Supernumerary nipples

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Definition

Supernumerary nipples are the presence of extra nipples.

Alternative Names

Polymastia; Polythelia; Accessory nipples

Considerations

Extra nipples are fairly common. They are generally unrelated to other conditions or syndromes. The extra nipples usually occur in a line below the normal nipples. They are usually not recognized as extra nipples because they tend to be small and not well-formed.

Causes

Common causes of supernumerary nipples are:

  • Variation of normal development
  • Some rare genetic syndromes may be associated with supernumerary nipples

Home Care

Most people do not need treatment. The extra nipples do NOT develop into breasts at puberty.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Talk to your health care provider if there are extra nipples on an infant. Tell the provider if there are other symptoms.

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

The provider will do a physical exam. The provider may ask questions about the person's medical history. The number and location of extra nipples will be noted.

References

Felsch KN, Merritt DF. Breast concerns. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 551.

Patterson JW. Miscellaneous conditions. In: Patterson JW. Weedon's Skin Pathology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 19.

Smith RP. Breast: accessory nipples. In: Smith RP. Netter's Obstetrics and Gynecology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2008:chap 144.

Version Info

  • Last reviewed on 2/15/2016
  • Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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