Nipple Discharge in Teens: Care Instructions

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Your Care Instructions

Fluid leaking from one or both nipples when you are not breastfeeding is called nipple discharge. Clear, cloudy, or white discharge that appears only when you press on your nipple is usually normal. The more the nipple is pressed or stimulated, the more fluid appears. Yellow, green, or brown discharge is not normal and may be a symptom of an infection or other problem.

Spontaneous discharge appears without any pressing or stimulating of the nipple. This is not normal unless you are pregnant or breastfeeding. It may be a side effect of a medicine, or it may be caused by other health problems. The treatment of spontaneous nipple discharge depends on what is causing it. You may need more tests to find out what is causing the nipple discharge.

Most of the time, nipple discharge in teens isn't serious. But talk with your doctor if you have worries or concerns.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How can you care for yourself at home?

  • If your doctor gave you medicine, take it exactly as prescribed. Call your doctor if you think you are having a problem with your medicine.
  • Wear a supportive bra, such as a sports bra or jog bra.
  • Avoid stimulating your breast until you have your follow-up appointment.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have swelling, redness, or pain in your breast.
  • You have new discharge from your nipple that looks like pus or blood.
  • You have new changes in your breast, such as:
    • A lump or thickening in your breast or armpit.
    • A change in the size or shape of your breast.
    • Skin changes, such as a dimple or pucker.
    • A change in the shape of a nipple (the nipple may look like it is being pulled into the breast).
    • A change in the color or feel of the skin of your breast or the darker area around the nipple (areola).

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor if:

  • You do not get better as expected.

Where can you learn more?

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The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.