A few months ago, I noticed a lump appear on my areola right next to the nipple. Last week, a whitehead formed on it. A few days later, it sort of broke open and a little white discharge came out, then it sort of looked like a hole or a crater for a day or two. It bled a tiny bit. Now it looks sort of like a deep scab. It's kind of hard and it painful. It didn't hurt until the whitehead appears and has been hurting more since then. What could this be and will it have to be removed? I've been surfing the internet and I think it may be an intraductal papilloma but I'm not sure. Does this sound like it may be?
Dear Karma7832: Skin on the breast is like skin anywhere else in the body and is subject to developing skin abnormalities, including pimples, for example. In addition, the areola naturally has some small bumps called Montgomery's glands and the nipple area has sebaceous glands as well as ductal openings. Sebaceous glands naturally secret a white oily
substance. Sometimes intraductal papillomas will be associated with bloody nipple discharge but this would occur at a ductal opening on the nipple itself. If a pimple or gland were squeezed, it is possible that it could bleed and form a scab in the process of healing and inflamed tissue can feel a little bit hard. This could just take time to resolve. Bottom line,
however, is that without looking at it, we can't tell what it is. You should probably have your doctor take a look at it, particularly if it becomes worse or doesn't go away.
No, it's not a papilloma. There are glands on the areola which are skin appendages, similar to those anywhere else in the skin. They can get plugged and infected. It sounds like that's what that is. Having drained, it'll probably be alright, but it could become a recurrant problem requiring a simple surgical procedure. Intraductal papilloma is related to the ducts which exit the nipple itself, as opposed to the areola, and if they produce drainage, it's usually bloody.
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