A pimple on the nipple or areola of the breast can be painful, painless, small, growing or big in size. All the signs the nipple lumps may come with could indicate an underlying cause. But are pimples on nipple normal? What does it mean to have a pimple on tip of the nipple that won’t go away after years? These are common when breastfeeding, during pregnancy and during a period. However, they can occur any time in men and females as well.
- Are pimples on your nipple normal?
- What does a pimple on your nipple mean?
- Is having a pimple on your nipple normal?
- What causes a pimple on your nipple?
Pimples on nipple meaning and causes
Acne and pimples can grow almost anywhere on the body. Weird pimples on breast area, chest, and the back can cause panic. According to Healthiro, zits on the areola can mean a lot of things and it is difficult to pinpoint the exact cause for everyone. Women who breastfeed or are in the nursing period can have a small nipple pimple that will cause a lot of discomforts.
It could mean that the area around the tip or side of the nipple was injured, is dirty or infected. A pimple on a man’s nipple could, however, mean the cause is caused by acne or unhygienic nipple area. Below, we have discussed different causes, symptoms, and treatment for pimples on the nipple.
1. Acne on breast area and areola
Acne triggers pimples almost anywhere on the body. When pores on the nipple get clogged with dirt, dead cells and oil, a pimple will develop on the nipple. In a big percentage of people with pimples, the main cause is acne.
Anti-acne medications can help to reduce the formation of pimples on the nipple. It is expected that you can get just one pimple on the nipple and not many. If you have many spots on the areola, then it could be something else, like a rash or blisters other than acne-caused pimples.
3. A painful pimple on nipple areola or a pimple on nipple hurts – plugged milk duct
A nipple pimple that hurts, whether at the tip, under nipple or on the side of the nipple can cause extreme discomfort and worry. Pimple-like bumps that are painful, according to Pop Sugar’s Circle of Moms, is likely to be a blocked milk duct on the areola.
Steaming yourself or taking a hot shower can help relieve a pimple under nipple that hurts hard. This will help unclog the duct and allow the zit to be released gently and effortlessly.
4. Milk blisters or clear pimples, yellow pimples on the nipple
What is a milk blister and why is it likened to a pimple on the nipple? For women who are nursing, a bleb or milk blister is simply trapped milk under the skin on the nipples or areola area. Kelly Mom reports that milk blisters grow when a small piece of skin overgrows on the opening of a milk duct, causing milk to build up behind it.
- A milk blister is a small painful pimple on the nipple.
- It will be a clear dot, but sometimes it will appear as a yellow sore.
- See a doctor for a proper diagnosis if you get a bump or zit on the nipple when not breastfeeding.
5. Infected oil glands in nipple cause a pimple with white discharge on the nipple
A small pimple with white discharge, mostly on females, and not on the areola is likely to be clogged Montgomery gland. These glands are important in keeping the nipple area soft and well lubricated. More often than not, these glands get infected and you end up with a tiny pimple on the nipple.
With an infection building underneath, the small sore will start to produce a discharge or white stuff. Since most people squeeze or try to pop pimples, pus will ooze out of the infected oil glands. This should not worry you, but if the white spot comes back, see a doctor for treatment to get rid of it.
6. A pimple on the nipple while pregnant, a sign of pregnancy?
Could sore pimples on the nipple be an early sign of pregnancy? Belly Belly lists a number of breast changes as signs of a first pregnancy. During early pregnancy, the Montgomery tubercles start developing and appearing on the areola.
These are simply sebaceous glands that start to secrete oil to prevent bacteria from building up on your nipples. The small bumps on nipples are known to be an early and sure sign of pregnancy.
7. A hard pimple on nipple cancer (rash on nipples and breasts)
Breast cancer can manifest in many ways. The symptoms vary, but hard bumps and pain in the nipple area or the breast have been identified as some of the common signs of cancer of the breast. Everyday Health has listed breast rash as one of the signs. Breast rash may be caused by breastfeeding, dermatitis or a fungal infection. It could also be a sign of cancer.
A rash on your breasts “could also be an aggressive form of cancer called inflammatory breast cancer.” Hard lumps in breasts may be caused by your menstrual cycle or some hormone fluctuations, but even pimple-like lumps on boobs could be a clear sign of breast cancer.
- The Susan G Komen Organization describes a sign of cancer as “an itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple.”
8. A pimple on nipple man or boys from acne breakouts
Men too can get pimples around the nipple area. This could be caused by acne, or it can be a sebaceous cyst. If you are a man with a small painful bump on the nipple, you should see a doctor to rule out any serious conditions such as cancer and some dangerous skin infections.
