What are these blackheads on nipples or what causes blackheads on the nipples? There are many reasons why you have these black headed bumps around your nipple areas. Let us explore more on meaning, causes, symptoms, effective treatments, home remedies and preventions measures
Before we proceed to the causes of blackheads on the nipples, it is very important to get ourselves familiarized with the meaning of these blackheads.
- 1 What are Blackheads?
- 2 Causes of blackheads on nipples
- 3 Symptoms of blackheads on nipples
- 4 Blackheads on nipple treatments
- 5 Home remedies blackheads on nipples
- 6 How to prevent blackheads on your nipples
What are Blackheads?
Generally, blackheads are small bumps that develop on the skin when hair follicles are clogged. These bumps are called blackheads because their surface looks black or dark. Medicalnewstoday.com indicates that, “blackheads are a specific kind of dark acne lesion, so-called because they contain oxidized melanin, the pigment made by skin cells called melanocytes.”
Blackheads are symptoms of acne that is characterized with lesions always referred to as spots, zits or blackheads. These bumps commonly occur on face especially around the nose area but can also occur on breast (nipple) and other parts of the body.
The occurrence of blackheads on different parts of the body have various myths depending on certain societies but, those will remain myths as their names suggests and they will never hold any water.
Causes of blackheads on nipples
There are several causes of acne on the nipples for both men and women. Some of the common causes of these black headed zits or acne include the following:
Blockage of hair follicles
Just like any part of the body, there are some hair follicles around the nipples. The follicles sometimes are blocked due to the accumulation of dirt, sebum, oil and even the dead skins. These factors can lead to blackheads around nipple area.
In some circumstances, some individuals especially men with hairy breast can have ingrown hairs that could trigger the appearance of black zits on the nipples that resemble blackheads. These zits may be very painful, swollen and cause a lot of discomfort.
Hormonal changes during puberty, Periods and pregnancies
These stages are normally characterized by hormonal variations or imbalances. For instance, the level of certain hormones will tend to be high in some women during the mentioned stages. The hormones changes during these periods can have a role in increasing sebum oil.
When the level of hormone androgen goes up during these periods, there can be production of excess sebum, which may therefore trigger blackheads on nipples.
Androgen is also known to increase during puberty in both boys and girls; this condition makes both boys and girls susceptible to blackheads including on nipples, chest, face, nose and other places. Increase in androgen hormone can also trigger excessive hair growth, polycystic ovarian and acne.
Sometimes bumps on nipples that resemble pimples can be due to a rash caused by fungal infections such as yeast. Since breast area often sweats and retain moisture, they are therefore the best breeding ground for fungus. This fungus grows faster in dumps and moist grounds. Such infections have the aptitude to trigger blackheads on the fold under breast and in the nipple.
Blackheads on your nipple can be symptoms of various conditions and diseases. The hard bumps on the areola area have been linked to breast cancer, According to treatcurefast.com, “Hard bumps and pain in the nipple area or the breast have been identified as some of the common signs of cancer of the breast.”
Again a rash in breast or nipple can form part of a cancer called inflammatory breast cancer. The occurrence of the hard bumps on your nipple can also be influenced by hormonal variations and imbalances. Actually, the signs of breast cancer can be an itchy, scaly sore or rash on the nipple.
Various medications and drugs have been found to influence the occurrence of blackheads on the nipples. Such drugs can also induce the acne breakouts. These medications can include androgens, lithium and corticosteroids.
Some drugs such birth pills can also trigger variations and imbalances of certain hormones leading to occurrence of blackheads on the nipples as well as other parts of the body especially facial blackheads, blackheads on back, chest, thigh, etc.
Cosmetics and skin products
In some circumstances, your skin pores can be blocked by certain cosmetics and skin products. This will thereafter lead to formation of blackheads and even acne.
Again, some natural oils such as coconut oil and coconut butter can also clog the pores leading to blackheads anyone including blackheads on your nose, face, etc. Therefore, you are advised to opt for skin products that are labeled non-comedogenic, as they will not clog your pores.
More factors that can cause nipple blackheads
Apart from the above factors, other potential triggers of blackheads on nipples include:
- Improper size of bras
- Overproduction of milk in breastfeeding mothers
- Accidental trauma leading bruising and injuries
- Poor personal hygiene
- Environmental pollution especially with tiny particles in air that can clog skin pores
- Undertaking a lot of stress and mental tension
- Living in places with high humidity as well as excessive sweating
- Presence of Propionibacterium acnes on your skin
- Blackheads also have been also been proved to be influenced by genetics.
Symptoms of blackheads on nipples
The symptoms that can assist you distinguish blackheads from other skin conditions on your nipples are, darkened, slightly raised, non-inflamed and non-painful bumps. The blackheads actually, are non-inflammatory kind of acne because the comedones have not infected.
