Nipple problems

Alternative Names

Discharge from breasts; Milk secretions; Lactation – abnormal; Witch’s milk; Galactorrhea; Inverted nipple; Nipple discharge

Definition of Nipple problems

Nipple problems can include tenderness, skin changes, changes in shape, or discharge from the nipple portion of the breast.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Nipple tenderness or skin changes may be caused by:


Breast changes that may occur:

Signs and tests

The health care provider will take your medical history and perform a physical examination.


Treatment of nipple discharge caused by conditions outside of the breast include:

Expectations (prognosis)

Most women with inverted nipples who give birth are able to breastfeed without complications.


Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine; Susan Storck, MD, FACOG, Chief, Eastside Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound, Redmond, WA; Clinical Teaching Faculty, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 11/1/2009

Female Breast
Intraductal papilloma
Mammary gland
Abnormal discharge from the nipple
Normal female breast anatomy

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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