Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Search in posts
Search in pages
Filter by Categories
15th National Conference of the IAOMFP, Chennai, 2006
Abstracts from current literature
Acne in India: Guidelines for management - IAA Consensus Document
Art & Psychiatry
Association Activities
Association Notes
Award Article
Book Review
Brief Report
Case Analysis
Case Letter
Case Letters
Case Notes
Case Report
Case Reports
Clinical and Laboratory Investigations
Clinical Article
Clinical Studies
Clinical Study
Conference Oration
Conference Summary
Continuing Medical Education
Cosmetic Dermatology
Current Best Evidence
Current Issue
Current View
Derma Quest
Dermato Surgery
Dermatosurgery Specials
Dispensing Pearl
Do you know?
Drug Dialogues
Editor Speaks
Editorial Remarks
Editorial Report
Editorial Report - 2007
Editorial report for 2004-2005
Fourth All India Conference Programme
From Our Book Shelf
From the Desk of Chief Editor
Get Set for Net
Get set for the net
Guest Article
Guest Editorial
How I Manage?
IADVL Announcement
IADVL Announcements
IJDVL Awards
IJDVL Awards 2018
IJDVL Awards 2019
IJDVL Awards 2020
IJDVL International Awards 2018
Images in Clinical Practice
In Memorium
Inaugural Address
Knowledge From World Contemporaries
Leprosy Section
Letter in Response to Previous Publication
Letter to Editor
Letter to the Editor
Letter to the Editor - Case Letter
Letter to the Editor - Letter in Response to Published Article
Letter to the Editor - Observation Letter
Letter to the Editor - Study Letter
Letter to the Editor - Therapy Letter
Letter to the Editor: Articles in Response to Previously Published Articles
Letters in Response to Previous Publication
Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor - Letter in Response to Previously Published Articles
Letters to the Editor: Case Letters
Letters to the Editor: Letters in Response to Previously Published Articles
Medicolegal Window
Miscellaneous Letter
Net Case
Net case report
Net Image
Net Letter
Net Quiz
Net Study
New Preparations
News & Views
Observation Letter
Observation Letters
Original Article
Original Contributions
Pattern of Skin Diseases
Pediatric Dermatology
Pediatric Rounds
Presedential Address
Presidential Address
Presidents Remarks
Report of chief editor
Report of Hon : Treasurer IADVL
Report of Hon. General Secretary IADVL
Research Methdology
Research Methodology
Resident page
Resident's Page
Resident’s Page
Residents' Corner
Residents' Corner
Residents' Page
Review Article
Review Articles
Reviewers 2022
Revision Corner
Self Assessment Programme
Seminar: Chronic Arsenicosis in India
Seminar: HIV Infection
Short Communication
Short Communications
Short Report
Special Article
Specialty Interface
Study Letter
Study Letters
Symposium - Contact Dermatitis
Symposium - Lasers
Symposium - Pediatric Dermatoses
Symposium - Psoriasis
Symposium - Vesicobullous Disorders
Symposium Aesthetic Surgery
Symposium Dermatopathology
Symposium-Hair Disorders
Symposium-Nails Part I
Symposium-Nails-Part II
Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses
Systematic Reviews and Meta-analysis
Therapeutic Guideline-IADVL
Therapeutic Guidelines
Therapeutic Guidelines - IADVL
Therapy Letter
Therapy Letters
View Point
What’s new in Dermatology
View/Download PDF

Translate this page into:

Observation Letter
89 (
); 304-306

Co-existence of hyperkeratosis of the nipple and supernumerary nipple in a young woman: Clinical and dermoscopic characteristics

Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Faculty of Medicine, TOBB Economics and Technology University, Ankara, Turkey
Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, TOBB Economics and Technology University, Ankara, Turkey
Corresponding author: Pinar Incel Uysal, Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology and Venereology, Faculty of Medicine, TOBB Economics and Technology University, Ankara, Turkey.
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-Share Alike 4.0 License, which allows others to remix, transform, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

How to cite this article: Incel Uysal P, Gunhan O. Co-existence of hyperkeratosis of the nipple and supernumerary nipple in a young woman: Clinical and dermoscopic characteristics. Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol 2023;89:304-6.


Nevoid hyperkeratosis of the nipple and/or areola is an uncommon, sporadic, and benign disorder characterized by hyperkeratotic, hyperpigmented and occasionally verrucous appearance of the nipple and/or areolae. Females are affected predominantly, and it may occur both unilaterally and bilaterally. Recent literature recommends to replace the term ‘nevoid’ with ‘idiopathic’.1,2 In addition to idiopathic, secondary causes include generalized dermatoses such as atopic dermatitis, ichthyosis, Darier’s disease, acanthosis nigricans and hormonal changes including pregnancy and estrogen replacement therapy.3 Supernumerary nipples indicate one or more extra nipples along the milk lines. This report, describes, to our knowledge, the first case of a young female with polycystic ovary syndrome presenting with bilateral hyperkeratotic nipple with concomitant supernumerary nipple.

