So don't stress, but do call your doctor; you need to rule out any serious issues. Good luck to you - PJH

  • noname
    Oct. 05, 2010

    Hi, 

        im 12 years old and i can feel a sort of hard lump under my left nipple, it's quite painful when i touch it. Could this be part of puberty ( my breasts growing awkwardly) or maybe a cancerous lump. Please reply.

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Oct. 05, 2010

      Definitely puberty. Your chance of having breast cancer at age 12 is less than 1 in 1 million - only a handful of girls throughout the world, throughout scientific history, have been diagnosed with BC at age 12. Please read our message to teens; I think that'll make you feel better. And to find out what that lump is, please read our guide to breast development....

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      Definitely puberty. Your chance of having breast cancer at age 12 is less than 1 in 1 million - only a handful of girls throughout the world, throughout scientific history, have been diagnosed with BC at age 12. Please read our message to teens; I think that'll make you feel better. And to find out what that lump is, please read our guide to breast development. Be prepared, because your breasts iwll be going through all kinds of changes in the years ahead. If the lump is painful and bothering you, best to share with your mom or the school nurse, OK? They can help you do something to reduce the pain. Good luck - PJH

  • Renee41
    Sep. 07, 2010

    I AM 41 I AM EXPERIENCEING MY LEFT NIPPLE, AND LET ME STRESS THE NIPPLE ONLY, HURTS.  ANY IDEAS?

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Sep. 07, 2010

      This could be hormonal. But if the pain lasts longer than a couple of weeks, Renee, then best to ask a doctor about it, OK? You may have an infection. Hope this resolves itself soon - PJH

  • Thinkinhappythoughts
    Apr. 10, 2010

    I am a 38 year old with one itchy nipple.  I have been living with it for about five monthes and it will not go away.  We have used the same detergents for years.  Thank you for the article, I will make an appointment with my doctor on Monday.

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Apr. 10, 2010

      Hi - I'm glad you're seeing a doctor about this. But please don't worry too much - after 5 months, if it was serious it most likely would have developed into something much more intense, rather than simply being itchy. Good luck - hope you get good news from the doctor - PJH

  • angel
    Mar. 20, 2010

    i am now 23 yrs old, when i was younger about 10 my left inverted nipple was so itchy every night, so i scratch it, after then i notice my nipple became dry cracked and detouched from other part of the nipple but i don't feel any pain and now i am worry because only small part was left and starting to dry and remove and feel some pain. I already gave birth...

    RHMLucky777

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    i am now 23 yrs old, when i was younger about 10 my left inverted nipple was so itchy every night, so i scratch it, after then i notice my nipple became dry cracked and detouched from other part of the nipple but i don't feel any pain and now i am worry because only small part was left and starting to dry and remove and feel some pain. I already gave birth 11months ago my problem is that is hard to pump my breast so i discontinue my breastfeeding it only takes 4 months.

  • Castastone
    Mar. 18, 2010

    I have lumps, which look like mini nipples, on both breasts around each of my normal nipples. These extras can be painful and when squeezed (yes I know how weird that sounds) they have white discharge. My family doctor seems to think they're clogged milk ducts but she failed to inspire confidence. I have looked everywhere but no one seems to have posted anything...

    RHMLucky777

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    I have lumps, which look like mini nipples, on both breasts around each of my normal nipples. These extras can be painful and when squeezed (yes I know how weird that sounds) they have white discharge. My family doctor seems to think they're clogged milk ducts but she failed to inspire confidence. I have looked everywhere but no one seems to have posted anything about something like this. Can anyone help? Thank you so much. 

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Mar. 19, 2010

      They actually sound not like clogged milk ducts, but clogged oil glands. Our nipples are surrounded by tiny oil glands, which keep them soft. For some reason, it sounds like yours aren't expressing their oil. I'd definitely ask your doctor for a referral to a dermatologist about this; it sounds rather painful. Good luck - PJH

    • Castastone
      Mar. 19, 2010

      Thank you so much PJ!

  • raina
    Oct. 26, 2009

    i am 18..i dont know if i should be worried but my brests started out aching now there is a wierd sensation like scratchiness and and burning on the skin as well as some peeling skin...any comments on this would be helpful.. i am worried.

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Oct. 26, 2009

      Raina, please see my answer to your question in the Q/A section, where you also posted it, OK? Thanks - PJH

    • Anonymous
      Sore nipple
      Jan. 17, 2010

      I have one breast nipple that hurts. It was both at first with a tingling sensation but with the next cycle got better.  But one nipple is still sore and now has an itch above the breast. There is no rash, not warm to the touch but the nipple soreness will not go away.  Went to the doc, did the annual, checked the breast and said no...

