46 answers

Sore on My Nipple

I am sorry to ask such a gross and intimate questions but I just don't know what to do. I found a sore on the areola of my nipple; I pinched it and out came a white puss. I thought I had it taken care of but yesterday my whole breast was aching. I couldn't get it to pop so I poked it with a needle and finally got it to excrete some white pussy stuff. My breast and up into my armpit is so sore! Should I give it a couple of days or do I need to call a Dr.? Oh and it kills to breastfeed my little man. Any and all help is greatly appreciated!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks everyone I called my Dr. and the nurse is putting me on an antibiotic so I will keep you all up to date. Thanks for all your comments I love this site!!!

I started the antibiotic yesterday and already feel better! THANK you all for your help!!!

Featured Answers

Hi C.,

I had that happen when I was breast feeding. You need to go to the Dr. because it's probably an infection in the breast tissue. I had to go on antibiotics to get rid of it. Good luck!
K. N

It sounds like you might have an infected/impacted duct and you may need an antibiotic to help. When my sister had this problem she had to take the antibiotic and use hot packs on her boob and shoulder. She couldn't even move her arm it was so swollen. The quicker you get to a Dr. The better.

Remember to take probiotics since the doc put you on an antibiotic. The probiotic will help keep yeast balanced. Antibiotics can cause an overgrowth of yeast, causing a yeast infection or thrush. Thrush, on top of this issue, is not something you want to deal with while breastfeeding! Hope things get better! Good luck!

More Answers

sounds like a mastitis. call your doctor and get started on an antibiotic. take some tylenol for pain and try to breastfeed as often as you can. it is important to keep milk flowing from that breast to help it heal.


It sounds like it is taken care of but I just wanted to touch on a couple of things...
1. Absolutly keep nursing!!
2. Grating a potato and putting it on your breast will pull out the infection (I swear it works)
3. While taking antibiotics I would STRONGLY recommend also taking acidophilus (it's what is in yogurt), you can get it at any health food store. Reason:
When you take antiboitics it kills good and bad bacteria. Killing the good bacteria may cause you to get thrush... which trust me is miserable and really hard to get rid of. So go get some of that ASAP and take it daily during and after your antibiotics for awhile. It is completly safe to take while nursing!

have your Dr. check it out. you might need to take care of it with antibiotics ASAP.

I've never had this problem before, but as I was reading your message it reminded me of an email that was forwarded to me last fall. It was on a rare form of breast cancer that exhibits itself with a sore on the outside of the breast. I don't want to scare you. I just thought you might want to see this email. My email is ____@____.com me know and I will send it. Best wishes!

DON'T forget to take a probiotic!!! Or else you'll get thrush from the antiobiotic. It's extremely painful for you and your baby.

I had this when I was breast feeding my 2nd child. The doctor told me that my milk duct was clogged. What the doctor had me do is get in a shower as hot as I could stand and rub my breast for 10 min. Dont use lotion, soap, ect. this helps unclog your milk ducts. I was to the point that I got milk fever. I had milk into my color bones and around into my back. I was in so much pain. Any questions ask your doctor. This might be something else.

BKE Mother of 7- 2 girls ages 9 and 7 - 5 boys ages 12, 5, 3, (twins) 9 month old.

You have an infection and need to call your dr. as soon as you can. Don't wait!

Go to the doctor...you may have a breast infection. I never had a sore on the outside, but I had breast infections (clogged ducts) with 4 out of 5 kids. They are very painful, 'hot spots', swelling and a general feeling you have a cold in your breast. Very simple to treat and you will feel so much better.

Good Luck

C., it's probably a yeast infection. I had one and a nurse friend told me to see a Dr. but also to nurse through it. I did nurse through it even though it was this incredible pierccing stabbing pain like sharp glass. I also saw a Dr. and was prescribed a topical cream. The blister went away in acouple of days and so did the pain. Good luck and it's not gross its Normal...when it happend to me I found out many moms have this problem.

