Inverted Nipple Treatment Questions
What is an inverted nipple?An inverted nipple will fold in towards the ribs instead of out. Breastfeeding may be difficult for individuals with inverted nipples. When the nipple is erect, the infant can latch on more easily. To help determine if inverted nipples are present an individual can:
• Place the forefinger and thumb on the edges of the areola just behind the nipple.
• The tissue should then be gently squeezed.
• If it is flat or inverted, it will retract or flatten into the breast.
Breast shells and special techniques may be needed to help prepare the nipples for breastfeeding. They may become more erect after the birth. A medical practitioner or lactation specialist should be able to instruct on proper breastfeeding techniques. When an individual is affected by inverted nipples, questions may arise regarding the symptoms, causes and treatments. Read below for questions that have been answered by Experts about inverted nipples.
What causes inverted nipples?A newly inverted nipple could be a sign of a serious underlying medical condition such as breast cancer. This change should be evaluated by a medical practitioner especially if there is a lump present. An infection in the mammary ducts could also cause the changes. The changes can also be caused by injury, fat necrosis, mastitis and a breast abscess.
What are inverted nipple treatments?Although there are no surgical methods to correct this condition, there are several different methods that can be performed to help correct it. Breast shells that are made of two pieces of plastic can be beneficial. One of the pieces is ring shaped with a soft backing with a hole which the nipple will protrude through. The ring is placed over the areola and constant, gentle pressure is used to help draw the nipple out. The second part is a rounded dome that fits inside the bra to help cover the ring. Hoffman’s exercises which are massage techniques can be used to help loosen the skin and stretch the nipple. The thumb and index finger are placed on opposite sides of the base of the nipple and pressed inward then pulled away. This exercise should be done three times a day. Ice can also be applied to the nipples and the use of a breast pump may also be beneficial.
What is the difference between a flat and inverted nipple?The difference between a flat and inverted nipple is the difference of degree. A flat nipple does not protrude about the areola. An inverted nipple is beneath the level of the skin. Neither of these conditions are uncommon and do not normally need treatment. An individual with inverted nipples may experience difficulties while breastfeeding. However there may be changes in the nipple during pregnancy.
Why would a nipple suddenly become inverted?An examination by a medical practitioner may be needed for a nipple that suddenly becomes inverted. The causes can be determined. The nipples can change as individuals grow, mature and age. The changes can also be a sign of cancer growing. Some individual’s nipples may become inverted with age and it is normal.
Anytime an individual experiences an inverted nipple, questions and concerns may arise. Questions regarding the causes, treatments and differences should be monitored by medical professionals. For more information or for answers to these questions, an individual should contact an Expert.