Can I reduce the size of my nipples without surgery?

This might be a dumb question, but is it possible to reduce the size of my nipples without having surgery? I’m a big baby when it comes to anesthesia and I’ve also never had any type of surgery other than getting my tonsils out as a child. I just hate how far my nipples stick out and was hoping for an alternative to surgery.


F, 40, Virginia

Tags:nipples too large non surgical anesthesia

The issue you are concerned about (protruding nipples) is technically called nipple hypertrophy and is a very common concern. Many women—and some men— seek out plastic surgeons because they want smaller nipples.

Large nipples are often caused by breastfeeding, the aging process, or by gaining a significant amount of weight. It’s very common for a woman’s nipples and areolae to darken and increase in size following childbirth. In some cases the breasts will return to their former size and shape, but this is by no means the norm.

Decreasing the size and projection of large nipples requires surgery. The procedure is generally very straightforward and successful when performed by an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon. Usually it involves making tiny incisions and removing excess tissue to construct a more aesthetically pleasing breast.

Nipple reduction surgery is a fairly safe procedure with a low risk of complications. In some cases it is combined with other related or complementary procedures such as breast lifts or breast reductions for a more comprehensive effect.

People who decide to have nipple reduction surgery often find that their confidence increases following surgery, especially during sexual relations and when wearing clothes that leave the nipple more visible. For some patients this alone is enough to warrant having surgery.

Ideal candidates for nipple reduction surgery should be in good physical and mental health, have realistic expectations for the surgery, be non-smokers and not currently breastfeeding. To learn more, I suggest that you schedule a consultation with a local board-certified plastic surgeon.

There is good news and bad news. First the bad news. Unfortunately, there is no way to reduce the size of your nipples without surgery. There are a lot of snake oil salesmen out there claiming that everything from injections and creams to consumption of fish oil and soy beans will affect the size of your nipples. Don’t waste your money. There is no natural remedy or non-surgical way to reduce puffy nipples, big nipples or nipples that stick out.

The good news is that there is an effective way to reduce puffy nipples or nipples that project too much: surgery. Plastic surgery is the best solution — the only solution, in fact — to these concerns.

The best way to get started is to find a board-certified plastic surgeon with extensive experience performing breast and nipple surgery. Your plastic surgeon will evaluate your situation and let you know if you are a good candidate for nipple reduction surgery.

This kind of surgery is a simple procedure that can be performed in your doctor’s office under local anesthesia. The surgeon will mark the area to be treated.

There are a few techniques to reduce nipple size. The first is performed by excising a triangular wedge of tissue to reduce the length of the nipple. The only downside to this method is that there may be some loss of sensation. To avoid this problem a second method that involves removing a ring of tissue can be performed. A third technique involves pushing a portion of the nipple back into the breast so it doesn’t project as much.

Sorry, but there is no way to reduce the size of your nipples or achieve the desired shape without surgery. Ignore anything you read suggesting you can reduce nipple size through methods like chest exercises that work the upper chest and boost muscle mass. It’s pure nonsense.

One thing that can be a small factor is body type, or more specifically, body weight. Some patients are also able to reduce breast size as well as even nipple size, to an extent, through weight loss. Even if this doesn’t work, what’s the worst that can happen by trying to maintain a healthy diet, lose weight and achieve fat loss?

The reality, however, is that nipple reduction surgery is probably the solution. This procedure can be quite effective. In most cases it entails a simple in-office surgical procedure under local anesthesia. It usually takes less than an hour and involves minimal discomfort.