Puffy Nipples | Causes & Treatment

Dr. Bartha N Cortez MD
Dr. Bartha N Cortez MD
Dr. Bartha N Cortez is a young plastic and cosmetic surgeon. She is renowned for her perfection in cosmetic surgery. Body and face sculpting is a modern cosmetic concern and she is one of the best in this specialty. She also treats the burn patient to reconstruct the damaged organs. Dr. Bartha N Cortez is a plastic and cosmetic surgeon of the Learnfromdoctor.

What are Puffy Nipples?

Puffy nipples are slightly inflamed nipples that may occur in both males and females. 

Puffy nipples usually occur in men; they may feel uncomfortable. Puffy nipples are more of a cosmetic concern rather than a medical concern. 

It often occurs with gynecomastia, or sometimes it may occur when there is no gynecomastia present. 

Multiple causes may lead to puffy nipples. Hormonal imbalance, obesity, gynecomastia, Lipomastia, and lack of exercise are the principal causes. 

Specific exercises and dietary and lifestyle modifications may help you get rid of puffy nipples. However, sometimes the situation is far more, and only exercise and dietary modification may not help you. 

In that case, you may undergo cosmetic surgery to get rid of it properly. 

The puffy nipple can occur in both men and women. However, it is more likely to have occurred in men. 

This article is discussed puffy apples, their causes, risk factors, consequences, and treatment. Moreover, this article will help you decide when to see a doctor. 

 

Puffy Nipples Cause

Multiple causes that may lead to puffy nipples. The most common causes may include;

Hormonal Imbalance

Hormonal imbalance is the principal cause of puffy nipples. Hormonal imbalance is caused by an increase or decrease of some hormone levels in the body. 

Two hormones are responsible for the sexual characteristics and appearance of the body. 

  • Testosterone
  • Estrogen

Testosterone is a male hormone responsible for primary and secondary sexual characteristics in males, such as wider shoulder, pubic hair, face and chest hair, etc. 

Estrogen is a female hormone responsible for primary and secondary sexual characteristics in females, such as bigger breasts, wider hips, sharp tone, etc. 

Puffy nipples occur there is an imbalance between testosterone and estrogen in male bodies. If the estrogen level increases more than normal, it may cause increased breast size in males and nipple protrusion. 

Some fat accumulates in the breast area of the males, and nipples protrude outwards. It may cause both gynecomastia and puffy nipples. 

Excess Body Fat

The body’s excess fats accumulate in particular regions such as the buttock, thigh, breast, under the cheek, abdomen, etc. 

The breast is an area where excess body fat can accumulate, leading to Lipomastia (Quite similar to gynecomastia). As a consequence, it leads to puffy nipples. 

Moreover, using certain weight loss drugs may also cause puffy nipples. 

Steroid Drugs

One of the prime side effects of steroid drugs is gynecomastia. Many researchers support this statement and working on reducing the prevalence of gynecomastia in steroid users. 

Jogging

You may wonder how jogging can be related to puffy nipples. During jogging sessions, the breast area bounces continuously, especially in a slightly obese person. 

The continuous movement of the breast area sometimes causes protrusion of nipples known as “Jogger’s Nipples’. 

Read Breast Augmentation

How to Get Rid of Puffy Nipples

Puffy nipples embarrassed men, and they want to get rid of them as soon as possible. But unfortunately, they are often confused about what to do and how to get this done quickly.

First, getting rid of puffy nipples is a time-consuming process. It would take time, lifestyle modifications, and patience. 

The condition of some people may not be that suitable to get treated without surgery; in that case, they have to undergo certain surgery to get rid of it properly. 

Different ways of reducing puffy nipples are discussed here. 

Exercise

Certain exercises targeted to the chest region may help you reduce puffy nipples. Following the specialized exercises for increasing the tone and strength of the chest muscles helps the most. 

Common exercises that reduce the puffy nipples may include;

  • Bench press
  • Forward dips
  • Pushups
  • Just stretching exercises such as cable fly

While practicing different exercises, you have to maintain both upper chest and lower chest exercises. Following only lower chest exercises may worsen the condition, while following only upper chest exercises may take time to reduce the actual puffy nipples. 

People who are not interested in weightlifting or scared of weight may start with pushups and forward dips because that doesn’t require any weight and can be done without any instruments. 

