About the disease
Abnormal breast areola is a condition whereby there are changes in the appearance of the nipple in certain situations. For example, the appearance of areola can exhibit an abnormal change in a reactive way, meaning that changes occur when they are touched or when there are changes in temperature. Abnormal breast areola can also develop as a response to certain hormonal changes.
Hormonal changes tend to develop during such periods as puberty, first menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. Pregnancy brings on major hormonal changes, especially to the appearance of the breasts, which swell and become visibly bigger. This happens because the milk ducts are activated. The nipples can change as well, becoming swollen and painful to touch, changing in color and even producing discharge before and after the birth of the child. During the menopause, the nipples can also become dry and painful. Some women experience pain in the nipples before or during their menstruation cycles, due to monthly hormonal changes. All these changes are considered to be normal and are rarely a cause for major concern.
However, sometimes breast areola change for no apparent reason. Some women are born with inverted or retracted nipples as a congenital condition. Abnormal nipple discharges can be caused by fibroadenomas, polyps and even infections. In this case, the discharge from the breasts may have a green or yellow tinge to it. Breast cancer can also cause the development of abnormal breast areola.
- Swollen areola
- Change in color
- Painful to touch
- Look different from usual
- Discharge that is pus-like
- Bumps or lumps in the areola area
- During a general examination, the doctor will palpate the patient’s breasts to check for bumps or lumps.
- The doctor will ask the woman about her menstrual cycle and her hormonal balance.
- Hormonal tests may be performed to analyze the patient’s hormonal levels.
- A mammogram, which is an imaging test, is used to examine the breasts and rule out the possibility of various abnormal formations.
- A fine needle aspiration biopsy can also be useful in examining the cells of the abnormal breast areola and can determine why the abnormality has developed.
- A doctor may prescribe hormonal treatment to normalize the patient’s hormonal balance if the problems were caused by hormonal changes.
- Resection of bumps, lumps or any other malformations may be recommended if the doctor suspects malignancy, or if the patient is in a high risk group for breast cancer.
- Plastic surgery can also improve the appearance of the areola if the woman is dissatisfied with how they look.