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Dr. Andrew Rynne
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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What causes stinging pain in the nipple?

Answered by
Dr.
Dr. Timothy Raichle

OBGYN

Practicing since :1999

Answered : 1686 Questions

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Posted on Sat, 10 Sep 2016 in Skin Hair and Nails
Question: Hi, my right nipple started having stinging pain in it about 3 weeks ago. It is now sore and very itchy. My right breast is much more sense then my left, but it always has been. The itching it very annoying and hydrocortisone or other topical creams do not help. Should I seek my ob's advice?
doctor
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 21 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Yes you should seek their advice...

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for the question. I am happy to help.

What you are describing is really not that common in my practice (OB/GYN for 17 years). In a breast-feeding women with unilateral breast symptoms, I am most often thinking about bacterial or yeast related infection. A breast yeast infection often presents with no skin findings but breast discomfort that evolves into sharp stabbing pain. Itching is not typical but it could be part of this presentation.

Mastitis related to bacteria usually presents as one-sided pain, redness of the skin and eventually fevers and body aches.

While this might represent an infection, it is not typical, especially if you are not breast-feeding. There are other concerning problems related to the breast such as Paget's disease which can present as itching which eventually gives way to skin findings.

You should not panic because this is probably nothing serious, but the best option is to schedule a visit with your OB/GYN for a full clinical examination of the area and discussion.

I hope that this helps and good luck!
Dr. Tim
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Timothy Raichle 16 minutes later
I have uploaded a picture of the nipple and areola. I am not breastfeeding. Just have had stinging pain in the nipple and itching and soreness on the nipple and areola.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 48 minutes later
Brief Answer:
Likely related to yeast

Detailed Answer:
The most likely explanation is related to a yeast infection of the skin. The nipple and majority of the areola appear normal in that picture, but you can clearly see a rim of redness with one area that is more pronounced. I still would like to reinforce that you be seen and examined to make sure that this is nothing to worry about.

Dr. Tim
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee
doctor
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Follow up: Dr. Timothy Raichle 8 minutes later
Thank you. I have a scar around the areola. I had a breast reduction about 15 years ago.
doctor
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
That would explain the findings in the picture

Detailed Answer:
Okay, thank you for that information. Even then, I would recommend that you get examined. In the meantime, you could certainly try some clotrimazole cream on the area that itches.

Dr. Tim
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Yogesh D
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