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What causes pain and hardness in nipples?

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Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 2579 Questions
Hi, my son is now 13 years old. He has got slight pain in right side nipple only when pressed. I also felt it was a little harder than his other nipple. Can you please help. Regards,XXXX
Posted Sun, 10 Aug 2014 in Lump
Answered by Dr. Prasad 4 hours later
Brief Answer:
Symptoms need evaluation...

Detailed Answer:

Pain and hardness at the nipple is not normal. It indicates inflammation. I would not be able to arrive at a diagnosis without physical examination. Therefore I suggest you to observe the area for few days. If symptoms worsen or persist he has to consult a surgeon for local examination. An ultrasound scan of the area may be necessary to arrive at the diagnosis.

In the interim, you can apply warm compresses. Encourage him to wear loose clothing. Avoid strenuous physical exercises, sport activities or gym exercise (if any). Oral pain killer should be considered only if the pain is severe and unbearable.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you need clarifications.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What causes pain and hardness in nipples? 1 hour later
Hi Doc,

The term seems to be gynecomastia. I read it on the net. It happens in boys during puberty. In my son at this moment it doesn't hurt much. He feels slight pain only if it is touched and pressed. Could it be because of changes in hormonal levels?

Please confirm.

Regards, XXXXXXX
Answered by Dr. Prasad 14 hours later
Brief Answer:
Gynecomastia is not always the right diagnosis...

Detailed Answer:

I understand there are lot of internet stuff about gynecomastia on the web. But diagnosis of gynecomastia is not based on clinical symptoms. A physical examination is essentially as various other normal phenomenon can mimic gynecomastia leading to anxiety. Therefore do not consider all that you read on the web.

At this point of time since he also has pain, I feel it's an inflammatory condition. Inflammatory conditions can be progressive, therefore there is a need to treat it early. See a surgeon who will physically examine the area. An ultrasound scan may be performed before planning treatment.

In the meanwhile the warm compresses and pain killers should be sufficient.

Hope I am clear to you. Let me know if you need clarifications.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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