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What are Flat Nipples and how can they be corrected?

When it comes to breasts, many women are aware of the choices that they have if they are unhappy. This could be due to the size of their breasts or the shape.

Tagged: Body & Breast

What are Flat Nipples and how can they be corrected?

When it comes to breasts, many women are aware of the choices that they have if they are unhappy. This could be due to the size of their breasts or the shape. Not everyone is quite so clear when it comes to nipples though. Flat nipples can often be a cause of psychological discomfort for a woman. It is important to realise that flat nipples are not a medical issue. They can present problems when it comes to breastfeeding at times, but generally, women seek a change for cosmetic reasons.

Breasts can be seen as part of a women’s sexuality and the nipples are an extension of this, and perhaps more intimate. When women feel that their nipples perhaps aren’t as they would like, this can cause them distress and unhappiness. Flat nipples can cause women to feel uncomfortable around their partners or even when wearing revealing clothing such as swimwear. This can often lead to women wondering how to get rid of flat nipples and that is something that we are going to take a look at.

What are flat nipples?

Flat nipples are not as rare as some women may believe. Around 10% of women, and men, have nipples that they are not happy with because they are either flat or inverted. What may be considered ‘normal’ nipples tend to protrude away from the breast. These nipples will react to being stimulated, through being sexually aroused, and cold temperatures. Flat nipples may also react in the same way and pop out when stimulated, but appear different when there is no stimulation.

Flat nipples are not raised. They lay even with the areola. They do not sick out, but they do not turn in either. Nipples that turn in are known as inverted. A way of establishing if you have flat nipples is to compress the areola. This should be done about an inch behind the nipple. If it doesn’t appear erect it means that you have flat nipples. Women often explore how to get rid of flat nipples as a way to boost their confidence and self-esteem. 

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What causes flat nipples?

While flat nipples can be considered normal, women with these often like to know the reasons for them. Several reasons could be the cause. The only time that would be a cause for concern would be if your nipple begins to change for no apparent reason. If this happens you must consult a doctor immediately. This aside, the main causes are:

Your nipples form during the time that you are in the womb. When women have flat nipples it is often from this time. It may be that the nipple has a small base or it could be linked to milk ducts. Milk ducts play a role in the development of your nipple. It may be that these don’t fully develop and pull your nipple inwards.

It is common for women to experience changes to their bodies as they age. This includes both breasts and nipples. It is common to see changes to nipples from around your mid-30s. This is a time when milk ducts may shorten as you approach menopause and this can cause the nipple to invert or lay flat.

This is an extremely rare condition. However, when it does present it requires urgent medical attention. This is because it is a form of cancer. As well as changes in how the nipple protrudes, women also experience pain, itchiness, flaking, as well as discharge. 

How to get rid of flat nipples without surgery

Some women with flat nipples are unsure if surgery is required to remedy this. A consultation with an expert is the best way to find out which options may be best for you. 

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Two of the most common non-surgical treatments are:

This is a technique that can be used if you have flat nipples or if your nipples are mildly inverted. To carry out this technique you need to place your thumbs on either side of the base of your nipple. You then need to press down while also pulling your thumbs apart. This should lead to your nipples popping out. 

These are something that are usually worn for 6-8 hours a day underneath your bra. They sit on your nipples and give gentle suction throughout the day. This can lead to your nipples protruding more than usual.

Although these options may provide some changes to flat nipples, it is debatable how long these last for. The changes are certainly not permanent. When looking at how to get rid of flat nipples, surgery is the best way to provide permanent change. 

How to get rid of flat nipples with surgery

Surgery provides the only permanent solution for women who want to make changes to their flat nipples. It is important to stress that there is rarely a medical need to do so. A change to flat nipples is usually something sought purely for cosmetic reasons. It is worth considering if you are hoping to breastfeed in the future before opting for surgery. It is still possible to breastfeed following surgery, but the technique used by the surgeon may need to be changed. The surgery is more straightforward when breastfeeding isn’t a consideration.

The surgery used to correct flat nipples is nipple reduction. Despite its name, this surgery is used to address different issues that women may have with their nipples. It can be used to reshape nipples as well as reducing the height and width. It is also used to ensure that the nipples and areola are symmetrical. When this surgery is carried out as a single procedure it can be performed under local anaesthetic. However, it is common for women to combine this with either breast surgery such as a breast lift or breast reduction.

The only way to find the best way forward is to have a consultation with a specialist. Our team at Cadogan Clinic are the experts when it comes to breast surgery. Book an appointment at our state of the art facility and take the first steps towards the treatment that is right for you.


Treatments mentioned in this article

Nipple Reduction surgery - carried out on its own or combined with other procedures - reduces the height and width of the nipple, preserving sensation.

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