Why Do My Nipples Have Bumps
You might be surprised to learn how many different kinds of skin exist under your feet (and elsewhere). For example, there are sweat glands in the soles of your feet — and you can even see them when you look at a person’s foot from behind. And while most of us know about our lips’ ability to secrete saliva, we may not realize that our nipples also possess this function. In fact, women have two types of specialized skin glands located next to their nipples that produce an oily substance called sebum. This secretion lubricates the nipple and helps keep it moist by forming a waxy layer over time. It also provides protection for the delicate area from bacteria and other harmful organisms.
People with normal or larger breasts generally don’t experience problems with these glands. However, if you have smaller-than-average breasts or breast tissue that doesn’t fill out like fat, then you might be more likely to develop what doctors call mammary dysplasia. This condition occurs when abnormal amounts of cells grow within these glands, resulting in cysts that sometimes cause pain and discomfort. Other times, no symptoms at all occur, but if you do notice any unusual lumps or growths on your areola, you should consult with a doctor right away.
So why would someone get mammary gland lesions? There are several reasons, including hormonal changes, medications and radiation treatment. Hormonal imbalance is one common reason for mammary dysplasia among young women who haven’t yet entered puberty. When estrogen levels rise too much, the body produces excess copper, which causes the formation of malignant tumors known as phylloides tumor. The same goes for progesterone hormone production, although the risk is lessened when taking birth control pills.
Other factors that increase the likelihood of developing mammary dysplasia include smoking cigarettes, having hepatitis C and living in areas where certain infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS are prevalent. If you’re concerned that you’ve been exposed to a disease such as hepatitis C, you should discuss it with your physician immediately. He or she will determine whether further testing is necessary to rule out the presence of the virus.
If you’ve noticed a lump or growth on your areola, don’t worry! As long as you visit your health care provider, he or she should be able to help you solve the problem. Next, we’ll examine some treatments that work best.
Treatments for Mammary Dysplasia
Because mammary dysplasia often isn’t evident until adulthood, women with the condition may not seek medical attention for years. Once detected, however, treatment options are limited. One option is surgical removal of the lesion. Another is freezing the lesion with liquid nitrogen to stop its growth. Yet another method involves laser surgery to remove the growth through heat energy. These procedures usually involve general anesthesia, so patients must wait a few days before returning to work and resuming normal activities.
In addition to treating specific growths, physicians may prescribe drugs to treat underlying conditions causing mammary dysplasia. Some examples include using tamoxifen citrate to reduce excessive estrogen levels and thiazide diuretics to decrease fluid retention caused by high blood pressure [source WebMD]. Patients may also take antibiotics to fight infections, depending upon the severity of the case.
Women diagnosed with breast cancer may choose to undergo mastectomies to prevent the spread of cancerous lesions to surrounding tissues. If healthy tissues around the affected areas are removed, the remaining cancer cells won’t have anywhere to go. Although this procedure sounds drastic, it does provide relief from painful tumors. Women who choose this route shouldn’t expect to regain full sensation in their nipples for up to three months after the operation.
Mastectomies aren’t the only way to deal with breast cancer. Many patients opt instead for lumpectomy, which entails removing part of a breast containing cancerous cells. In addition, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and selective internal radiotherapy (SIRT) can also help eliminate cancerous lesions. SIRTs use radiofrequency waves to destroy cancerous cells without damaging surrounding healthy tissues. Radiofrequency waves also stimulate collagen fibers in the fatty tissue beneath the surface of the skin, helping improve circulation underneath the breast and reducing the possibility of recurrence.
For those who have undergone a lumpectomy, reconstructive surgeries that restore symmetry and functionality to breasts are available. Breast implants inserted into empty spaces left by excised tissues can create fuller breasts. To ensure optimal results, plastic surgeons recommend that post-lumpectomy patients avoid strenuous activity for at least six weeks. Afterward, physical therapy can help strengthen muscles surrounding the chest wall and allow patients to resume daily tasks and hobbies safely.
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