Bumps on Nipples: Causes, Pregnant, White Spots, Swollen Glands, Treatment

Spots that look like pimples can form anywhere on the body. In fact, the appearance of such bumps on nipples of breast can be discouraging. With so much fear over breast cancer and other related disorders, a bump that form on nipple can make you switch into panic mode. Luckily, most strange looking little pimples on the breast are northing to be worried about, though you should be sure that they are harmless by paying a visit to your doctor. Finding out what causes breast bumps, how to avoid occurrence of the and how to treat them is very important in managing this condition.
Some of the symptoms for bumps on nipple may include:

  • white spots on the nipples in men and women in the form of nodules or stains;
  • itching and burning;
  • aggravation during the period;
  • inflamed nipples

Bumps on Nipples Causes

In any cases, bumps and pimples on the nipple are often benign. It is common to have small, painless bumps on the areola. Pimples and blocked hair follicles are also normal and can occur to anyone at any time. On the nipple, bumps are raised patches of skin, while pimples often take the form of whiteheads. If the bump becomes painful or itchy and shows up with symptoms like discharge, redness, or rashes, it could indicate another condition that needs to be treated.
Why do you have bumps on nipples?
Common causative factors are:
Nipples are an important part of female breast and are an area richly supplied by glands including sweat glands and sebaceous glands. Pimples may appear here, as on any other area of your body. A pimple appears when the duct draining any of these numerous glands becomes clogged up. Secretions start getting accumulated within the gland and the glands are unable to drain them. Slowly a pimple swells up to form a whitehead.
Acne is one possible causative factor for appearance of these bumps. These acne breakouts can take place at any time and age, though it is observed the most during puberty and around menses in adult females, and on any part of the body having hair follicles. When a hair follicle on your nipple gets clogged with dirt, oil and dead skin cells, acne might appear. While it is nothing to panic about, acne can leave a scar if left untreated.
Montgomery tubercles
Areola helps in holding the nipple and Montgomery glands ooze some lubricating agent for evening out the moisture level during breast feeding. Number of Montgomery glands differs with age as it is less in number in case of children but after puberty the number is increased. Mostly, number of the Montgomery glands is between 5 and 20.
Another causative factor behind pimple-like bumps on nipples is Montgomery glands. According to Breast Notes, these bumps don’t increase in size and look like goose bumps around or on the nipple. Montgomery tubercles secrete a fluid to protect the nipple.
They most commonly occur in women above 30 years of age. There are special sebaceous glands spread in the areola, the area around the nipple. These glands are full of sebum, a substance vital to keep the skin supple, soft and well lubricated. During pregnancy and breast feeding or lactation, puberty or phases of sexual stimulation, when there is a rise in hormonal levels, these glands swell up and become full of sebum till the rim.
Blockage of hair follicles
As in most parts of your body there are some hair follicles around your nipples, which may occasionally get blocked due to accrual of dirt, sebum and oil. At times, dead skin may also accumulate causing blockage of hair follicle and appearance of bumps on nipples. Sometimes you may also suffer from an ingrown hair around your nipple. This usually affects men with hairy breast and may result in a painful, swollen bump, which needs to be removed by surgery.
Yeast infection
At times, bumps on your nipple that look like pimples might be a rash due to a fungal infection, such as yeast, according to DermNet NZ. As the breasts are an area of body that often gets sweaty and retains moisture, they are a favorable breeding ground for fungus such as yeast, which grows rapidly in damp and moist environments. A yeast infection mostly appears in the fold under the breasts and nipples as a red, itchy and inflamed rash.
Like groin and armpits, breasts become often sweaty and thus more susceptible to fungal infection like growth of yeast. This may lead to development of pimples on the nipple.
Milk blisters
This are often misdiagnosed as spots on your nipple. It is a bleb that appears as a tiny white spot on the top of the nipple and that looks like a small, milk-filled blister. The blister often seems to cover one nipple opening or pore. It can cause pain and tenderness and pain while breastfeeding or pumping milk.
A sucking milk blister is often larger and is caused due to the baby taking only the nipple into its mouth during suckling, exerting too much pressure on the tip of the nipple. Milk blebs usually go away by themselves within a couple of days when the baby is latched on better. Painful and persistent blebs often need to be treated before they disappear.
Unhygienic life style
Inadequate bathing habits, insufficient cleaning of the breast area, using dirty or used undergarments may provide a susceptible environment for germ attack and pimple development on nipple. If dirt is allowed to gather on the skin because of unhygienic lifestyle and habits you may develop bumps on nipples.
Poor quality clothing
If you are prone to nipple bumps you are advised to use cotton under garments as they help to soak the moisture and sweat and keep the affected skin dry. Cotton fabric also allows passage of fresh air. Nylon or other synthetic fabrics used for making under garments may be a fashionable choice but for health purposes cotton undergarments are always suitable and comfortable.
Improper size of undergarments
Most women do not know the exact required size of their bras and use wrong sized ones. Tight bras are a cause of many problems as they block the adequate blood circulation. They may also cause Montgomery glands obstruction by blocking the ducts in areola of the nipple which leads to formation of pimples on nipple.
Overproduction of milk
Pimple growth is a common occurrence in breastfeeding mothers, as during this time Montgomery glands are very active. Over secretion of milk in the mammary glands also causes appearance of pimple like structures on the nipple. Sometimes the duct becomes blocked and clogged with dry milk.
Sub-areolar abscess
Sub-areolar abscesses are an accumulation of pus that develops in breast tissue. They are most commonly caused by mastitis, which is related to breastfeeding. But this can also occur in women who aren’t currently breastfeeding. Subareolar abscesses appear as a tender, swollen lump under an areolar gland. It’s often painful. In women who aren’t breastfeeding, this could be a sign of breast cancer.
Accident or trauma
Accidental trauma leading to injury or bruising of breast may also cause appearance of spots on them.
Breast cancer
The chances of pimples or bumps on your nipples being a symptom of breast cancer are very rare but you are still advised to get your breast examined by your doctor. This is particularly necessary when you also suffer from discharge from your nipple.
Other reasons
Some other factors behind appearance of bumps on nipples are leading a sedentary lifestyle, undertaking a lot of stress and mental tension and digestive disorders.

