Inverted Nipple
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Inverted Nipple

Inverted nipples can be a cause for worry for many women, but in most cases, they are nothing to be concerned about. Around 10 percent of women have them. What is an inverted nipple? An inverted nipple is simply a nipple that is retracted into the breast, instead of pointing outwards. They can occur in one or both breasts. It does not mean it is a sign of inverted nipple breast cancer. However, it is recommended to consult your physician if the nipples have inverted recently. 

Though they pose no threat to health, some people prefer to correct them for aesthetic reasons. Here's what you need to know about inverted nipples, including causes and treatment options.

Symptoms that happen along with an inverted nipple

If it is a normal condition, there would not be any symptoms other than the inverted nipple. If it has happened due to an underlying medical condition or disease, the individual would notice the following symptoms with the retracted or an inverted nipple.

  • The skin on the nipple changes like flaking or redness
  • Nipple soreness or tenderness that also affects the nearby breast tissue
  • Nipple discharge that would be bloody (that is not milk)
  • Lump near or under the nipple

These symptoms can be seen either in one or both sides according to the cause. Consult your physician immediately if you are noticing a retracted or inverted nipple without or with symptoms. 

Causes of inverted nipple

Developmental anomalies: Inverted nipples are mostly congenital which means it has been existing since birth. It happens because of problems with the ductal system or from tight connective tissue associated with the nipple. The inverted nipple also happens later in life. It is referred to as nipple retraction or inversion. This happens when the milk ducts close off and causes the nipple to become inverted. This can happen for several reasons such as breastfeeding, injury, or an infection.

Post-surgical anomalies: There are a few different ways that a nipple can become inverted after surgery. One is when the milk ducts are damaged or cut during surgery. This can happen during a lumpectomy, for example. Another way is if the areola (the darker area around the nipple) is removed and the nipple is left attached to the skin. This can cause the nipple to retract into the breast. Lastly, if the surgeon uses too much tension while closing the wound, it can cause the nipple to become inverted. Inverted nipples can also be caused by trauma to the breast. 

Treatment options for inverted nipples

An inverted nipple piercing is a type of body piercing that penetrates through the nipple. It is usually performed using a needle to bring out the inverted nipples. It is believed that by wearing jewellery in the piercing, the nipple can be in the erect position. If you are interested in nipple piercing, get in touch with a cosmetologist to determine whether it is right for your condition.

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