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Nipple Problems: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

Nipple problems can be caused due to some illness and/or irritants that are present in the environment. Such problems can occur in both men and women and they may occur due to a variety of causes. Some of the causes that may cause nipple problems include pregnancy, hypothyroidism, ecstasia or widening of the milk ducts, pituitary gland tumor, injury to the breast tissue, infections, small, noncancerous or benign tumors and Paget’s disease of the breast. A person may experience unnecessary discharge from the breasts due to unusual pressure on his/her chest or due to a severe injury. Excessive friction may also cause nipples to become sore, irritated or cracked.

Itchiness of the nipples can be caused due to a number of reasons. Pregnancy can cause changes in hormone levels, expansion of breasts and increased blood flow to the nipples and this may cause nipple problems in women. A person can also suffer from nipple or areola dermatitis due to eczema or other causes. Breast-feeding women are the most susceptible to eczema. Sometimes the fungus Candida albicans may cause a woman to suffer from a fungal infection of the nipples. A person may also suffer from a condition called jogger’s nipple or runner’s nipple if he/she experiences irritation due to clothing rubbing against the nipples during some physical activities.

Treating nipple problems involve identification of the cause that is causing the problem. So there are different treatment options.

How is the treatment done?

A person needs to take appropriate medications to treat nipple problems due to any infection. Nipple problems due to a bacterial infection will require treatment with antibiotics. Again, a person suffering from fungal infection like candidiasis will have to take an antifungal medicine. A person suffering from nipple problems due to the presence of a small but non-cancerous tumor may require going to the doctor on a regular basis. Ecstasia or swollen milk ducts usually gets resolved on its own. However, a doctor may surgically remove the swollen milk ducts if a person suffers from this condition continuously. Nipple problems can also occur due to lack of thyroid hormones in the body. Lack of such hormones can cause the normal balance of chemical reactions to get upset. However, this condition can be treated with the help of a prescription medicine which will help to replace the hormones.

Pituitary tumor, which can cause nipple problems, can be treated with the help of two medications like bromocriptine and cabergoline. Sometimes radiation therapy may also be necessary to treat such a tumor. A person may have tumors in the nipple or may have tumors all over the breast if she is suffering from Paget’s disease of the breast. If the tumors are concentrated only in the nipple, the person will require undergoing surgery to remove the areola and nipple and also will have to take radiation treatment. If the tumors are spread all over the breast, the person may require undergoing mastectomy to remove the entire breast.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

A person who has nipple discharge without any apparent reason I eligible for the treatment. The fluid discharge may appear o be clear, yellow, milky, green or even bloody. Other symptoms that may make a person eligible for treatment are irritation, cracking, bleeding and soreness of the nipples or if the nipples have changed their shape. A person should be diagnosed by a doctor by be suffering from this condition to be eligible for the treatment.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

A doctor will enquire about the medications that a person is on, whether there has been any change in the person’s diet, whether the person is pregnant or if her nipples have got irritated due to some recent activity before diagnosing her with suffering from nipple problems. A person is not eligible if a doctor has not diagnosed him to be suffering from such. Some of the tests that may help a person to understand whether she is eligible for treatment or not include ductography, skin biopsy, mammogram, MRI scan, thyroid hormone test or CT scan.

Are there any side effects?

Mammography used to treat nipple problems exposes a person to some amount of radiation. So a person should always be aware of the side-effects of radiation. A person generally suffers from acute symptoms during the treatment phase of radiation therapy. However, other side-effects include fatigue, skin reactions and other effects specific to the area under treatment may be experienced by a person. Other symptoms of radiation therapy include general weakness and tiredness. Antihistamines, which are used to treat eczema of the nipples, can have side-effects like drowsiness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, restlessness or moodiness, confusion, dry mouth or blurred vision.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

Wearing properly fitting clothes while exercising or working out will help a person to avoid nipple problems. Women who run or do horseback riding should wear a well-fitted sports bra. Men, who are suffering from nipple problems, should wear a snug undershirt before indulging in physical activities. Applying products to prevent chafing may also help to deal with nipple problems. It may also be beneficial if a person applies moisturizer to keep the nipples moist.