Bumps on Nipples Pregnant

Small bumps on the nipple are normal. Their job is to secrete an oily lubricant that keeps your nipples soft and supple. If one or some of the bumps are painful, and seem enlarged, they could be blocked. Just as you get pimples on your face from blocked oil glands, you can get them on your nipples, too. Don’t squeeze them; warm compresses can help open them up again.
Apart from that, a woman can develop bumps on her nipples due to hormonal changes during pregnancy. Too frequent recurrences may indicate health problems in a woman and may require special physiotherapeutic procedures and the use of lecithin.
White bumps on nipples are a frequent condition in pregnant and breastfeeding women. Often a woman may manage it herself, but still it will be reasonable to consult a doctor. White spots in young nulliparous girls appear very rarely, but they are the warning sign and require medical examination
The pimples may be accompanied by itchiness some time. If the itching has been going on for a while without relief and without change, then it’s probably time to see a doctor. S/he can rule out any serious nipple issues, and might recommend you see a dermatologist for tests to determine just what’s causing the itchiness, and what might be done about it.

White Spots on Nipples but not Pregnant

White spots on the nipples rarely are the sign of some serious disorder. In some cases, these spots may indicate cancer or a damage caused by an infectious agent. However, they can appear even if you are not pregnant as well, although it is a sign of pregnancy to some women.
A whitehead pimple on the nipple may appear both in men and women at any age. If there are no other symptoms or underlying factors like pregnancy and lactation, then acne is diagnosed. However it is strictly recommended not to make a self-diagnosis in case with whitehead pimples on the nipples, a visit to a sinologist is absolutely necessary.
A white spot on the nipple may be a congenital cosmetic defect caused by the wrong location of sebaceous glands. This disorder is called Fordyce spots. When the oils get blocked in the sebaceous gland, bumps on nipples are formed.
This disease is caused by the bacteria Candid albicans which is the element of the condition on all pathogenic floras in the intestine and vagina in women, and it is also present on the skin and in the environment. Pathology develops with the underlying factors leading to the depression of immune respond.

Bumps on Nipples Treatment

If a pimple appears on your nipple, it is advisable to visit your doctor for a physical examination to rule out that it is not breast cancer. A pimple may be actually just a Montgomery tubercle, as mentioned above. Many cases of breast cancer may manifest over the surface as a pimple that discharges fluid, that is painless and without any other sign.
So, a complete medical physical exam is important. Once you’re certain it is a pimple, you may start treating it. The most important thing to remember is that never burst, pop or squeeze a pimple on nipple. This action can possibly infect it and aggravate the situation. Infection from an infected pimple on nipple might spread to the inner breast tissue, resulting in abscess formation there.
Finding out the underlying cause of pimple formation is vital for proper treatment of pimple in the nipple. The following measures help to remove and prevent appearance of bumps on nipples:

  • Regular cleansing of affected area with mild cleanser helps to remove the dirt and germs and cure zit on nipple.
  • If clogging takes place in Montgomery glands, then dab the nipple area with warm water which helps in softening the skin and then gently exfoliate the skin for removal of dead skin cells or dry milk.
  • Pimple removing creams are available in the market, which include chamomile or calendula based creams. Application of these creams helps to clear the pimples.
  • Application of purified hypoallergenic lanolin after breast feeding is beneficial for prevention of pimple development.
  • If you have topical fungal infections that you must seek medical advice and start with a topical antifungal medicine or ointment.
  • If the pimple is minuscle, or appears as a white head, apply gentle warm compress over it. This would soften it, and help excrete the accumulated sebum from inside bumps on nipples.
  • A pimple that is red, inflamed or painful is likely to be infected. Its treatment requires topical antibiotic creams. Use mupirocin ointment twice a day. Keep applying it till the pimple vanishes.
  • Consuming less sugar and supplementing with probiotics may also help in treating the pimples, according to DermNet NZ.
  • It is crucial to treat infected pimples as soon as possible to prevent the spread of infection in the breast tissue.
  • The suitable brand of oral contraceptive may decrease premenstrual acne. This is something that has to be discussed with the doctor.
  • Some of the most stubborn forms of nipple acne may cause formation of cysts or lesions, which

