Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"What causes whiteheads on breasts after childbirth?"


What causes a woman's breasts to develop whiteheads after childbirth? I thought it might be a hormonal problem, or something related to nursing - I'm not sure, but it's not a problem I had ever heard of before it happened to me, and it's hard to tell if it's normal.


Any change in your body after you have a baby that you were not expecting should be presented to the appropriate type of doctor. In this case, you could see either your OBGYN, or your family doctor. The origin of your whiteheads depends on where they are.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Obgyns near you

After childbirth, the breasts begin to get engorged with milk as they prepare for a nursing infant. Some of this milk gets stuck in unopened ducts near the edge of the nipple. This results in the development of tiny white bumps that can look like whiteheads. There is no treatment for these, as they are not a problem and will resolve after the women stops breast feeding. Acne on the breasts is a little unusual, but can be due to the sudden hormonal change that occurs after a baby is born. If you had acne there as a teenager, you may be more susceptible to developing whiteheads during times of these hormonal fluxes. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or OBGYN, whomever you see next. He or she can examine your breasts and determine what is causing these new skin findings. At the very least, you will be re-assured that things are going well with your health after delivery. Good luck.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.