Definitely take a probiotic. As far as a natural way of dealing with clogged ducts/mastitis, you can take an enzyme called Bromelain, found at the health food store. It is a pineapple enzyme and helps to break that up. Also eating pineapple--fresh or canned, or drinking pineapple juice can help. I would take that as soon as my duct would clog or I would feel a small lump, and it would often fix the issue. Heat helps as well.

Good Luck with this--it is uncomfortable and can get a LOT worse if not taken care of.

(1)Don't apologize for asking this question. This is a safe place to do so. (2)See a doctor IMMEDIATELY. Obviously, there is an infection. The fact that the pain has moved to your armpit is concerning. I don't mean to scare you but get off the computer NOW and call a doctor and ask him to see you ASAP. (3)I hope everything goes well and let us know the results. Hugs.


It sounds like you got the help you needed for this issue. You still might want to consider talking to a La Leche League leader. Blocked ducts and mastitis can be caused by issues like a poor latch, baby not sucking well, taking too long between feeds, etc. A LLL leader can help you figure out if there is anything you can change to prevent infections in the future. You can find a local group at www.llli.org; click on the "find local support" tab.

If you continue to have pain/sores despite the antibiotics, you may have thrush. It is a yeast infection, and is typically characterized by sharp, shooting pain, tender bleeding nipples, and/or white patches in baby's mouth. If you have thrush, both you and your son will need to be treated. Thrush is easily transferred from mother to baby and back again, even if one of you shows no sign of it.

I heartily second the suggestions about taking a probiotic to keep your system balanced, especially with the antibiotics. Jarro-dophilus is a good brand. It has a wide range of probiotic strains, instead of just acidophilus. You can pick it up at Vitamin Cottage, and probably at other health foods stores, in the refrigerated section.

Best of luck,

Do you have any fever? It does sound like an infection of some kind, like either a blocked milk duct or mastitis. Either way, call your doc to make sure. If it's mastitis, you may need antibiotics, but if it's just a blocked milk duct, I used to put a warm compress on it and have my baby breastfeed as much as possible to unclog it. But first, call your doc, definitely.

Hi C.,

I had that happen when I was breast feeding. You need to go to the Dr. because it's probably an infection in the breast tissue. I had to go on antibiotics to get rid of it. Good luck!
K. N

Get yourself to a doctor! I don't mean to alarm you, but it could be anything, including cancer. Pagets disease starts out with a sore on the breast or nipple. It is a form of cancer.

call your doctor, don't take risks. it might be serious or it might not be.

Can't hurt to call and get their advice or opinions. You could also check with La Leche League or a lactation consultant.

I've never had it personally, but it sounds like what my friend used to describe as mastitis. I'd call your doctor right away. I do know that my friend was supposed to start her baby on that side each feeding to help relieve the milk pressure. GL! Hope you feel better soon!

You need to call your Dr.! If it is mastitis you actually do want to continue to nurse on that breast as the infection has originated with your child and he/she will not catch anything from you. The best thing for your breast is to keep the milk flowing. You do need to call your Dr. in case it is something else. Be specific and don't be embarrassed.
Good luck,

Do you have a fever or flu like symptoms? If so, you my have mastitis! It could also be a clogged milk duct? I'd call your doctor in any event. You need antibiotics if it is mastitis. So sorry you aren't feeling well, I had mastitis twice, but once I started a round of antibiotics, It cleared up very quickly...

you should go right away, the only way to get rid of an infection is through antibiotics. Go on a probiotic while you are on antibiotics to keep thrush away, I use Nature's Way primadophilus Reuteri, I even give it to my kids when they are on anitbiotics.

rest may help, if it has already become mastitis, then you will need an antibiotic. keep nursing. . . otherwise you'll face engorgement too!!! no fun! if it's painful to nurse on that side, nurse your little guy on the unsore side first and then when your milk let down has occurred, switch him to the sore side so he won't be sucking as vigorously. but a couple of days in bed with baby, nursing on demand will help with all of this. it was probably a milk blister and shouldn't have been popped. . .oops, but the pain up into the armpit says that you probably have mastitis at this point. let me repeat. . DON'T STOP NURSING. . . that is the worst plan of action!

It sounds like an infection, I would see a doctor!


