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Bumps on The Nipples - What's Normal and What Isn't

Women are being educated to pay more attention to their bodies and notice for bumps and lumps that could be a sign of cancer or some other disease. When they do find something of that sort present on their breasts, they are often times not sure what to do about it, or whether it is normal or something in need of immediate medical attention. We are here describing the different causes of bumps on your nipples (or areola) and whether they are harmless or not.

Breast Buds

These are one of the first signs of puberty in a female. The development of a lump under the nipples. These lumps are called breast buds and are a sign of normal growth. They may appear only under one breast first varying from person to person. Also, they show up at the age of 9 or 10 depending on the person. They can also feel a little sore but it is usually not anything to worry about. However, if breasts start to develop at 6 or 7 years of age, the child should be evaluated for precocious puberty.

Montgomery Tubercles

Montgomery tubercles are the tiny oil glands present in a cluster in the areola. They secrete the oil which is needed for the lubrication of the nipple during breastfeeding. Along with the enlargement and darkening of the areolas in the first trimester of the pregnancy, Montgomery tubercles become more prominent. You can find them present on your areolas as white tiny bumps. This is completely normal and a part of the body preparing for the baby’s arrival.

NOTE: The above two reasons for the formation of bumps on the nipples are completely normal and natural. There is nothing to worry about them. Now, we are listing the medical conditions that can cause bumps on the nipples. These need to be paid attention to and checked in with your doctor immediately.


Blocked Milk Duct

The flow of milk can get obstructed sometimes in the women who are breastfeeding and build up behind a milk duct. This can cause a spot or the development of a tender lump. Signs include warmth, pain, and redness in a part of the breast, a lump close to the skin, etc.


It is a condition where the breasts become sore and inflamed. It is common for women who are breastfeeding and then is called puerperal mastitis. It can occur due to a blocked milk duct. Otherwise, known as periductal mastitis, it can occur due to nipple piercing or through skin cracking. Symptoms can include a lump along with redness and swelling in the breast, pain, and a nipple discharge containing blood.

Breast Cyst

It is a movable oval or round sac that is filled with fluid. These bumps can be sore and may become larger and more painful due to hormonal changes. A cyst can also be filled with oil or fat, but they do not usually hurt. These are usually harmless but you should see a doctor if you have one present.

Breast cancer

A lump anywhere on the breast needs to be checked for cancer. A firm and clearly defined lump that does not move is more indicative of cancer. Other symptoms of cancer include discharge from the nipple, dimpling of the skin, and retraction of the nipple.

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