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Nipple pain is a difficult topic to talk about for men because of the social embarrassment of the topic. This is unfortunate because a number of men all over the world and of all different ages suffer from problems in their breasts and nipples.

Causes of Nipple Pain

Repeated Friction

This is the most common cause of nipple soreness and pain and occurs due to the rubbing of the nipple against the fabric of a shirt, particularly during exercises demanding physical exertion. Clothing which is tight fitting and does not use material built for sports is most likely to cause such a reaction.

Development of Cysts

If the pain in the nipples is associated with any lump or swelling then it should be examined by the doctor at the earliest. For males, the cause of this lump is commonly due to the formation of cysts underneath the nipple because of repeated infections.

Altered Hormone levels

An increase in the estrogen levels in the body can lead to a growth of the breast tissue in men. This condition is called gynecomastia. One of the side effects of this condition is an associated pain and swelling in the nipples.

There will be some other clinical features that will be apparent in this condition including a reduction in body hair, change in voice and sometimes even a decrease in the testicular size.


This term refers to an inflammation of the breast tissue. This could occur due to any reason, however, bacterial infection is the most common one among them. The bacteria usually gain injury to the breast tissue through a crack in the skin as obtained during an injury, scratch or maybe a fall.

Nipple piercings also introduce bacteria into the breast tissue leading to the development of inflammation.

Side Effect Of Medication

There are certain medications that can cause nipple pain as a side effect. Certain diuretics used in the treatment of hypertension or the use of anabolic steroids being taken for any purpose (medicine/athletic) can cause this side effect.

In such cases, simply discontinuing the medication should resolve the problem.

Alcohol Abuse

Liver damage is one of the most well-known side effects of alcohol abuse and this can also cause a change in the way that fat is stored in the body. It has been seen that the body can start to redistribute fat to other areas, such as the male breasts and result in pain and inflammation of the nipples due to stretching.

Radiation Damage

A person who is undergoing radiation treatment for the treatment of a cancerous lesion faces a number of side effects. If the nipple is in the line of the way of the radiation then it is also likely to get inflamed and become painful.

The patient should get in touch with the doctor and find out if a shield is possible to be used to minimize this damage.

Male Breast Cancer

A lot of the people are unaware that even males can develop breast cancer , although it is relatively uncommon. The clinical findings will show the presence of a lump and usually be associated with gynecomastia.

Breast cancer in males can also spread to other parts of the body including the bone, lungs, nearby lymph nodes and more.    

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