Whiteheads on Nipple, Causes, Treatment and Prevention

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Whiteheads can occur anywhere on our bodies. Normally pimples on the nipple appear as whiteheads.

Why do I have whiteheads on the nipple?
Why do I have whiteheads on the nipple?

However, these type of pimples or whiteheads on the nipple are totally benign and hence should not lead to a panic state. Although you should still visit or make an appointment with your doctor.

What you need to understand is that whiteheads on the nipple are not necessarily a result of a serious underlying health condition and in most cases, it is a very common occurrence.

Therefore, having small, painless white bumps on the areola and blocked hair follicles are completely a common occurrence and can happen to anyone at whatever time.


Having whiteheads on your nipple can be alarming considering the fear of breast cancer and other related health conditions. Fortunately, the majority of the causes related to pimples on nipple have nothing to do with breast cancer as discussed in med licker and health line.

1. Acne

Acne can occur anywhere on the body, yes, nipples included and here they look like whiteheads.

Nipples consist of numerous glands (sweat glands and sebaceous), clogging up of the draining ducts of these glands is responsible for causing the pimples.

However, there are many reasons that can lead to an acne breakout on the nipples as discussed below:

a). Sports and exercise:

acne resulting from sports and exercises is usually common in women. This is because they wear tight undergarments causing a great deal of their skin to be in contact with the sweaty sports bra.

b). Pre-menstruation:

acne resulting from pre-menstruation is very common among women who are in their reproductive years.  Acne pimples on the nipples usually occur before or during the menstruation period.

2. Yeast infection

The area around your breasts is suitable for the development of a fungus since it easily gets sweaty and retains moisture.

Fungus such as yeast thrive in damp and moist areas, however, look out for other symptoms such as redness and itchiness in the area.

3. Montgomery glands and areolar glands

The areolar glands are a small pimple-like bumps on the nipples whose function is to secrete oil for lubrication, whereas the Montgomery glands are responsible for secreting a fluid that protects the nipple.

However, they are usually common in women over the age of 30 and are responsible for keeping the skin soft, supple and lubricated.

4. Blocked hair follicles

Presence of hair follicles all over the body as well as around the nipples may sometimes get blocked leading to ingrown hairs or whiteheads.

However, this is usually common for men with hairy breasts.

5. Poor clothing

Cotton-based clothing is preferred since they effectively soak up moisture and sweat keeping the area dry as well as allow for proper circulation of air.

Additionally, tight undergarments could obstruct glands by blocking the areolar ducts leading to the occurrence of pimples.

6. Subareolar abscess

This is the accumulation of pus in the breast tissue commonly associated with mastitis related to breastfeeding. The pimples from a sub-areolar abscess are tender, inflamed bumps beneath the areolar gland.

However, this condition may also affect women who are not breastfeeding which could be a sign of breast cancer.

7. Breast cancer

In very rare circumstances, lumps on the breast may be a sign of breast cancer, especially if they are accompanied by the discharge of pus and blood.


Immediately you notice a pimple on your nipples it is advisable to consult a doctor in order to rule out breast cancer.

Additionally, knowing the main cause of white head formation is fundamental in order to determine the proper treatment. Health line suggests the following treatment methods.

  • Acne and whiteheads on the nipples go away on their own. However, if you constantly experience acne you may consult your doctor, in order to get the best prescription drug to treat the problem.
  • Pimples and whiteheads resulting from yeast infections can easily be treated with topical antifungal creams.

However, in case you are breastfeeding, the child may also have acquired an oral yeast infection, therefore, it is advisable to take the child to the pediatrician and get the infection treated simultaneously to your infection.

  • Subareolar abscesses are usually treated by draining the area as well as the use of prescription antibiotic drugs to prevent future infections. However, if the abscess keeps recurring the affected gland can be surgically removed.
  • In cases where breast cancer is suspected, a biopsy and a mammogram may be recommended to get the best diagnosis before prescribing the best treatment method which may include surgery to remove the tissue or mastectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation.

Home remedies

Some of the natural ways to deal with whiteheads on nipples include the following:

1. Healthy diet

Eating a wholesome diet composed of fresh vegetables and fruits as well as reducing sugar and milk products automatically reduce the rate at which acne on the nipples occurs.

Additionally, ensure that your diet contains plenty of omega 3 fatty acids as often as possible.

2. Hydrate

Water reduces the number of toxins in our bodies and improves our general health. It is advisable to take up to 8-10 glasses of water every day.

3. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a very effective anti-inflammatory agent and soothing properties, perfect for curbing whiteheads and pimples on the nipples.

Aloe Vera is very therapeutic when it comes to treating skin problems due to lectins, anthraquinones and polysaccharides present in it notes med licker.

4. Mixture of cinnamon powder and lemon juice

Mix some lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon powder to form a paste. Apply the paste to the affected nipple and leave it for one hour before rinsing it off with cool water.

This can be done on a daily basis, but should immediately be stopped if causes any irritation.

5. Honey and apple cider vinegar

Drinking a mixture of hot water, 1 tablespoon of honey and 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar daily will prevent the occurrence of pimples on the nipples.


  • avoid tight-fitting clothes and if this is impossible shower as soon as possible after removing the tight clothing and dry your skin completely.
  • Change your eating habits: choose foods that reduce skin inflammation, such as fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and omega-3 fatty acids.
  • Choose fabrics that allow your skin to breathe such as loose tops made of cotton since they allow sweat to escape thus not blocking skin pores, which lead to the development of pimples on the nipples.
  • Practice proper hygiene: take showers as often as possible to avoid the accumulation of sebum, germs, and bacteria leading to the development of pimples.
  • Get enough rest: lack of adequate rest results to stress and fatigue which worsens the state of your pimples.
  • Exercise: exercising boosts the circulation of blood and reduces stress and anxiety, therefore, improving the general wellbeing.
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