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Inverted nipple risks

Normal healthy nipple usually projects (“pop out”) to different degrees depending on stimulation. If traction on the nipple skin is too strong, nipple inversion occurs. Anything that changes the traction of the breast structures can cause inverted nipples. According to scientists about 10-15% women have inverted nipples without even paying any attention on it. Inverted nipple clarification is very important. First, many women could have so called “flat nipples” which are exactly what they sound like. Flat nipple means that nipple lie flat against the areola instead of sticking out (“pop out”) or dimpling in (“pushed in”). Every woman should know that any nipple that is more indented than protruding can be considered as inverted nipple and inverted nipple risks and causes could be different.

Inverted nipple – temporary or permanent?

Many women can notice temporary nipple inversion when healthy nipples are inverted only sometimes for short period of time. In these cases usually nipples would “pop out” after stimulation, changes of room/environment or during sexual activities. Sometimes pregnant women experience temporary nipple inversion due to breast changes during pregnancy. Contrary, several women who have had inverted nipples their entire lives noticed nipples protrusion during pregnancy.

Some women suffer from permanent inverted nipples – primary (inherited, from birth) or secondary (after trauma, inflammations, malignant transformations, etc.). Inverted nipple risks could be in women who experience sudden nipple inversion (starting from temporary inverted nipple and finishing with permanent nipple inversion). Most dangerous could be one side unexpected secondary inverted nipple.

“Presumed Portrait of Gabrielle d'Estrées and Her Sister, the Duchess of Villars”, artist unknown (Ecole de Fontainebleau), c. 1594, Louvre, Paris

“Presumed Portrait of Gabrielle d’Estrées and Her Sister, the Duchess of Villars”, artist unknown (Ecole de Fontainebleau), c. 1594, Louvre, Paris

Inverted nipple risks – nipple pinch test

Nipple pinch test is very old fashion test – it shows the way the nipple responds to being pinched. This test can clarify and identify nipple types (temporary or permanent inverted nipples, flat nipples).

Inverted nipple sensitivity is also a subject for concern. It was noted that inverted nipples are just as sensitive as normal protruding nipples.

Inverted nipple risks depending on causes

Inverted nipple is caused by the tissue inside the breast – when breast tissue is attached very strongly and tightly to the inside of the nipple skin. In these cases skin is pulled inward causes inverted nipple (pulled from inside). Some women have inverted nipples during whole life (starting from birth), some women notice nipple inversion from puberty and some women experience sudden unexpected nipple inversion.

Very few women have both nipples inverted. In most cases women have only one side inverted nipple

Inverted nipple risks depend on causes which can be inherited, after trauma or inflammation, because of breast cancer and after menopause (aging):

Inverted nipple causes – breast cancer – HIGH RISKS

During first stages of breast cancer inverted nipple could be early sign of cancerous transformations. Usually the nipple retraction occurs when the tumor attacks the duct behind the nipple, pulling it in. Inverted nipple could be a symptom of several types of breast cancer:

Inverted nipple risks

Inverted nipple risks

  • Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS),
  • Lobular carcinoma in situ (LCIS),
  • Invasive (or infiltrating) ductal carcinoma (IDC),
  • Invasive (or infiltrating) lobular carcinoma (ILC),
  • Inflammatory breast cancer (IBC),
  • Metastatic Breast Cancer,
  • Paget disease of the nipple,
  • Phyllodes tumor,
  • Angiosarcoma.

Inverted nipple causes – inherited

  • Healthy normal nipple variation,
  • Breast nipple short ducts,
  • Wide areola strong muscle sphincter,
  • Weaver Syndrome-Smith syndrome (rare genetic disease associated with rapid growth),
  • Fryns-Aftimos Syndrome (rare genetic disease characterized by pachygyria, severe mental retardation, epilepsy and characteristic face),
  • Chromosome 2q Deletion (rare chromosome abnormality).

Inverted nipple causes – trauma and inflammation

  • Post-surgery scars,
  • Post-trauma scars,
  • Breast fat necrosis,
  • Mastitis,
  • Breast abscess,
  • Mammary duct ectasia (ectasis).

Inverted nipple causes – aging and weight changes

Breast sagging (drooping) connected to ageing or dramatic weight changes.


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