One should try chest, back, and shoulder exercises for maximum benefit. However, the shoulder and back muscles support the chest muscles; that’s why only chest exercises may not give you the desired result. 

Before starting weight lifting, one can try compound exercises that don’t require weight but also helps to lose body weight and maintain the strength of the overall muscular body. 

  • Jogging
  • Cycling
  • Swimming
  • Football playing
  • Running
  • Hiking
  • Jumping

These are some common compound exercises that help to improve the strength of the overall body. In addition, according to several researchers, compound exercises help to reduce body weight as well as they helped to burn the excess fat in the body. 

As a result, the gynecomastia reduces, and the same goes for puffy nipples. 

Dietary Modifications

Dietary modifications play an important role in reducing puffy nipples. However, to understand the role of diet in reducing puffy nipples, you have to look back into the causes of puffy nipples. 

As we already mentioned, excess estrogen causes puffy nipples; we cannot take estrogen-containing foods and have to take the foods that boost testosterone. 

Food to Avoid

Estrogen containing foods that need to be avoided may include;

  • Soybeans. 
  • Cashews
  • Flaxseed
  • Chickpeas
  • Alfalfa sprouts
  • Dried fruits
  • Cruciferous vegetables
  • Berries

Foods Need to Take

Two types of foods need to be taken to reduce puffy nipples. 

The foods which lower the body fat storage may include;

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • High dietary fibre containing foods
  • Avoid sugar and high fat containing foods
  • Take the foods that contain low carbohydrates and more protein

Foods that boost or increase the testosterone levels may include;

  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Starting fishes
  • Olive oil
  • Onion
  • Oysters
  • Pomegranates
  • Fortified plant milk
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Fatty fish and fish oil

Alcohol consumption and smoking affect your health and also cause fatty liver disease. In fatty liver disease, your liver cannot metabolize certain foods, which may exaggerate the fat accumulation in your body. 

Smoking destroys the alveolus so that you cannot have the oxygen required for the body’s metabolism process and muscle functioning. 

Herbal supplements

Exercise and dietary modifications may not give you your desired result. In that case, you may have some herbal supplements to boost the improvement and reduce the puffy nipples. 

Ginger Supplements

Taking row ginger is the best choice to reduce the condition. However, if you cannot take row ginger, you may take certain ginger supplements that may help you reduce puffy nipples and also that it’s so effective for your health. 

The benefits of ginger supplements may include;

  • Protect the reproductive organs
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Act as a sugar reducing agent
  • Act as an antioxidant

Turmeric Supplements

Turmeric supplements help boost the testosterone level in the body, therefore reducing the puffy nipples. 

Turmeric contains Curcumin, which is the active ingredient of turmeric. 

Several studies show high doses of turmeric are more effective than low doses of turmeric. 

Fenugreek

Fenugreek is a herbal supplement that contains various vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin A, B-6, B12, Iron, etc. 

Several studies state that Fenugreek helps to increase the stress testosterone level in the human body. As a result, it reduces the incidence of gynecomastia and puffy nipples. 

Herbal supplements are not medicines. That’s why they do not ultimately end products. Medicine is produced by certain chemical elements only what is necessary to cure a condition. 

The herbal supplements may contain multiple unwanted substances that may have some adverse effects. 

Note: We suggest you consult a doctor before trying any herbal supplements.

 

Conservative Treatment of Puffy Nipples

Some medicines may help boost testosterone and reduce the estrogen level in your body. 

Puffy nipples treatment without surgery
Puffy nipples treatment without surgery

The doctors often prescribe medications that may help you reduce puffy nipples. The common drugs may include;

  • Anti-estrogen medicines: anti-estrogen medicines reduce the secretion of estrogen and help to reduce the gynecomastia and similar conditions
  • Testosterone: testosterone or testosterone booster medicines increases the body’s testosterone level and helps to reduce the condition
  • Vitamins, minerals and other supplements

 

Surgical Treatment of Puffy Nipples

When pharmacological treatment fails to recover the puffy nipples or gynecomastia, then surgical treatment is required. 

Some types of surgical procedures can be applied to treat the condition. 

Liposuction

Liposuction, The word itself describes the surgical procedure. In this procedure, the surgeon inserts a needle/catheter into your breast region, and this catheter sucks the excess fatty tissues.

The procedure is done by making a small little hole for the entrance of the catheter, so it’s stamped as a minimally invasive procedure. 