In teenage boys and even grown-up men at some stage, a pimple on nipple can form due to increased hormones. Men who work out a lot can also get a few breakouts around the chest area, which can also spread to the nipple area. When irritated, they can become red pimples, and even sore.
9. Breast abscesses and pimple bump on nipple piercing
If you have a nipple ring in your nipple piercing, it is likely that you are developing a breast abscess. According to the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, nipple piercings predispose you to recurrent abscesses on the nipples. These bumps on nipple piercings can start appearing even years after you pierced the area.
Under the areola and even the area on the sides of the nipple, under the nipple or tip of the nipple, you will start feeling tender and inflamed bumps. These will quickly or slowly become pus-filled lesions. Even after healing, the nipple bumps may recur next to the piercing until surgical management done to reduce or remove them completely.
A white pimple on nipple could be a whitehead
The Australian Breastfeeding Association notes that a blocked pore on the nipple can cause a white pimple or a milk blister or a bleb. Mostly, whiteheads develop this way too and may appear as a small white pimple on your nipple. While some whiteheads hurt, others will painless and the size of a pinhead or just a little larger.
Whiteheads on nipples are common during pregnancy, during period or breastfeeding in women. However, if you note that a white pimple on nipple has white stuff or discharge, you should see a doctor as soon as possible because that could be an infection that needs immediate treatment.
- A white pimple on your nipple while not breastfeeding or when not pregnant is likely not a milk blister or bleb. It can be caused by acne pimples or zits. However, it should go away on its own. If not, seek medical attention.
- White pimples on the areola can cause pain, become red due to inflammation especially if you are breastfeeding.
- A white spot on nipples can also be a sign of mastitis according to the Australian Breastfeeding Association. It arises from the blocked nipple pore due to overgrowth of the skin or some thickened milk.
A pimple on the nipple while breastfeeding or nursing in women
Nursing women can get a pimple near nipple or areola. This can manifest in different ways, but the most common one is a white pimple, which is normally a milk bleb or milk blister. In some cases, there are red nipple pimples which occur as a result of inflammation.
The Breastfeeding Problems website notes that herpes blisters and also blood blisters on the nipple can occur even during breastfeeding. Friction from bras and a rough encounter with the baby when nursing can also cause a brown or red spot on the nipple.
If you have a red bump on nipples, you should see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Do not assume anything as it could also be a sign of an infection on the nipple while breastfeeding your baby.
A pimple on nipple won’t go away for years, keeps coming back
Pimples that won’t go away or keep coming back for years can be caused by a hair follicle on the nipple tip itself. These are common in men but can be seen in some women especially those with hormone imbalance problems.
They never go away because the hair follicle gets infected or grows inward, causing a bump around it that becomes sore and infected. Unless that hair is removed from the root, it is likely to cause a lot of discomforts and the pimple will be constantly recurrent, or won’t go away for years. However, if you think the sore, bump or zit on the nipple is not caused by ingrowing hair follicles, you should see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
A pimple on the nipple area of a female before period
It is quite normal to get a pimple on the nipple before period. But why do you get breakouts just before your menstrual periods? During this time, most women experience a spike in their hormonal levels, which can also change the body’s balance and production of sebum or oil that helps skin look healthy.
Such pimples may be common and can be periodical, although it should not be a recurring problem. When you have a nipple zit that won’t heal or won’t go away, it could be something else other than normal hormone imbalances. Hard pimple-like bumps around the areola can be a sign of cancer that should be addressed immediately.
A pimple on tip of nipple duct, end, edge or opening of the nipple
A pimple on tip of the nipple, or side of nipple, edge or opening of the nipple duct could mean that the skin on that part is broken. However, it should be examined to ensure it is a normal pimple or acne spot and not a recurrent growth that could cause cancer of the nipple.
For most people, especially women, the common point is having a pimple on the tip of the nipple. The sides may also be affected. When you have bumps on left nipple or acne zits on one nipple or right nipple, it could mean you have what is termed as Paget’s nipple disease. This disease comes mostly with psoriasis symptoms – red pimples on the areola, dry flaky patches that look like scabs on nipples, and ulcer-like spots.
A pimple on nipple bleeding, discharge, or green pus
A bleeding nipple or any sort of discharge from the nipple should be a cause for alarm since, according to Mayo Clinic, it could be a sign of cancer. Although discharge could also be associated with menstrual hormone changes.