How long does it take to recover?

Mammoplasty or breast reduction surgery will require a person to take a week off from active life. It normally takes a person about 10-14 days to recover from the effects of this surgical procedure. Physical activity should be avoided for a period of about 1 month. The recovery period for a person suffering from nipple problem depends on the cause of the ailment.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Mammoplasty generally costs in between Rs 85000 and Rs 110000. Anti-fungal medications can something in between Rs 640 to Rs 1600. A tablet of cabgolin, that is used to treat nipple problems due to pituitary gland is approximately Rs 273 per pill. A single pill of dostinex which is also used for a similar purpose can be purchased for Rs 225. Antibiotics are available within a price range of Rs 10-Rs 40 for a single tablet.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

A person may suffer from an injury to his/her chest or breast and this may cause him/her to suffer from nipple problems even after that person has undergone treatment for the same. Pregnancy or some infection may also cause a person to suffer from nipple problem. Thus there is not always a permanent solution.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

A pregnant woman can use her own breast milk to treat sore, cracked, blistering or bleeding nipples. Sore nipples can also be treated by applying a warm compress. Other natural methods that help to treat nipple problems include massaging with oil, use of aloe vera, basil leaves and ice. Calendula, tea-tree oil, chamomile and Vitamin C also help to deal with nipple problems.

Safety: High Effectiveness: High Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: Low Side Effects: Low Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range:

Popular Health Tips

Fluid Discharge From Nipples - Factors That Can Cause It!

MD - Obstetrics & Gynaecology, DGO, MBBS, MCPS
Gynaecologist, Mumbai
Fluid Discharge From Nipples - Factors That Can Cause It!

Galactorrhea is not a disease per se, but more of an underlying medical condition or a symptom that involves discharge of a milky fluid from the nipples, which is not the breast milk. It becomes especially crucial owing to the similarity of the two, when breastfeeding the baby is concerned. It may happen even while you are not lactating or not even pregnant, mostly in menopausal women. Strangely, the syndrome has also shown to have occurred to men and children, irrespective of gender.

What are the contributing factors to the development of Galactorrhea?

  1. Galactorrhea is a major side effect of certain kinds of medication that leads to hormonal imbalance and ultimately leads to quasi-lactation.
  2. Increase in the levels of prolactin can result in Galactorrhea which may be due to a number of reasons ranging from excessive stimulation in the nipples and chest area (during sexual activities), or pituitary and thyroid problems. The former is not a major cause of worry. The latter can be fixed with proper medication.
  3. Kidney disease and spinal cord surgery may also result in this phenomenon.
  4. Substance abuse and birth control pills may also be responsible for breast discharge.
  5. At times, the causes for Galactorrhea may not be certifiably determined.

Various symptoms of Galactorrhea include:

  1. Milky discharge from one or both breasts simultaneously.
  2. Discharge may be continuous or intermittent.
  3. Density and amount of discharge may also vary.
  4. In case of women, this may have a direct effect on periods, leading to irregular menstruation.
  5. The discharge may occur without pressure or when an external agency is involved.
  6. Headaches and worsening vision are also said to occur.

When you experience a nipular discharge, the most common tests you should undergo include a pregnancy test, prolactin level exam, mammography, ultrasounds, even an MRI for the pituitary gland evaluation. Based on the result, your physician prescribes the required medicines or advises you to stop taking a particular medicine that might be causing this discharge in the first place.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2636 people found this helpful

Nipple Discharge - 4 Common Causes

Gynaecologist, Delhi
Nipple Discharge - 4 Common Causes

Nipple discharge is a common part of breast functioning, which normally occurs during breast-feeding or pregnancy. It is often associated with the changes of menstrual hormone. The milky discharge post breast-feeding usually continues for up to two years after stopping nursing. The condition normally gets resolved on its own but if the situation persists for a long time resort to medical assistance.

