Supernumerary nipple is a medical term to describe the presence of one or more "extra" nipples that might be present on a person's body. These are equally common in both males and females, and they are always benign (not life-threatening or cancerous).
Who's At Risk
Anyone can be born with a supernumerary nipple. They do not usually develop later in life, though they may become more or less noticeable. Some doctors believe that supernumerary nipples tend to occur within families.
Signs and Symptoms
The supernumerary nipple is commonly noticed in infancy or childhood. It usually appears as a small tan or brown freckle or mole that is present somewhere on the abdomen, typically in a vertical line downward from the usual nipple. More rarely, the freckle or mole looks distinctly nipple-like, with a small dimple in the middle and a lighter surrounding area that resembles the areola (the pigmented area around the raised part of the nipple). Very rarely, there is some breast tissue present underneath the supernumerary nipple. Sometimes there is more than one supernumerary nipple; there can be one on each side or two or more extending in a vertical line down the abdomen on one side. Supernumerary nipples are not itchy or painful, nor do they have other symptoms associated with them.
There is no need to attempt any home self-care for a supernumerary nipple.
When to Seek Medical Care
A person with a supernumerary nipple (or his/her parents) might chose to have it removed by a simple surgical procedure, which is really the only reason to seek medical care. In the case of a supernumerary nipple in a baby, it would make sense to wait until the baby has reached middle childhood to see if the nipple naturally becomes less obvious rather than seek surgical care in infancy.
Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe
Your child's doctor will help you decide if the child needs to be referred to a dermatologist or a surgeon to discuss surgical removal of the supernumerary nipple.
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