You most likely have mastitis, which is an infection and you do not want to feed the baby when you have it and pass on the infection. call your MD today for sure!

Hi C. - please go see your doc right away - you probably have an abcess from a blocked milk duct - if left too long it will require surgery which, trust me, is awful.

Continue to breastfeed or pump to keep things moving - it won't hurt your little guy but unfortunately it will be ferocious for you.

good luck and get in to see your doc today!!

I would probably call and talk to a nurse. They may want to see you, and they can probably give you something for it. I know that any kind of fluid coming from your breast can be cause for concern, so you should get it looked at eventually. The fact that you are so sore up to your armpit means it isn't just localized on the skin. Take care and hope it gets better!

Remember to take probiotics since the doc put you on an antibiotic. The probiotic will help keep yeast balanced. Antibiotics can cause an overgrowth of yeast, causing a yeast infection or thrush. Thrush, on top of this issue, is not something you want to deal with while breastfeeding! Hope things get better! Good luck!

It sounds like you might have an infected/impacted duct and you may need an antibiotic to help. When my sister had this problem she had to take the antibiotic and use hot packs on her boob and shoulder. She couldn't even move her arm it was so swollen. The quicker you get to a Dr. The better.

actually you can not get your baby sick from continuing to nurse. It is better for you and him to keep nursing. Call you Doc, they will get you in quickly and put on antibiotics. Good luck and I hope you start feeling better soon.

I problem similar to this. Go lay in a hot bath with epson salt and baking soda. Lay on your side enough that the brest is fully covered. Try and relax. I like to shut the lights of and burn some candals and play relaxing music. When the brest starts to let down, I massage the sore area. It hurts, but it worked for me. I felt like a train hit me and within a few hours I felt so much better. Sleep and drinking lots of fluid helps. If you do not start feeling better I would recomend going to the doctor.

You should try a breast compress. It is common for breastfeeding moms to get an infection in their breast. It could be engougement? Try putting a hot wash cloth with epsom salts on your breast to try to draw out the infection. You could also try a herbal conpress. Motherlove Herbal Co make one called Breast Ease. www.motherlove.com It is a couple tea bags that you steep and hold to your breast. It helps with soreness and infections. I hope this helps.

I had the same thing! I went to my dr and she said it was abcessed. I needed antibiotics, and I put heat on breast before every feeding. This helped draw out all the gunk, plus made the letdown a little easier so she wasn't sucking quite so hard. You definitely need to call the your dr and get on some antibiotics though, within about 3 days I felt so much better!

Ouch! That sounds painfull! It also sounds like an infection, since you are breastfeeding it totally makes sense! I would definately go to your OB, they probably can give you some anti-biotics to clear it right up.In the mean time ibuprofen may help with the pain, how are you feeling otherwise? God luck!

Go to the doctor ASAP!!! I had this same thing when I was nursing my son, and I waited too long--I kept thinking it would heal on it's own, and by the time I went in to see the doctor, there was a red line going up my breast, and by then I was really sick with a fever, etc. It turned out I had a simple crack that became infected from bacteria in my baby's mouth. You will have to take antibiotics, but it will clear up. It helps also to use a warm compress on the sore, too. Unfortunately, you still have to nurse on that side, which I HATED doing, it hurt so bad!!! But if you don't nurse that side, you will become engorged, and might get mastitis. Good luck, I hope you feel better soon. Oh, and if you have any non-stick pads for wound care, try putting them between the sore and your bra--I had the sore stick to my bra a couple times and I had to pull it off...oh you can't even imagine the pain!

See your Dr. today! The longer you wait the longer you will be in pain. Good luck to you!

Hi Candace,
From what I just read about your issue, it sounds to me that you need to see the Dr. ASAP, do not wait any longer. Let us know what you find out.

Take Care,

Sounds like a wicked case of mastitis. Go to your care provider and have it checked out.

Just as a FYI, we have "glands" around our areola which secrete oils, sometimes even milk--it'll look whitish. It's possilbe for those to become clogged and infected, too. This what I'm imagining has happened to you.