How to treat bumps on nipples with home remedies
Salicylic acid soaps

Use a soap featuring cucumber and salicylic acid as its core ingredients. Cucumber and salicylic acid act as drying agents who prevent clogging of oil on hair follicles or pores. Be cautious though to not rub the area harshly as it may result in excessive loss of body oil. By gently scrubbing it, the dead cells are removed from the affected area while bathing. Exfoliation will also help cure the acne efficiently.
Healthy diet
Individuals, who eat more fresh vegetables and fruits and cut down their milk and sugar consumption, get lesser acne automatically. Eating five, six walnuts daily will help prevent skin inflammation as it contains anti-inflammatory agents like omega-3 fatty acids. Remember that omega-3 fatty acids are found in fish, such as herring, salmon and sardine, flaxseeds and leafy green veggies and it is better to use these healthy foods raw wherever possible as oxygen harms the acids.
Drink extra water
Water helps get rid of the toxins in body and boosts overall skin health. Recommended intake of water ranges from 2.2 liters to 3 liters. Besides water intake, significant reduction of sugar will help in prevention of pimple formation. Sugar causes production of more insulin, which in turn activates pimple producing hormones.
Drink green tea
This healthy beverage is rich in antioxidants, which help fight harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals cause a lot of harm to body cells and speed up the aging process. So never skimp on drinking sugar free green tea as a healthy alternative to drinks like smoothies, sodas and sweet juices if you want to get rid of bumps on nipples.
Aloe vera
This is an extremely effective anti-inflammatory and soothing agent which makes it valuable in fighting acne problems. Its therapeutic effect is due to presence of lectins, anthraquinones and polysaccharides. Take some fresh Aloe Vera leaves and extract the gel out of the skin. Apply the gel on the bumps on nipples immediately after cutting it.
Fuller’s earth
This works wonders on acne-prone or oily skin. It dries up excess oil from the skin and unblocks the pores from clogging. But it never over-dries the skin. Simply prepare its paste by mixing fuller’s earth, sandalwood and rosewater in equal quantity and apply on the affected nipple as a pack. Wash off after fifteen minutes using warm, clean water and rejuvenate your skin.
Radish seeds, milk and honey
Take one tablespoon of radish seeds, one tablespoon of milk and one tablespoon honey and blend these ingredients properly to prepare a smooth paste. Apply a thick layer on the pimples on nipples and allow it to work its effect for two hours. Wash it off with cool water and then moisturize the surface. This mixture has been used as a remedy for pimples since a long time and it has proved to be very effective. The paste can also preserved up to six days under refrigeration by storing it in an airtight container.
Cinnamon powder and lemon juice
Blend one tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice with a tablespoon of cinnamon powder and churn the mixture properly. Apply a thin layer of this mixture on affected nipple. Allow mixture to dry for an hour before washing it off with cool water. This mixture can be used daily, but take care in case it causes irritation to your skin.
It is a common home remedy for treating pimples on skin. The toothpaste dries up the acne which is caused by over active oil glands. Apply a thin layer of toothpaste on the bumps on nipples using a soft brush and allow it to dry for about half an hour. Wash it off gently with cool water and repeat the steps daily. Be careful in case it leads to irritation.
Garlic juice
Garlic contains antibiotics, which abolish acne causing bacteria. Peel a garlic clove. Crush the peeled clove and place it on the pimple on nipple. It will heal the acne quite fast. Instead of using crushed garlic, you can also squeeze the garlic juice out and apply it on your skin.
Ginger juice
Pimples developed due to some yeast infection in the skin folds can be treated by regular cleaning and applying ginger juice to the pimple several times a day.
Aspirin paste

Prepare an aspirin paste. Aspirin contains salicylic acid, which dries up zits and decreases inflammation caused by acne. This makes it the perfect material for treating bumps on nipples.
Crush 2 aspirin tablets and mix with one tablespoon of water and one teaspoon of honey. Apply to the affected area on pimple, and allow it to dry for ten minutes. Wash off with cool water.
Calamine lotion
For pimples that don’t go away, apply calamine lotion to the nipple with a cotton ball. You can leave calamine lotion on the pimples for entire day or apply before going to bed at night. The calamine lotion dries up excess oil and sebum.