A small bleeding pimple on the nipple or any discharge from a pimple could be a sign that the sore or zit is infected. Yellow and green pus on the nipple is a sure sign of infection. If you have such symptoms, see a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment. Antibiotic medications are administered to help cure bacterial infections that may cause the green and yellow pus discharge.
A hard pimple on a nipple or deep cystic lump on nipple
Everyday Health advises that you pay particular attention to hard pimples and bumps around the breast. Painless hard lumps on nipple should even be a symptom that causes alarm because it could be a sign of cancer of the breast.
However, a deep hard pimple on the nipple is also cystic acne seated deep in the skin. This should not be painless though. Touching may inflame cystic pimples and make them hurt when touched or when you try to pop them.
Little or small red pimple on the nipple that looks strange
Strange red pimples near the nipple, on the tip or sides of the areola area, can be caused by friction or a blocked duct. Small red zits or bumps are normally caused by an infection or an abscess of the nipple. The redness, most of the time, is caused by a bacterial infection and generally the activity of the bacteria. If it has no discharge, it could be simply a clogged duct of the areola.
An itchy pimple growing on the nipple
A pimple growth on the nipple that is itchy could be a source of discomfort and embarrassment. But what is it? Is it dangerous? According to Health Line, small itchy pimples growing on the nipple are likely to be atopic dermatitis because it manifests itself as eczema due to inflammation that is caused by probably the soaps, cleansers and artificial fibers you use.
However, a pimple growing on the nipple into a huge zit, sore or cyst could indicate just a growth on the nipple. Growths can turn out to be benign and non-cancerous, while others can be dangerous and require excision or surgical removal. See a doctor if you have a big pimple growing on your breast area.
A pimple on nipple sore, swollen and popped
Clear lumps on the nipple can sometimes swell and become big. Some people report that a nipple pimple popped on its own. A clear fluid may or may not be evident, although it will most likely bleed a little. Infected pimples can get swollen, and sometimes the entire breast area also gets swollen and sore. A sore pimple is could also be caused by inflammation of the nipple area, especially in people with allergies. If it gets popped by itself, it is likely to be caused by friction from your bra or touching or scratching.
Pimple scar on nipple and pimple spots and rash on the nipple area
Scars, rashes and dark spots on the nipple area are common because of a number of reasons or causes. It is believed that women and men with pierced nipples get nipple piercing scars and bumps. Most of the times, these scars get infected and leave a scar behind.
Pimple-like spots on the nipple and areola and general breast area may be caused by ingrown hairs. These are common in men, although some women also get dark spots and bumps on the nipple area due to hormonal imbalances, mostly during pregnancy.
Pimple rash on the nipple and areola, according to NHS UK, could be Paget’s disease of the nipple. This disease attacks the “skin of one nipple and produces eczema-like symptoms, appearing as an itchy, red rash on the nipple that can extend to the darker area of surrounding skin (the areola).”
A pimple on nipple treatment, cures and how to remove bumps on the nipple
Treatment for nipple pimples and bumps will mostly depend on the cause. For instance, a milk blister will be treated by softening and compressing to remove the blister fast. If the zits are caused by acne, anti-acne medication will be used to reduce the flare-ups around the areola of your breasts. Below are quick cures for bumps on nipples.
- Regular cleaning will help get rid of a pimple on the nipple and breast. This mostly works if the cause is a yeast infection. HealthIro recommends that after cleaning the area, apply ginger juice to clear the infection fast.
- Over the counter medications for acne, including benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid with help get rid of acne on nipple or breasts.
- Montgomery glands are normally not treated because they will clear on their own, especially in breastfeeding women.
Home remedies to get rid of nipple pimples naturally
Home remedies and natural cures are inexpensive and mild but can also get you much relief when it comes to getting rid of pimples on breasts. Here are a few home remedies for pimples to try.
- Apply cucumber juice to a pimple about three times a day. This will get rid of the bump around areola in both men and women fast.
- You could also use ground orange mixed with water. Three applications within a day will help cure the area completely.
- Wash the breasts with warm water. Pimples that appear to be milk blisters or those caused by blockage of Montgomery glands can be treated effectively by washing the area with clean and warm water.
- Tandurust recommends another home remedy, which is rubbing garlic on the pimple a few times a day to remove it naturally. This treatment might sting a little though.
If you have a pimple on a nipple that won’t go away or won’t heal for years or months, and keeps recurring, you can explore additional treatments such as healing broken skin on the nipple area and areola area. However, you will always get the best results if you address the underlying cause because it will help prevent recurring pimples and sores on the nipple.
Sources and References