The following are some of the causes of normal nipple discharge:
- Stimulation: Normal nipple discharge can arise due to stimulation; chafing of your breast skin due to tight bras or vigorous exercises.
- Pregnancy: Most women tend to witness clear nipple discharge in the early stages of their pregnancy. Towards the later stages, this discharge usually turns watery and becomes milky in color
- Stopped Breast-feeding: In some cases, nipple discharge continues for some time after the mother has stopped breast-feeding her newborn
- Hormonal Imbalance: Some women notice tenderness in breasts and nipple discharge during their menstrual cycle

What is an abnormal nipple discharge?
An abnormal nipple discharge is usually bloody in color and is accompanied with tenderness of the breast. Papilloma is a non-cancerous tumor that is often responsible for bloody nipple discharge. Continuous nipple discharge from one of the breasts or nipple discharge that arises without any stimulation or external irritation is abnormal in nature.

The possible causes of abnormal nipple discharge include:

1. Abscess- It is an assortment of pus that get accumulated within the tissues of your body. It is usually accompanied by redness, pain and swelling. Boils and carbuncles are types of abscess. Formation of abscess in breasts may result in nipple discharge.

2. Breast cancer- Breast cancer often results in bloody nipple discharge and is often found with a presence of lump in one of the breasts.

3. Mastitis- It is a breast infection that affects the tissues of the breast and is usually prominent during breastfeeding. Fatigue, fever and body aches are common in this situation.

4. Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS)- Normally characterized by the growth of cancerous cells in the milk ducts of your breasts, it is generally identified through mammography screening.

5. Fibroadenoma- In this situation most young women witness an appearance of solid, tumor like structure

6.Galactorrhea- Galactorrhea is nipple discharge of milk when not pregnant or breastfeeding. The discharge can vary in color and can be expressed from either or both breasts.

What Causes Galactorrhea?
Galactorrhea is commonly caused by hyperprolactinemia, especially when it is associated with amenorrhea. Hyperprolactinemia is most often induced by medication or associated with pituitary adenomas or other sellar or suprasellar lesions.

The release of prolactin from the pituitary is held in check by dopamine from the hypothalamus. Prolactin release is encouraged by serotonin and thyrotropin-releasing hormone. This balance can be disrupted by medication (ie. antipsychotics), underactive thyroid function, pituitary tumors, hypothalamic tumors, damage to the pituitary stalk, nipple stimulation, chest trauma, herpes zoster, and emotional stress as well as a variety of other factors. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Gynaecologist.

4715 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

My baby is one month old and I am using nipple shield because of small nipple size. Is using nipple shield is a problem.

MS - Gynaecology, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Gynaecologist, Varanasi
No. Not at all. But in due course of time your nipple may get normal size also .that will be naturally more satisfying to you n the baby.
1 person found this helpful

She is facing itching on her nipples. If you can suggest cause and a possible cure. To add additional information - No breastfeeding.

Diploma In Gastroenterology, Diploma In Dermatology, BHMS
Homeopath, Hyderabad
Atopic dermatitis is a common cause of an itchy breast or nipple. This type of dermatitis is also called eczema, which is an inflammation of the skin. While its cause is unknown, atopic dermatitis can cause dry skin, itching, and rash.

Suffering from a node formed in the breast during course of breast feeding one year ago. Doctor suggested for sonography. Report showing formation of node due to milk deposition. Please suggest treatment.

MD - Obstetrtics & Gynaecology, FMAS, DMAS, Fellowship in Assisted Reproductive technology, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Gynaecologist, Noida
Hello, this is a galactocele and can be removed by hot fomentation alone and some massage towards the nipple outlet, which shall drain the lacteal.
3 people found this helpful

I have had puffy nipples for years now. I read somewhere that surgery is the only solution. Is it true? If true please give me some suggestions and how much would this surgery cost because this is very embarrassing for me.

