Nipple discharge

Nipple discharge is common and is not usually anything to worry about. Discharge can vary in colour and can be white, green or black.

There are a number of milk ducts that open up on to the surface of the nipple. These milk ducts contain fluid and this fluid can sometimes come out of the milk ducts.

Occasionally, raw skin around the nipple due to eczema can cause discharge.

Nipple discharge itself is not usually a sign of breast cancer.

Speak to your GP practice if:

You have nipple discharge that is:

  • from one duct
  • clear yellow in colour
  • contains blood

Managing nipple discharge

You should try to avoid rubbing the nipple. This will help skin plugs to form and reduce the discharge

Raw skin around the nipple that’s caused by eczema can be managed with eczema treatments.

Surgery is sometimes offered if nipple discharge is very problematic but this can cause side effects. For example, surgery can leave the nipple numb and it prevents breast feeding.


Last updated:
18 October 2023