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Question about nipples

By February 8, 2009 - 3:25pm
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I noticed as I get older that I have small pockets of what appears to be small zits that appear on my nipples. Is this normal? What are these bumps? They come and go. Thanks for your input.

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I am 31 years old and the bumps appear to be almost zit like. It appears to me that they look almost like pockets of milk (per say). I do not have children and from what I heard in the past, it is a build up of milk pockets since I never had children.

I was recently at the gynecologist and he never mentioned it but I forgot to specifically ask about it. Any ideas?

February 14, 2009 - 1:31pm
(reply to Loca)


Do they sound like what Kristin mentioned, above, "Montgomery glands, or mammary glands, that appear on the areola. They're very common as bumps and can be white in color on some women..."?

That is probably our best guess, and we would recommend asking your doctor. Can you get a quick appointment with one of the nurses or nurse practitioner in your doctor's office?

February 15, 2009 - 6:26pm

It sounds like they might be what's called Montgomery glands, or mammary glands, that appear on the areola. They're very common as bumps and can be white in color on some women -- they're small glands that lubricate the breast during breast feeding and help protect against infection -- nothing abnormal at all. I have them and they've become more prominent since having had babies and getting older.

But, I do agree that for peace of mind it would be good to see your doctor to check it out just in case. I'd be really interested to hear what you find out.

February 9, 2009 - 9:01pm

I agree with the above posts that you should consult a medical professional in person.

In the meantime, to possibly ease your concern, your condition is most likely benign unless you have an eczema-like rash on the nipple, the nipple is discolored, you are experiencing nipple discharge, or you feel a lump/raised area around on your breast.

If you can clarify any additional symptoms, I may be able to lead you in a more accurate direction so you can go in prepared to ask your doctor specific questions about your condition.

Have a great day and keep us updated!

February 9, 2009 - 3:58pm
Expert HERWriter

Hello Loca! Thank you so much for visiting the website and for posting your question! I agree with alison b--I'd really feel a lot better if you'd go in and get your breasts and nipples checked out by your doctor. Would you mind sharing your age and also when your last mammogram was? It might be time for another one, just to rule out anything potentially troublesome.

Like alison b said, since they come and go it may be nothing to worry about, for example, did the odd bumps happen to start around the same time you got a new bra, or changed laundry detergents, or did anything else different around your breasts? About how long has this been going on? If you are able to think back to when the bumps started appearing, you might be able to pinpoint an environmental cause.

Either way though, it would be a good idea to check them out with your doctor. For me, when it comes to our breasts, we just can't be too careful. Please post again and let us know what you find out.

February 8, 2009 - 11:16pm

Do you think it is a skin tag? Are they itchy? Are they skin-colored? If they "come and go", it may not be anything to worry about, but we always suggest to check with your doctor if you are concerned. After my pregnancy, I have noticed many changes in my skin, including a few darker moles (I have very light skin, so they are noticeable). Have you been recently pregnant? Have you had recent sun exposure without protection that you are concerned about?

A skin tag is a small flap of flesh-colored or slightly darker tissue that hangs off the skin by a connecting stalk. Usually found on the neck, chest, back, armpits, under the breasts, or in the groin area, skin tags are not dangerous and usually don't cause pain unless they become irritated by clothing or nearby skin rubbing against them.

The Cleveland Clinic has a great site to check out on skin conditions, that you can read here.

MedlinePlus also has a list of skin conditions, and you can see pictures of each of these (scroll down to "Pictures and Photographs" section). You can read about them here.

Let us know what you find out, and if you need any more information!

February 8, 2009 - 7:51pm
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