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White Spot on The Nipple - Milk Blebs

What is a nipple bleb/blister?

A nipple bleb is a white dot that appears on the face of the nipple. A blister is a layer of skin that covers a pore in the nipple. Both can cause significant nipple pain and result in a plugged duct up into the breast tissue.

What causes a nipple bleb/blister?

The cause is not fully understood. Some think a bleb is the result of excess skin/old milk accumulating inside the nipple pore. Others have noted that a bleb either appears to be the possible cause of a plugged duct or the end result of a plugged duct/mastitis (tiny residual of milk moves down the duct and ends up in the nipple pore) A nipple blister is often the result of friction or high vacuum.

How to treat a nipple bleb/blister

  • Correct your baby’s latch
  • Turn down the vacuum pressure on your pump. You may also want to experiment with different sized pump flanges.
  • Soak the affected nipple in a bowl of warm water and Epsom salts.
  • Using your fingers, gently “work” the plug.  Use a soft cloth to rub the surface of the nipple.
  • Apply Polysporin to the nipple after rubbing/squeezing.
  • You may need to repeat the treatment several times before the bleb/blister resolves.
  • A nursing baby will often help to remove the bleb.
  • If the bleb/blister is persistent, consider contacting your health care provider. They can use a sterile needle to help remove the bleb.

What happens if I am unable to resolve the bleb/blister?

Sometimes a nipple bleb/blister will result in a plugged duct. Some mothers have blebs/blisters which cause them no pain or plugged ducts. It is suggested that these women simply leave the bleb/blister alone. The nursing baby will eventually remove the bleb/blister.