Should You Be Worried About Inverted Nipples?

This condition is found in men and women and can include one or both nipples. It doesn’t cause any health problems although it might affect the ability to do breastfeeding. There are also some treatment options if you want to reverse the condition.

Black and white photo of woman sitting cleavage showing

Are you worried about having inverted nipples? This one of those health conditions that doesn’t seem normal but we’re not really sure whether it’s a serious problem or not. In most cases, the nipple points outwards. In this situation it’s is actually level with the areola or underneath it. Both of these cases are different from what are often considered “normal.” This can raise various questions in our minds. Is this a situation condition? Do many people have it? Does it need to be “corrected.”? The answers to these questions can help to deal with this condition effectively. As always, it’s important to get the facts about the condition so we can deal with it if necessary.

You might be wondering if you need to treat this condition. For example, if you’re not born with nipples that are inverted does it mean you’ve developed some kind of health problem that caused them? This is especially important if you’re worried you have a new condition. Another issue is related to breastfeeding. Nipples that are inverted can affect breastfeeding but it doesn’t mean you won’t be able to do it. Another issue you might be wondering about is the types of treatments that are available. In that case, you have different options like cosmetic surgery. You should know about the process, side-effects, etc.

What Are Inverted Nipples?

This condition is also known as “retracted nipples.” What’s it all about? This condition causes the nipple to lie flat or under the areola. That’s the round area of colored skin around the nipple.

Sometimes people are born with this condition. In other situations, one or both of the nipples become inverted later in life.

If this happens then you might be worried that something is wrong. In fact, the condition is quite normal. Based on studies experts believe that up to 10% of women have one flat/inverted nipple.

If your nipples become flat or inverted as you age then you should have your doctor check it out. In some cases, it’s not a sign that anything is wrong. However, in other cases, it could be a sign of disease including breast cancer.

On the other hand, doctors generally agree that inverted nipples aren’t a serious condition. In most situations, there’s nothing wrong. You should still get it checked out in case you have conditions like breast inflammation or other issues.

How often are the nipples inverted? Sometimes this includes both nipples and other times only one is affected. It can also affect both men and women.

One caveat is sometimes the nipples aren’t always inverted. For example, they might be drawn out due to cold temperatures or stimulation. The nipples then return to their inverted position later.

One of the main concerns women have about nipples that are inverted is whether or not it will affect their breastfeeding. The effect on the activity differs based on how the condition affects the nipple.

So, it’s important to talk to your doctor about the issue. He/She can provide information about whether or not you should make any tweaks to your breastfeeding or if you’ll be unable to provide your infant with mother’s milk.

Effect on Breastfeeding

You might be wondering whether or not flat/inverted nipples affect breastfeeding. In theory, the structure would affect the baby’s ability to feed since it’s pointing away from the baby’s mouth. Meanwhile, there’s a lot of confusion about whether or not inverted nipples actually affect breastfeeding.

As noted,  having inverted nipples doesn’t mean that you have any health conditions. In a way, it’s like having an “innie” or “outie” belly button.

The condition of inverted nipples takes place when skin located at the nipple’s base attaches to the tissue around the breast. In terms of breastfeeding sometimes breastfeeding actually causes an outie to be an innie. This is another situation that’s common and not unhealthy.

There’s a popular belief that somehow having an innie nipple will make breastfeeding more difficult. It’s true. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. In fact, the process can become easier with practice.

One of the issues is how inverted the nipples are. An X-factor is breastfeeding itself could actually make an innie become an outie. That’s due to the suction power of the infant’s mouth. In fact, the nipples might even stay an outie!

Even if that doesn’t happen there’s a trick that lets you breastfeed with an innie. The baby can get milk directly from the skin around the nipple known as the areola.

The main problem with this option is it can be unpleasant for the mother. That’s because the skin is required to stretch in order to feed the baby. It could also cause a little pain for the nursing mother.

You have to decide whether or not this Plan B is worth it. On the one hand, it will allow you to breastfeed. Meanwhile, the slight pain and discomfort might cause you to decide that it’s not worth the hassles and buying baby formula is easier.

Treatments for Inverted Nipples

Some people decide that they want to reverse the form of a nipple that’s inverted. In some situations, this process happens during breastfeeding and might even stay that way.

However, if you want to get rid of innies permanently you have various options. Here are some of them:

Suction Devices

This is a non-invasive method for drawing out your nipple. Always make sure to pick a device that’s been tested for safety and effectiveness. This is critical to make sure the process doesn’t cause any injury.

Hoffman’s Technique

This is a home exercise you can do at home. Here’s how to do it. Put your thumbs on both sides of the nipple’s base.

Next, press your thumbs into the breast’s tissue. Make sure that you use firm pressure. Then gently separate the thumbs. This process will likely cause the nipple to then point outward. However, this is only a temporary solution and the length of time the nipple will stay out varies for different people.

Cosmetic Surgery

There are various surgical procedures that doctors can provide to alter the nipple’s shape. This causes it to point in an outward direction instead of inward.

Piercings

Some people would never, ever consider nipple piercing as a fashion statement. However, it’s one option if you want to ditch your innie.

These procedures can have various effects on your nipples. That includes the form and function. Make sure to talk to your doctor about these issues. For example, a procedure could cause scarring or affect the nipple’s function. You might decide that the side-effects aren’t worth going through the procedure.

This is especially important in terms of breastfeeding. It’s important to ask your doctor about whether or not breastfeeding would be affected. You might decide that your nipple’s current structure still allows you to breastfeed so it’s even better than getting rid of inverted nipples.

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