      RHMLucky777

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      I have one breast nipple that hurts. It was both at first with a tingling sensation but with the next cycle got better.  But one nipple is still sore and now has an itch above the breast. There is no rash, not warm to the touch but the nipple soreness will not go away.  Went to the doc, did the annual, checked the breast and said no lumps no oozing, no droop, no indentations, no rash. He said I did not have Pageats. ( I worry alot so I was up on the IBC and the Pageats stuff to ask about)  Had a cycle, got better, but now it hurts again.  Should I go back?  My next mamo isn't until April 2010. Had one in 2009. Both still have the tingling off and on. I'm 43 and had a breast reduction 6 years ago. He also did hormone testing. I am waiting for those results. Last cycle I did not ovulate then my period came a week early.  I am also have heavy periods. I wouldn't be worried if it was both nipples, but its one.  I am good about annuals exams and doing mamo every year. Any advice with this? The breast itches where the bra starts where the cups are on top.  Its not an intense itch but throughout the day.  I have been putting Aveno lotion; it helps but the itch will not go away. Also I had been putting heating pads on them with the previous cycle and fell asleep with the pad on med/high directly on the skin.  I don't know if this damaged the nipple with the nerves or what.  But at the annual, he said to lay off caffene and drink more water. I've done this with the exception of coffee and choc.  But its one nipple and I would think all of that would effect both.

       

      Thanks

      LJ

    • Phyllis Johnson
      Health Guide
      Jan. 17, 2010

      LJ, you are correct that usually symptoms in just one breast are more likely to be cancer than symptoms on both sides.  However, all kinds of medical problems can affect one side more than another for a wide variety of reasons.  There are several reasons why I think you don't need to worry at this time.  You are having all kinds of hormonal fluctuations...

      RHMLucky777

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      LJ, you are correct that usually symptoms in just one breast are more likely to be cancer than symptoms on both sides.  However, all kinds of medical problems can affect one side more than another for a wide variety of reasons.  There are several reasons why I think you don't need to worry at this time.  You are having all kinds of hormonal fluctuations that are affecting your periods and probably your breasts as well.  The problem started in both breasts and then got better.  Breast cancer does not usually get better and worse the way your symptoms are.  Sleeping on the heating pad may have made your irritation worse.  Although inflammatory breast cancer symptoms do vary, the kind of itch I had with IBC was an itch deep in my breast not on the skin surface, and my IBC symptoms only got worse, never better.  Your doctor has checked you out and sees no reason to be alarmed at this time.

      Since you have a mammogram coming up in April, you will soon have an opportunity to discuss the situation again if it is not completely well.  I'd suggest you keep a log of symptoms between now and then.  If your rash gets worse or if you develop swelling, redness, discharge, or a lump, go back to the doctor for a re-evaluation.  I hope the problem is soon better.

  • JUNIPER
    Oct. 25, 2009

    Thankyou your answer was helpful.

  • Anonymous
    Kelly
    Oct. 22, 2009

    I am 23 years old and now diagnosed with breast cancer.  It all started with one nipple and was originally passed off as eczema, and an eczema cream did not work.  I was supposed to have a biopsy after one week, but I was too scared and didn't want to know.  I tried to think it was just dry skin and would fix itself, and it continued to worsen. ...

    RHMLucky777

    Read More

    I am 23 years old and now diagnosed with breast cancer.  It all started with one nipple and was originally passed off as eczema, and an eczema cream did not work.  I was supposed to have a biopsy after one week, but I was too scared and didn't want to know.  I tried to think it was just dry skin and would fix itself, and it continued to worsen.  If you have any doubts it's better to get medical attention!

  • Anonymous
    Angelina
    Oct. 18, 2009

    Thank you so much, I was so confused becuase my nipples were buring each at different times and really badly and then one was even peeling. I didn't know if that was normal or not and if I should go to the hospital becuase it burned so bad. Thank you for putting up this info that let me know its normal and to only be concerned if it persists. You have taken...

    RHMLucky777

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    Thank you so much, I was so confused becuase my nipples were buring each at different times and really badly and then one was even peeling. I didn't know if that was normal or not and if I should go to the hospital becuase it burned so bad. Thank you for putting up this info that let me know its normal and to only be concerned if it persists. You have taken a burden off my mind!

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Oct. 18, 2009

      Angelina, you still might want to have this checked - not because you think it's cancer, but because it hurts! And it's something new, and out of the ordinary for you. No sense putting up with this pain if you don't have to; it might be something treatable. So think about seeing a doctor, OK? Good luck - PJH

  • Anonymous
    Betty Daigle
    Apr. 15, 2009

    If a sympton like inverted nipple appears on a breast waiting a few weeks is not an option.  IBC is aggressive.  Three weeks can mean a lifetime to a woman.  Get to a doctor.  Been there and know the difference a few weeks can make.

     

    Thanks

     

    • PJ Hamel
      Health Guide
      Apr. 15, 2009

      Point well taken. An inverted nipple that appears suddenly is something to call the doctor about without waiting. PJH