Pimples on Nipples

Nipples, an important part of the female breast, are richly supplied by glands. These include the sebaceous glands and the sweat glands. They occur more around menses or during puberty.

The purpose is to keep the skin over the nipples supple all the time, so that, there is ample lubrication available when this organ is used.

Pimples Formation

Pimples may get formed here, as on any other area of the body. A pimple is formed when the duct draining any of these glands becomes blocked.

Secretions start getting collected inside the gland, unable to get drained. Slowly it swells up to form a whitehead. As the gland swells up more, a pimple is formed.

Blockage may occur due to excess of secretions or a plug formed by dead skin cells, dirt or tissue debris.

Montgomery tubercles are often mistaken as pimples on nipples.

Montgomery Tubercles

There are specialized sebaceous glands scattered in the areola, the area around the nipple. These glands are filled with sebum, a secretion essential to keep the skin soft, supple and well lubricated.

During pregnancy and lactation, puberty or phases of sexual stimulation, when there is a surge in hormonal levels, these tubercles get swelled up, being filled with sebum till the rim. They appear raised, and swollen like a bump.

They are brown or skin colored and appear in clusters.

Such bumps may be confused as pimples or acne.

Montgomery tubercles are normal and don’t give any symptom. No itching, pain or redness is visible over them.

Since these tubercles are normal and function to help the body carry out its function, they need no treatment. Leave them as such. Don’t pop or squeeze them, lest they may get infected.

Management

When you get a pimple on the breast, it is advisable you go for a physical examination to rule out other possibilities of similar looking lesions.

A pimple looking thing may be a montgomery tubercle, as mentioned above. Many cases of breast carcinomas may present over the surface as a discharging pimple, which is painless and without any other sign.

So, a thorough physical exam is essential. Once you are sure it’s a pimple, you may start treating it.

The most important precaution is that never pop or squeeze a pimple. Any such action can potentially infect it and worsen the situation. An infected pimple on the breast may infect the inner breast tissue, leading to abscess formation there.

If the pimple is small, or appears as a white head, try gentle warm compress over it. This would soften it, and help draining out the collected sebum from inside it.

A pimple that is red or painful is likely to be infected. They require topical antibiotic creams. You may use mupirocin ointment twice a day. Keep applying it till the pimple subsides.

It is essential to treat infected pimples quickly to prevent the spread of infection in the breast tissue.

Recurrence of Pimples

Pimples recur if the infected fluid inside them touches the near by area, imparting infection over it. They also occur if you are not eating well, or your immune system is weak due to some reason.