Are Nipple Pimples a Health Warning Sign?

Morgagni's tubercles or nipple pimples are small, harmless sebaceous glands. However, if you have concerns or think you may have a problem, it is best to see your doctor.
Are Nipple Pimples a Health Warning Sign?
Nelton Abdon Ramos Rojas

Written and verified by the doctor Nelton Abdon Ramos Rojas.

Last update: 13 August, 2022

You’ve surely noticed small nipple pimples that may slightly change their characteristics over time. Are they harmless? Why do they appear? First of all, know that these are no reason to be concerned because they’re tied to the breast glands in most cases.

Nipple pimples usually appear on the edges of the areola and tend to be much more evident on certain days of the month. Although they don’t cause pain or inflammation. Of course, they may worry some women. But, they’re normal breast structures, so don’t worry.

Usual breast changes

A woman examining her breast for nipple bumps.

A woman experiences a great variety of changes throughout her development. Some symptoms appear and disappear with the passage of time, often without even noticing it. These variations tend to be more frequent in the breast area. That is why it’s necessary to pay extreme attention to any type of abnormality such as:

  • Acne
  • Lumps
  • Excessive sweating
  • Sensitivity
  • Redness

While most of these symptoms are harmless, it’s a good idea to stay informed and treat any changes you might experience. So, if you’ve ever wondered why nipple bumps appear then read on and you’ll find the answers! Continue reading!

What exactly are nipple bumps?

These bumps are better known as Morgagni or Montgomery tubercles, and are small sebaceous mammary glands located in the areola of the nipple.

“The tubercles of Morgagni or Montgomery tubers are various small, soft nodules located on the surface of the areolas on a woman’s nipple. They consist of large sebaceous glands immediately below the areolar surface.”

–Mosby Dictionary–

Montgomery’s tubercles are known to have an antibacterial function. They produce natural oils that control your nipples’ pH and protect them from any type of infection. They also keep them properly lubricated for the purpose of breastfeeding.

We recommend you read 8 habits for healthy breasts

Are nipple pimples normal?

Yes, these bumps are perfectly normal. All women are born with between 4 and 28 of these tubercles. In addition, they may vary in size or thickness depending on the person or process they’re undergoing. Thus, they may change due to the following:

In these situations, they tend to be more noticeable to the eye and touch. However, they’re not sensitive, and are painless. In the same way, when the above processes are over, the bumps return to their normal size.

Furthermore, the excretory ducts of these glands can become obstructed generating an increase in size of the tubercles and a small infection. Take into account that their appearance will be similar to that of a pimple, even presenting a small white spot in these cases.

In case of infection, the most important thing to do is not manipulate the lesion. Moreover, the gland should return to its normal size after a few days. However, if the inflammation or pain does not diminish, seek specialized medical assistance as soon as possible.

Treatment of Montgomery’s tubercles

Although these features are natural, you should be careful not to affect their function and protect your nipples as much as possible. It’s also important not to pinch or squeeze the tubers, as it could create a skin lesion and lead to infection. Here’s how to take good care of them:

1. Change your bra

It’s important to change your bra as soon as you notice your breasts or nipple pimples are getting larger. This will help you avoid any irritation or damage to the nipple.

  • Your breasts won’t thrive in a tich environment so trade your bra as soon as you realize it’s too tight.

Pregnant women usually have more sensitive breasts and nipples, and so it’s a good idea to use strapless or wireless bras for increased comfort.

A woman with a black bra.

2. Hygiene is fundamental

Since the breast area may be exposed to perspiration due to temperatures and friction, it’s important to cleanse it with a pH-neutral soap to avoid disturbing the mammary glands and Montgomery’s tubercles. This won’t only keep the area clean and free of bacteria, but also help eliminate sweat, secretions, and acne.

Additionally, use an appropriate moisturizing cream to keep the skin in good condition and thus, avoid discomfort due to dryness and such. This way, the appearance of microscopic lesions in the breasts will reduced along with the risk of infection.

We recommend you read: How to avoid excessive sweating

Other possible causes of nipple pimples

In addition to Montgomery’s tubercles, some disorders can cause nipple pimples. Fortunately, most of these conditions are benign and disappear with a simple and timely medical treatment. Some of the other possible causes of this lesion are:

  • Pimples. The nipples have pores, which can clog and cause the appearance of a pimple, as in any other part of the body. These are painful and contain a small ball of pus. The treatment is similar to that of any pimple. Thus, let them be, they’ll disappear on their own after a few days.
  • Dermatitis and allergies. The pimples in these cases will be many and might be red and overly itchy. An allergic reaction in the breasts is rare but not impossible. Most cases are due to bra contact or some other garment or even a lotion. Ideally, try to identify the causative agent and eliminate it.

Nipple pimples are necessary glands

As you can see, nipple pimples are Montgomery’s tubercles in most cases. Moreover, keep in mind that these pimples don’t pose any health risk. On the contrary, they’re a normal part of the function of your breasts. However, you can always consult your doctor if you have any concerns.

Finally, keep in mind that if nipple pimples manifest with other symptoms such as pain, redness or skin changes, then, you should consult a medical specialist as soon as possible. This is because these symptoms may indicate a much more serious condition you should treat as soon as you can.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.