Be sure you drink A LOT, A LOT, A LOT!!! REST and try to stay down, get some antibiotics and make sure you eat things with probiotics in return, and nurse your baby even though it HURTS because your baby will help keep things moving. Pump, too, and put lots of moist heat on the area.

Do make sure you see a care provider, because even though it's probably something you can take care of yourself, it may be more serious. (go to the Mommy provider, not the baby one):o)

I am sorry that you are going through this, it sounds like when i got a plugged duct and ended up with mastitis I used warm compresses and got a good breast pump and pumped as much as i could after nursing. You may have to hold your little one differently so that he is opening that duct when he nurses. Also get cabbage leaves and crush them and put them in your bra, sounds wierd, but causes the swelling to go down. Most hospitals have a lactation specialist, the one at our hospital is great at helping resolve these problems. She worked with me for over an hour to get my duct unplugged, but i was so greatful. If it is a plugged duct and you do not get it taken care of soon, it will go into mastitis. I did have to use a pin and gently open that it could be used. I am expecting my 4th and this time i bought a Medela pumpe in anticipation, wish i had invested in one with my first. Hope it helps.

Go see a Doctor soon!!! This could be just an infection, but it could be very serious.

Ouch! The treatment will depend upon what caused the sore. If your baby bit you and it's a little infected, something like a dab of neosporin after the baby nurses may work quickly. But if it's something like a herpes sore, the treatment (and whether the baby can nurse or not) will be different. I'd suggest calling a lactation consultant (ilca.org) or la leche league leader (llli.org) and starting with the the information they have, which you can then share with your doctor.
Sometimes pain radiates up through the breast, even though the infection itself isn't spreading, but sometimes an antibiotic will be neded. The good news is breastfeeding can continue, even if that means just on one side while you pump the other temporarily. I hope you can get help in person. Good luck! Amy

Please call your doctor right away. I do not have a medical background, but know "enough" about breast health and breast issues not to take this lightly. Only a professional medical person will know how to properly treat whatever is causing the sore.

I had the same thing with my second. I nursed my first with no problems and with my second it was blocked ducts, mastitis and thrush. Talk about painful!!!!!! I did last 7 1/2 months though. I had a blister that was on one side and occasionally either she would unclog it or if I pumped at work occasionally it would unclog it and the milk would be tinted with blood and that led to mastitis a few times, it just wouldnt go away. It was even there for about 11 months after I quit nursing til I popped it and occasionally I still have to try to drain it. Since the pain is in your armpit the infection is definitly there and you probably need an antibiotic. You should just be able to call in and get the doc to prescribe the antibiotic and pain pills that is what mine did.

You probably already have this taken care of by now. I know exactly what you are talking about. It is clogged milk ducts. I started getting them when my baby was 3 months old and it lasted until she was 5 months old. I was getting them in alternating breasts every other day. I would have to poke it with a needle to let the milk out. I got sick of it and finally weaned her at 5 months. She is now 6 months old, and seriously, weaning her was the best thing I have done! I wanted to breastfeed until she was a year old...but I just couldn't do it anymore. Me and baby are both much happier. Hopefully you only had that once! If it starts re-occuring every other day...I would quit. But that's just me. I hope you are feeling better! Good luck with breastfeeding, but if you do decide to give it up, don't be down on yourself. I was for a month, but I am just barely feeling that it was okay to quit. It was so worth it.

Boy! I can totally relate to your issue. I have had several such sores myself, some so large that they left scars on my breasts!! I saw a family doctor and a dermatologist when I had some sores during breastfeeding and was told they were "Cysts", almost like acne. The best remedy was to wash day and night with soap and water, pat dry and wear no bra or a cotton bra so the sore area can dry up. If the bump is outside of where the baby latches on, you can use an acne gel with salicylic acid (I like biore') to speed the drying process. Cystic pain can spread quickly, especially if you are trying to drain the area. I would suggest alternating cold and warm packs and light massage. Hope this helps!

I have this prob too and want to see the other answers.

Personally, I think you should go to the doctor right away. I have never heard of sores on nipples and my concern would be that if you put something serious off you will regret it. Even if it turns out to be nothing, it would be better to be Safe then Sorry.

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