Nipple Pain: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 10/12/2018

Nipple pain is pain that occurs in the breast tissue around the area of the nipple. Nipple pain can be associated with other symptoms and signs that may include breast pain, nipple discharge, breast lump or mass, itching, or skin changes. Breast cancer typically does not cause nipple pain or breast pain, although inflammatory breast cancer can be associated with redness, warmth, and swelling of the breast. Infections of the skin of the breast or of the breast tissue itself can cause nipple pain. Trauma from any origin, including sexual activity or tight or poorly fitting undergarments, can irritate the skin of the nipple, leading to pain or soreness. Breastfeeding can in some cases lead to chafing or chapped nipples that may be sore. The breasts overall, including the nipples, may be sore or tender at certain times in the menstrual cycle (typically just before the start of the menstrual period) or in early pregnancy.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 10/12/2018

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