Inverted or retracted nipples represent a common variant of nipples. Usually develop during puberty, but sometimes you might have been born with inverted nipples. It is common as up to 10% of the women have inverted nipples, and it occurs in men too.
Although inverted nipples do not affect your health, it causes psychological distress and a lack of confidence for women and men. There are a variety of correctional methods for inverted or retracted nipples you can use, ranging from small appliances at home to plastic surgery wards.
What is inverted nipple meaning?
Inverted nipples mean that the nipple points inward instead of pointing outward, this happens due to the retraction of the nipples by deep breast tissues, usually the milk duct behind the nipples. In most cases, inverted nipples do not affect sensation or breastfeeding.
Some experts differentiate between retracted which means that the nipple is flat, while inverted means that the nipple is deeply indented instead of pointing outward.
Causes of inverted or retracted nipples
There are multiple causes for inverted nipples like:
- Congenital: the nipples are inverted since birth
- Mammary duct ectasia: inflammation of milk ducts which happens near menopause
- Mastitis: which is an infection of the breast usually after delivery or during breastfeeding
- Trauma: to the breast may cause damage and scarring
- Cancer: causing damage to breast tissue
- Fibroadenoma: benign tumor causing lumps in the breast