Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is a whitehead on the nipple a health risk?"
Is it a health risk of any kind to have a whitehead on your nipple? I get whiteheads in other places and they generally don't worry me, but in this case I am concerned that it could be attached to an infection that's going deeper into me.
The short answer to your question is no, whiteheads around the nipples are not a sign of a deeper health problem. In fact most whiteheads around the nipples are not really whiteheads at all. Rather they are something called the Montgomery glands. These are glands found in the areola, or the colored portion of the breast around the nipple. These are normal skin glands of the areola which produce a thick whitish secretion which can look like the pus from a whitehead. These glands should be left alone and not squeezed, as this can cause irritation and even infection. True pimples or whiteheads can also form on the breast, usually on the skin of the breast and not of the areola. These form mostly from irritation and chafing, and they can be treated in generally the same way as whiteheads on any other part of the body. This could include keeping the skin clean and dry, using a body wash daily, and considering an exfoliating treatment or spot treatment with an acne cream. Again, avoiding squeezing them to avoid infection is a good idea. As always, any time you have a skin concern which is not getting better you should consider showing it to your primary care doctor or dermatologist for more advice.
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