What Is a Nipple or Subareolar Abscess?:
A nipple or a subareolar abscess is a growth that is located on your nipple or right beneath your areola. An abscess is a pocket of pus that presses on nearby tissue and is accompanied by swelling and inflammation. A nipple or a subareolar abscess may cause pain, a small tender lump, and drainage of pus.
Is a Nipple or Subareolar Abscess Breast Cancer?:
Other Terms for a Subareolar Abscess:
Symptoms of a Nipple or Subareolar Abscess:
You might not develop all of these symptoms, but these are common for a nipple or a subareolar abscess:
- swollen and tender area of tissue on nipple or areola
- pus or discharge emerging from from the swollen tissue
- general feeling of illness, similar to flu-like symptoms
Comparing Mastitis With Nipple or Subareolar Abscesses:
Mastitis and other breast abscesses are infections that are caused when bacteria gets inside your breast skin. Mastitis is a breast abscess that occurs in women who are breastfeeding when a milk duct gets plugged.
A nipple or a subareolar abscess occurs in young to middle-aged women who are not breastfeeding, and involves nipple tissue or areolar glands.
Causes of Nipple or Subareolar Abscess:
Areolar glands may become blocked, allowing bacteria to develop. Your immune system goes into action to fight the infection, sending white blood cells into the blocked-up areas. When those blood cells, dead tissue, and bacteria stew together in the abscess pocket, pus forms. If you have your nipple pierced and infection sets in, bacteria can get through the skin and cause a subareolar abscess.
How a Subareolar Abscess is Diagnosed:
If you think your symptoms match those of a nipple or a subareolar abscess, see your doctor. You will have a visual examination, which may include a clinical breast exam and an ultrasound of the inflamed area.
Treatment for a Nipple or Subareolar Abscess:
Breast infection. Medline Plus, National Institutes of Health. Updated: 5/12/2008.
Mycobacterium Fortuitum and Anaerobic Breast Abscess Following Nipple Piercing: Case Presentation and Review of the Literature. Victoria Bengualid, M.D., Veera Singh, M.D., Herpreet Singh, M.D., Judith Berger, M.D. Journal of Adolescent Health, Volume 42, Issue 5, Pages 530-532 (May 2008).
Subareolar abscess. Medline Plus, National Institutes of Health. Updated: 10/28/2008.