There might be a bit irritation and little pain in rare cases. If pain and irritation is much, but these can just be the symptoms of severe acne but not really the blackheads.
Generally, blackheads can also cause some psychological effects such lower self-esteem, reduced life quality, embarrassment. The blackheads can also make some people to choose some clothing that will hide the blackheads. Some victims can also be avoided by other individuals.
Blackheads on nipple treatments
Treatment for nipple blackheads will solely depend on their causes as well as their severity. The kind of treatments that will be used to heal various blackheads ranges from prescribed medications to homes remedies. Below are the most effective treatments for nipple blackheads.
Prescriptions by Doctors
There are numerous medications that can be prescribed by doctors when the over the counter lotions, gels or creams don’t seem to yield any fruit. Such medications can be effective to not only blackheads but also whiteheads, pimples and acne.
Most of the medications will contain products such as adapalene, tazarotene, tretinoin, and vitamin A. All these will enhance faster skin cell turnover and stopping plug formation. In addition, these medications may also contain ingredients such as antibiotics and benzoyl peroxide.
Apart from the topical therapy, oral medications can also be used. Actually, oral medications will include hormonal therapy using oral contraceptives, which help manage excessive production of sebum that always trigger blackheads on nipples.
Over the counter treatments
Blackheads on the nipples can also be treated using some of the over the counter products such as creams, gel, lotions and pads. They products are normally applied on the skin to help in drying excess oil, enhancing the shedding off of dead skin cells and also killing the bacteria. These over the counter products can contain ingredients such as benzoyl peroxide and resorcinol and salicylic acid.
Mild chemicals can be used to peel the top skin layer leaving the beneath skin very smooth. This will actually help get rid of dead skin cells and dry milk that could clog the pores around the areola which can also contribute to the formation of the blackheads. Note that the use of strong chemical peels should strictly be performed by dermatologists or skin care professional only.
Laser and Light remedy
These two therapies can be very effective in reaching the underneath skin and dealing with blackheads without interfering with the upper skin layer.
The will help to limit the excess production of sebum and they can be help in killing bacteria that may cause blackheads infections.
Manual blackhead removal
In some mild circumstances, your dermatologist may use some specialized instruments or extractors. This procedure will involve making a small opening in the plug then using pressure with looped extractors to get rid of the clogs that causes the development of blackheads on your nipples.
Home remedies blackheads on nipples
There are many homes remedies, which can heal several skin disorders including blackheads on the nipples. The effectiveness of a certain home remedy will solely depend on the underlying causes of the blackheads. Furthermore, the success of these remedies can also be influenced by the mildness or the severity the blackheads. Some of these popular remedies may include:
- Try applying egg white mask
- Application Honey, milk and radish seed on the affected skin
- Application of baking soda paste (water + baking soda) on the affected skin
- Try gentle sugar scrub
- Drinking enough water
- Opting for healthy diets
- Use of salicylic containing soaps
- Use of Cinnamon powder and lemon juice
- Try applying aspirin paste
- Salt soak
How to prevent blackheads on your nipples
While some of the triggers of blackheads cannot be avoided for instance excessive production of sebum during puberty, the severity and some causes can be prevented. Some effective techniques to prevent blackheads formation include the following:
- Always wear breathable bra and loose cotton clothing
- Use a humidifier at home to reduce sweating
- Shower regularly to avoid accumulation of sebum, germs and bacteria
- Gently exfoliate the dead layer on the top layer of the skin to reduce incidences of black spots
- Reduce dairy products that contain certain hormones that can stimulate oils gland leading to excess oil productions
- Avoid eating processed foods and sugary drinks that can trigger the rise in insulin level that can induce certain blackheads producing hormones
- Get plenty of rest
- Manage stress in your life
- Exercise regularly
- Keep good personal hygiene
The best tip for preventing the occurrence of blackheads on the nipples is by keeping the nipple area clean and dry.
The symptoms of nipple blackheads may range from mild to severe symptoms and in case the use of over the counter products and home remedies but the result is not satisfying, see your doctor or dermatologist for further medications.
Again before you use start using any home remedy, make sure know the potential causes of your nipple blackheads.
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Sources of Reference
- Blackheads: http://www.healthline.com/health/blackheads
- Pimple on Nipple Areola, Meaning, Cure for Small, Hard Painful Nipple Pimples that Won’t Go Away:http://www.treatcurefast.com/pimples/nipple-pimple/pimple-on-nipple-areola-white-pimple-man-female-painful-small-nipple-pimple/
- How to Get Rid of Blackheads on Your Breasts:http://www.livestrong.com/article/100320-rid-blackheads-breasts/
- Blackheads With Hair On Breasts, What’s Going On:http://www.steadyhealth.com/topics/blackheads-with-hair-on-breasts-whats-going-on