Mastectomy

This procedure is invasive. Here the surgeon removes a part of your breast to make it healthy and reduce the puffy nipple appearance.  

Gynecomastia Surgery

This procedure contains certain procedures to fix the gynecomastia on the male breast. In addition, it can be done to reduce the puffy nipples also. 

 

Puffy Nipples vs Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia and puffy nipples are quite similar but not the same. 

Gynecomastia is a condition characterized by large breasts in males and caused by hyperproliferation of fibromuscular elements of the breast.

On the other hand, the puffy nipples are described as protrusion of the nipple outward from the body. 

Puffy nipples almost always occur with gynecomastia, while gynecomastia can occur with or without puffy nipples. 

Symptoms

The common symptoms of gynecomastia may include;

  • Pain or tenderness in the breast
  • Swollen breast
  • Sensitivity of the nipple and discharge from the nipple
  • Enlarged breast area

causes

The causes of gynecomastia are mainly hormonal. As we described earlier, estrogen plays an important role in increasing the male breast size. The common causes of gynecomastia may include;

  • Increased estrogen hormone level
  • Kidney condition
  • Liver condition
  • Graves disease
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Klinefelter syndrome
  • Breast cancer
  • A testicular tumor that decreases the testosterone hormone secretion

 

How to get rid of gynecomastia

Exercises

Following exercises targeting the chest region may help you get rid of gynecomastia. 

Certain exercises such as bench press help improve the contour and strength of the chest muscles and help to get rid of gynecomastia and similar conditions.

Dietary Modifications

Avoiding high carbohydrate and fat-containing foods while increasing the intake of high protein-containing foods may help you get rid of gynecomastia. 

Certain foods that decrease the estrogen level and increase the testosterone secretion and body testosterone level play an important role in getting rid of gynecomastia. 

Treatment

The gynecomastia treatment is done by is a surgical procedure known as gynecomastia surgery. 

In this surgery, the surgeon removes the part of fatty tissues from your breast region to make it look normal. Some procedures may be followed in gynecomastia surgery, such as liposuction, mastectomy etc. 

 

Risk Factors

The risk factors of gynecomastia may include;

  • Family history of gynecomastia
  • Obesity
  • High cholesterol
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Unhealthy food habit
  • Taking too much sugar and fat
  • High carbohydrate diet etc.

 

Women with puffy nipples 

You may wonder if there are women with puffy nipples. Yes, it is possible to have puffy nipples in women. But the cause is different here. 

Puffy Nipples and Breast Cancer infographics
Puffy Nipples and Breast Cancer infographics

In the case of males, the principal cause of puffy nipples is the high estrogen level. On the other hand, in women’s case, the principal cause of puffy nipples is fat accumulation. 

Estrogen is a female hormone, so it does not cause many problems in women. However, some risk factors exist for the prevalence of puffy nipples in women.

  • Obesity
  • Lack of physical activity
  • High carbohydrate and fat containing diet
  • Low fibre and protein containing diet
  • Lack of sleep
  • Improper breastfeeding

Read Breast Lifting Surgery

Treatment

The common treatment plans for women with puffy nipples may include;

  • Certain exercises
  • Healthy diet
  • Proper quality amount of sleep
  • Properly breastfeeding
  • Breast massage
  • Certain prescription drugs

If the conservative treatment fails to treat the puffy nipple condition in women, they may undergo surgical procedures to get rid of puffy nipples.

Adverse effects of treatment

The adverse effect of the treatment of puffy nipples may include;

  • Breast pain
  • Breastfeeding problem
  • Discharge from breasts
  • Infection
  • Abnormal shape of the breasts
  • Improper breast skin elasticity

 

Living with Puffy Nipples

Puffy nipple or gynecomastia is more of a cosmetic concern than a clinical/medical concern. Men with puffy nipples often get bullied because of their breast shape. 

They cannot remove their shirts on the beach because they feel embarrassed. So to get rid of that embarrassment, they want to fix the condition even by an invasive procedure like surgery. 

This condition becomes much more critical when the man is a model or body influencer. 

 

Takeaway

Puffy nipples are slightly inflamed nipples that predominantly occur in males with gynecomastia, obesity, high breast volume etc. 

The conservative Treatment of Animals may include certain exercises, diet, supplements and medicines. 

If the conservative treatment fails, the person may undergo surgical procedures to get rid of puffy nipples. 

 

 

Last Updated on May 31, 2022 by Learn From Doctor Team

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