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
General Surgeon, Vijayawada
Hello the condition you said is called as gynecomastia, there are many causes of gynecomastia like hormonal imbalance, having small testis (microorchidism),brain related causes like prolactinoma, certain drugs etc so firstly you need to visit a physician or a surgeon and has to be evaluated for the cause, then accordingly surgery or treatment is planned If surgery is planned it is completely harmless surgery you can expect almost no complications surgery cost depends on the hospital usually starts around 20 to 30k just leave a positive comment if useful.
4 people found this helpful

My nipples are paining since last 4-5 days. What might be the reason? Is this a sign of breast cancer? Or some hormonal imbalance?

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, FBD (Fellowship in Breast Diseases), UICC Fellowship
Oncologist, Pune
Hi lybrate-user! nipple pain is could be because of nipple crack or fibrocystic disease of breast. In this age breast cancer is rare. Get checked by a breast doctor they will guide for the same. Apply vaseline petroleum jelly always after bath. Get well soon.
1 person found this helpful

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
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Know More About Eye Problems

I am Dr. Varun Gogia, Director Eye clinics advance eye care and senior consultant Ophthalmology at Forty SeaDoc taking care of all their diabetic patients and having eye problem.

We at diabetic eye clinics or our eye clinics advance eye care have a single motto of patient first, vision first and we provide all comprehensive and complete eye care very affordable prices for all our patients. The services provided by us include a complex retinal therapeutics and diagnostics which include three dimensional OCT, diluted examination fluorescein angiography for diabetic neuropathy fundoo phrosis for various retinal disorders and lasers. in lasers we have a very specialized machine which is a multi-spot laser which is extending the benefits of reduction in total duration of the laser and reducing pain which is not available in many of the centers of Delhi and NCR region. Apart from that state of art endoscopic switcher less retina surgeries are being performed for all kind of complex retinal problems like Aetna detachment, macular hole, ERN s, diabetic retinal detachment, diabetic ERN s and various severe disorders. Apart from that we extend this care to our patients even post-operative period by providing them with protect me recovery support system which help them in maintaining their position even after the surgery which helps them in the success of the surgery. Having done my senior in see my graduation and post-graduation from a premier institute of all India with medical sciences we hear them at making the diagnosis at a very initial stage thus preventing the total visual loss specifically you will and retinal disorders like separgenous colitis, acute retinal process. Apart from these kind of services have a state of the art institute for cataract surgeries, Lasik surgeries other glaucoma and squid surgeries and uplopastic surgeries.

If you want to contact me, you can contact either, either through Lybrate, or you can come to my clinic at Eye clinic s advance eye care. Thank you.
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Breast Cancer
Symptoms of breast cancer include a lump in the breast, bloody discharge from the nipple and changes in the shape or texture of the nipple or breast.
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Skin Problems
I m Dr. A.K. Chatterjee. I m a dermatologist with over 25 years of experience and I retired from a medical college and government hospital in 2013 and since then I m in private practice. There are many skin problems which are very common and which have got multiple side effects and problems for the patients, but I am dealing, I shall deal with a very common skin problem now, which is a father infection, which is very common these days and there are multiple causes.

There are causes like good, improper hygiene, then very common infection among people in the community, so it spreads contact to contact and there are various other methods, for example from self contact to one part of the body to another, then from one person to another. So, there are multiple problems and people are really fed up with this because with common medicines they are just suppressed and are not cured. Especially what is problematic is people go to general practitioners or even quacks who prescribe steroids and which basically suppresses this thing but can never help to get rid of the fungus.

So there are various treatments which I prescribe and I have actually cured this in many people but it takes little time and patience. So any of you is suffering from this problem you can please come directly to me in my clinic. I ve got two clinics, one in Mayur Vihar phase 2 and one in Shahdara. You can also contact me through lybrate.

Thank you.
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Heart Problems
Few common symptoms of heart problems include chest pain radiating to the left arm, breathlessness, palpitation or unconsciousness and so on.
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Know More About Brain-Related Problem
Few common brain related problems include brain tumor, head injuries, cyst and infection and so on. Few simple precautions like avoiding spicy food can help control the same.
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