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.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.
Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
Am I Pregnant? Test Your Early Pregnancy IQ
What are early pregnancy symptoms? In some women, symptoms range from a missed period to feeling lightheaded. Others may...
Breast Cancer Quiz: Symptoms & Signs
This Breast Cancer Quiz features signs, symptoms, facts, causes, common forms, terms, risk factors, statistics, and more. ...
Early Signs & Symptoms of Pregnancy
Read about early signs and symptoms of pregnancy such as nausea and vomiting (morning sickness), bloating, tender breasts, and...
Picture of Breast Anatomy
The breast refers to the front of the chest or, more specifically, to the mammary gland. See a picture of Breast Anatomy and...
Signs of Cancer in Men: Could it Be Cancer?
See pictures of which 15 cancer symptoms men ignore such as skin changes, difficulty swallowing, rapid weight loss, a breast...
Causes of Nipple Pain
An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. ...
Breastfeeding: Common Breastfeeding Challenges
Breastfeeding an infant can cause common challenges both for the mother an infant. Some challenges include sore nipples, low milk...
Contact dermatitis is a rash that occurs after exposure to an irritant. It can be allergic. Symptoms include a red, elevated rash...
Eczema refers to skin inflammation. There are many different types of eczema that produce symptoms and signs that range from...
Inflammatory Breast Cancer
Inflammatory breast cancer is an accelerated form of breast cancer that is not usually detected by mammogram or ultrasound....
Paget Disease of the Breast (Paget's Disease of the Nipple)
Paget's disease is a rare form of cancer that forms in or around the nipple and frequently coexists with breast cancer. The exact...
Pregnancy (Week By Week, Trimesters)
Signs and symptoms of pregnancy vary by stage (trimester). The earliest pregnancy symptom is typically a missed period, but...
Thrush (Oral Candidiasis)
Thrush is an infection of the mouth caused by the Candida fungus. Symptoms of Thrush include pain or difficulty swallowing, a...