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Drugs and diseases reference index

Diseases reference index «Subareolar abscess»

Subareolar abscessSubareolar abscessSubareolar abscess

A subareolar abscess is an abscess or growth on the areolar gland, which is located in the breast under or below the areola (colored area around nipple).


The cause of a subareolar abscess is a blockage of the small glands or ducts under the areola, with development of an infection under the skin.

This is an uncommon problem that affects younger or middle-aged women who are not breastfeeding. There are no known risk factors.


  • Drainage and possible pus from lump beneath areolar area (colored area around nipple)
  • Fever
  • General ill-feeling
  • Swollen, tender lump beneath areolar area (colored area around nipple)

Exams and Tests

The health care provider will perform a breast exam. An ultrasound examination of the breast may be recommended in some cases.


Subareolar abscesses are treated with antibiotics and by opening and draining the infected tissue. This can be done in a doctor's office with local numbing medicine (anesthesic). However, if the abscess returns, the affected glands should be surgically removed.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Prognosis is good after surgical treatment.

Possible Complications

Subareolar abscesses tend to recur until the affected glands are surgically removed.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Contact your health care provider if you develop a painful lump under the nipple or areola.

Alternative Names

Abscess - areolar gland; Areolar gland abscess