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    Inverted Nipples: Causes, Treatment and More

    Women Specific Issues

    Inverted Nipples: Causes, Treatment and More

    Updated on 3 November 2023

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    Inverted nipples are a condition in which the nipple does not protrude straight out from the breast. The inverted nipple may be at an angle or look like an upside-down triangle. In some cases, an inverted nipple is accompanied by other issues such as breast pain and skin tags. If someone has inverted nipples, they should see their doctor because several treatment options are available for this condition.

    What Are Inverted Nipples?

    Inverted nipples are common, but they can also be a sign of breast cancer. If someone notices that the nipple is turned inward instead of pointing outward, it's important to see a doctor immediately. There may be something wrong with your breasts or even an infection in them.

    Here is a tip if the person is worried about this problem and doesn't know where to go next. See a doctor! It is imperative to seek help for treatment options like surgery.

    Causes of Inverted Nipples

    Inverted nipples are a common condition caused by genetics, hormones, and breastfeeding. Hormonal changes can also cause inverted nipples during pregnancy or menopause or if someone has a condition such as a thyroid disease that affects how their body uses estrogen (the female hormone). If you're concerned about experiencing inverted nipples, talk to your doctor about the treatment options available for this condition.

    Treatments For Nipple Inversion

    There isn't a medical need to surgically correct inverted nipples if other underlying conditions don't cause it. If they bother you for aesthetic reasons, there are other ways to find a solution.

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    Some women struggle with inverted nipples and address it with at-home remedies. We list a few of the common home remedies.

    1. Breast pump

    A breast pump can help to change the look of inverted nipples by using suction to pull your nipple outward.

    2. Nipple Stimulation

    As stimulation causes the nipple to protrude, it is one of the most common solutions to fix inverted nipples.

    3. Reverse pressure

    This method is the opposite of nipple stimulation. Instead of pinching the area around the nipple out, they have to push back the base of the nipple (also called "tenting") toward their chest to push other tissue and fluid back toward their chest.

    4. Getting a piercing

    Many women rely on piercings as a solution to deal with inverted nipples. For some people, piercings do a good job of keeping the nipples pointed outwards. However, this is not a foolproof solution and doesn't necessarily work for everyone. Consult a doctor and seek their advice before making a decision.

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    5. Injection treatment

    The injection treatment is perfect for someone who is looking for a less invasive method and an alternative to surgery. Hyaluronic acid fillers are injected behind the skin of the nipples. Hyaluronic acid helps nipples to stick out more. However, it is important to note that it doesn't always work for everyone. Consulting your doctor and clearing all your queries beforehand is highly recommended.

    6. Invasive treatment option: Surgery

    There are two types of surgery that people with inverted nipples can opt for. While one surgery type ensures the preservation of milk ducts, the other doesn't. There is a third option that ensures partial preservation of milk ducts.

    Inverted Nipple Breastfeeding

    Inverted nipples cause physical discomfort during breastfeeding that may result in mastitis (infection of milk glands), which causes pain and swelling in the breast tissue. Inverted nipples also cause difficulty breastfeeding as the child might take more time to latch onto the nipples. As a result, there may be leakage of breast milk.

    When to call the doctor

    If someone pregnant has inverted nipples, they should call their doctor immediately. During breastfeeding, they might experience pain or discomfort in the nipple area. Their nipples can also turn inward during breastfeeding sessions.

    A person with inverted nipples may want to talk to their doctor about treatment options.

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    A person with inverted nipples may want to talk to their doctor about treatment options. Surgery is sometimes needed to correct the problem and make breastfeeding easier. Inverted nipples can also cause problems if they're not corrected in infancy or early childhood. The nipple may grow into the areola (the pinkish-colored area surrounding your nipple) and make it look large relative to other parts of your body.

    In addition, inverted nipples could signal breast cancer risk factors like hormone imbalances caused by overproduction/deficiency such as estrogen versus testosterone levels; genetic mutations that result in high levels of prolactin production--a hormone responsible for milk production.


    If you have nipple inversion, it’s essential to talk to your doctor about treatment options. Many different things can be done for inverted nipples. While there are no easy answers, your doctor should be able to help you find the best solution for your needs!


    1. Nagaraja Rao D, Winters R. (2022). Inverted Nipple.
    2. Mangialardi ML, Baldelli I, Salgarello M, Raposio E. (2020). Surgical Correction of Inverted Nipples.
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    Written by

    Madhavi Gupta

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