White spot on nipple
I have a white spot on my nipple
If you notice a small white dot at the end of your nipple, this could be thickened milk, or a layer of skin, which is preventing milk from coming out of the nipple pore.
If the white spot lasts for a few days or even a few weeks, but you are not in any pain, it isn’t a problem.
If, however, you are experiencing pain – usually, a shooting, intense pain on the breast which has the white spot, then there are several steps that you can take to rectify the situation:
The first one is to look at your baby’s attachment at the breast. Look at positioning and ensure that it’s as comfortable as it can be.
If you notice there is a thickened skin causing the blockage, this is called a nipple blister. Look at the information relating to this.
If the blockage is caused by solidified milk, perhaps even a string of milk, then this is a white spot.
When your baby is latched on well and breastfeeding frequently, this can often release the thickened milk, and using hand expression can also help to resolve the situation.
Allow your baby to feed at the breast in a comfortable position, enabling the draining of the breast.
You may also need to scrape some of the thickened milk away with a very clean fingernail.
If you find that breastfeeding itself isn’t enough to dislodge the thickened milk, then it may be necessary to apply warm, wet compresses, or have a bath or shower beforehand, to soften the area.
Coupled with the feeding itself and hand expression, this may be all that is needed.
If these measures are still not working, it may be necessary to use a saline soak beforehand to encourage the milk duct to open a little and also to aid the healing.
It can also be advantageous, before you feed your baby, to squeeze the areola/nipple area, to see if you can squeeze some of the thickened milk from the duct itself.
If these measures are still not enough to resolve the situation, try soaking a ball of cotton wool with olive oil, leaving it in your bra for a few hours.
Doing this will soften the skin of the nipple and enable you to peel away the hardened milk.
Sometimes it may be necessary to take a few extra measures in these situations, and one of them is to seek help from your doctor, who may need to use a sterile needle to release the thickened, hardened milk.
A lot of mothers tell me that once that white spot has gone, there has been instant relief.
However, some mothers have had to employ preventative measures to stop a recurrence of this.
Some women have found that using a daily saline soak and a quick wash with a face cloth for a couple of weeks can prevent a recurrence.
Studies have also shown that reducing your intake of saturated fats and taking a capsule of lecithin (1200mg) 3-4 times a day can help to prevent these blockages.
White spots are a temporary trouble, and using the strategies that I’ve mentioned will usually rectify them.
However, if you feel that things are still not resolved, please seek out further help.
Review dates, references & further resources
Version 1.1 published in March 2019. Next review date: Jan 2022
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