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What Causes Inverted Nipples?

Posted December 02, 2020 in Inverted Nipple Surgery

2 Minute Read:

An inverted nipple, also known as a retracted nipple, points inward or lies flat against the areola instead of pointing outwards. The condition usually isn’t a problem medically and only interferes with breastfeeding if the degree of inversion is severe; however, it can make an individual feel self-conscious, especially during intimacy.

Woman's hands covering her breasts over her bra on a peach background.

What Are Potential Causes of Inverted Nipples?

Women and men can be born with inverted nipples that affect one or both breasts. Inverted nipples can also develop later in life. The inverted position is caused by tension from tight connective tissue or ductal systems inside the breast.


Approximately 10 to 20 percent of women are born with inverted nipples. Genetic variants can result in shortened milk ducts or wide areola muscles that pull nipples inward. Most congenital cases affect both breasts.

Pregnancy and Breastfeeding

The skin surrounding the nipples is elastic, and breast tissue undergoes various changes throughout pregnancy. Sometimes adhesions form and connect skin at the base of the nipple to underlying tissue. This prevents the nipple from projecting outward. Scarring of the milk ducts or surrounding tissue can occur during breastfeeding. Scar tissue isn’t elastic and may hold nipples in an inverted position.


Breast tissue starts changing for most women in their mid-30s. Changes continue with age, and milk ducts become shorter as menopause approaches. The shortened ducts can pull nipples inward.

Duct ectasia is a condition characterized by widening milk ducts with thicker walls. It affects some women aged 45 to 55. Affected ducts can fill with fluid and become clogged. Clogged ducts may develop scar tissue or shift position, resulting in nipple inversion.

How Can I Alter Inverted Nipples?

Although inverted nipples are usually not a health concern, women may feel self-conscious about their appearance or simply prefer to have nipples that project outward. Inverted nipples can be addressed with a simple surgical procedure.

What Is Inverted Nipple Correction?

Inverted nipple correction is a minimally invasive surgical procedure. Underlying milk ducts and connective tissue in the breast are cut through a tiny incision along the nipple’s edge. Cutting these structures releases tension and lets the nipple project outwards with a natural appearance.

The surgery is an outpatient procedure and takes less than an hour. Clients can have correction surgery alone or combined with other breast enhancement procedures, such as breast lifts, augmentations, or reductions.

What Happens After My Inverted Nipple Procedure?

Clients can go home quickly after the procedure. Some swelling and tenderness may occur, but most people resume normal routines the day after surgery. Avoid exercise for about a week to minimize discomfort and prevent complications.

Interested in Learning More?

VK Cosmetic Surgical Arts in Florida helps clients look their best. Self-esteem is an essential aspect of overall happiness. Call 786-719-1780 or fill out an online contact form to schedule an appointment or consultation.