What other symptoms might occur with nipple pain?

Nipple pain may accompany other symptoms, which will vary depending on the underlying disease, disorder or condition. A few symptoms that affect the nipple may also involve other body systems.

Breast or nipple symptoms that may occur along with nipple pain

Nipple pain may accompany other symptoms affecting the nipple including:

  • Bleeding from the nipple
  • Breast lump
  • Breast tenderness
  • Change in the look and feel of the skin of the breast, such as dimpling or puckering
  • Change in the size, shape or appearance of the breast
  • Hardened area within the breast
  • Nipple discharge
  • Rash or sore on the breast or nipple; cracking or itching
  • Redness, warmth or swelling
  • Retracted (“caved in”) nipple
  • Skin discoloration such as bruising

Other symptoms that may occur along with nipple pain

Nipple pain may accompany symptoms related to other body systems including:

Symptoms that might indicate a serious condition

In some cases, nipple pain may occur with other symptoms that might indicate a serious condition. For example, breast abscess can be a complication of mastitis and, left untreated, can spread into the bloodstream causing sepsis (a life-threatening bacterial blood infection) and potentially leading to organ failure. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have a painful, possibly inflamed nipple or breast that has progressed to any of the more serious symptoms of sepsis including:

  • Confusion or loss of consciousness for even a brief moment
  • Fainting or change in level of consciousness or lethargy
  • Shortness of breath
  • Significant decrease in urine output

What is nipple pain?

Nipple pain can describe any discomfort in the nipple area and can result from mild physical surface abrasion from such activities as breastfeeding, engaging in physical activity (for example, exercise or jogging) without a bra, wearing a poorly fitted bra, or participating in any activity that produces friction on the skin of the breast.

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What causes nipple pain?

Nipple pain can occur as a normal symptom of the menstrual cycle as breasts, and sometimes nipples in particular, become more sensitive with changes in levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. Another frequent cause is nipple irritation or surface abrasion from friction with fabric if you don’t wear a bra or if you wear an ill-fitting bra.

A frequent cause of nipple pain ... Read more about nipple paincauses

Medical Reviewer: Cynthia Haines, MD Last Annual Review Date: Aug 7, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.