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An inverted nipple is a nipple that points inwards towards the breast rather than pointing outwards. Inverted nipples are relatively common, affecting around 20% of both men and women. One or both sides may be affected. Although the problem is mainly cosmetic, in some women it can affect their ability to breastfeed.
Some nipples are usually inverted, but can be stimulated sexually or when they become cold. Others may be permanently inverted. Inverted nipples may also be 'flat', where they neither protrude or invert from the areola.
Inverted nipples usually develop during puberty and are the result of short milk ducts. If you have had an inverted nipple since puberty, there is unlikely to be an underlying medical problem. Sometimes the natural drooping of the breasts can cause nipple inversion if the milk ducts do not stretch fast enough.
Inverted nipples can also be caused by breastfeeding, breast infections, trauma or breast cancer, and some cases patients may be born with the condition.
However, if this has happened more recently without reason, you should see your GP straight away. There may be an underlying condition that needs treatment.
If you are a prospective patient, please download the informed consent form below. This includes information about the treatment, potential risks and contraindications.