Raynaud's phenomenon of the nipple

Obstet Gynecol. 2012 Feb;119(2 Pt 2):447-449. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e31822c9a73.


Background: Raynaud's phenomenon is a well-described pathologic state in which there is episodic vasospasm followed by vasodilation. It is described most commonly in the digits but also has been shown to affect the nipple vasculature. Raynaud's phenomenon of the nipple may result in discontinuation of breastfeeding secondary to pain and disruption of the maternal-infant bonding process.

Cases: We present the cases of two patients with painful breastfeeding associated with color changes of the nipple. Owing to a clinical presentation similar to fungal infections, the patients were treated repeatedly with antifungals before the correct diagnosis was made. Symptoms resolved with a course of nifedipine.

Conclusion: Increased awareness in the obstetric field will lead to appropriate diagnoses, earlier treatment and relief, and more successful breastfeeding experiences.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Breast Feeding
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Nifedipine / therapeutic use
  • Nipples / physiopathology*
  • Pain / etiology
  • Raynaud Disease / complications
  • Raynaud Disease / diagnosis*
  • Raynaud Disease / drug therapy
  • Vasodilator Agents / therapeutic use
  • Young Adult


  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Nifedipine