A 23-year-old woman diagnosed with polycystic ovary syndrome was referred to our department with a 2-year history of a lesion on her right nipple. She had been treated with oral contraceptive pills for three months. The family history was unremarkable. She had used topical corticosteroids and emollients, without any improvement. On examination, we observed a dark-brown hyperkeratotic plaque with keratin plugs on her right nipple [Figure 1a]. The left nipple was also slightly hyperkeratotic [Figure 1b]. There was no discharge or tenderness. We also detected a brownish lesion, approximately 10 cm below her right areola [Figure 1a-b]. Dermoscopy of the hyperkeratotic lesion demonstrated brownish and pinkish structureless areas with branched and serpentine vessels within papillomatous structures [Figure 1c]. The other lesion beneath her right breast exhibited a cleft-like appearance and peripheral brownish thin and reticular lines on dermoscopy [Figure 1d]. Laboratory parameters were unremarkable, except for slightly elevated levels of dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (455 µg/dL (normal range: 148–407)). Histopatho- logical examination of the hyperkeratotic nipple lesion revealed basket-wave orthokeratosis and verruca-like filiform papillomatosis, consistent with the diagnosis of hyperkeratotic nipple areola [Figure 1e]. These findings correspond to brownish structureless areas and papillomatous surfaces on dermoscopy. Additionally, we observed anastomosing acanthosis and basal hyperpigmentation within the epidermis. Sub-epidermal connective tissue showed slight fibrosis. There was no cytological atypia in the epidermal cells. We considered epidermal nevus, acanthosis nigricans and seborrheic keratosis as the differentials, which were ruled out by histology. We started lactic acid treatment as the patient was concerned about cosmetic appearance. However, she refused any further diagnostic procedure and treatment for the supernumerary nipple and is currently under follow-up.

Figure 1a:: Slightly brownish hyperkeratosis is seen on the right inferolateral part of the nipple. Brownish plaque localised on the milk line on the underside of the right breast
Figure 1b:: Left nipple was almost normal except for fine scales
Figure 1c:: Dermoscopy of HNA shows thickened brownish structureless areas, tiny scales, papillomatous surface and serpentine and branching vessels (polarized dermoscopy, ×20 magnification)
Figure 1d:: Cleft-like appearance corresponding to the tip of nipple on dermoscopic examination. Peripheral thin reticular lines were also noted (Polarized dermoscopy ×20 magnification)
Figure 1e:: Nevoid hyperkeratosis of the nipple shows filiform papillomatosis and hyperorthokeratosis (Haematoxylin and eosin, ×40)

The exact pathophysiology of the nevoid hyperkeratosis of the nipple and/or areola (HNA) remains unclear. However, onset during pregnancy or immediately post-partum suggests the involvement of hormonal factors in its development.4 Furthermore, estrogen-induced hyperkeratosis of nipple/ areola in male patients further supports the hormonal etiology.5,6 As the disorder persisted for t two years in our patient, the recent history of short-term combined oral contraceptive (3 mg drospirenone and 0.02 mg ethinyl estradiol) treatment is unlikely to be responsible. As polycystic ovary syndrome is a relatively common disorder among the general population, it might occur co-incidentally, however the overlapping time of diagnosis in our patient may hint a possible etiologic association. This association may be explained by the unopposed hyperestrogenic state of polycystic ovary syndrome, similar to pregnancy-associated hyperkeratosis of nipple/areola.4

Supernumerary nipples are associated with several conditions including genetic disorders, but most arecoincidental, as in our patient. The diagnosis of supernumerary nipple in our patient was based on characteristic clinical and dermoscopic findings, as already described in literature.7 Dermoscopic examination of the nipple lesion revealed unfocused branching vessels, we were unable to find any previous report depicting similar dermoscopic findings. They were different from bright red sharply focused classical branching vessels of basal cell carcinoma. As we have observed, dermoscopic features of HNA may be described as blue-grey globules, papillomatous surface, pink homogeneous surface, scales, red dots and small erosions.8 It should be placed in the differential diagnoses of lesions which exhibit hyperkeratotic crusts along with arborizing vessels on dermoscopy.

Hyperkeratosis of nipple and/or areola is a rare treatment-resistant disorder mostly resulting in cosmetic disfigurement. Clinicians should be aware of this entity while encountering plaque lesions of the nipple/areola region. Further reports are required to demonstrate any association between polycystic ovary syndrome and this condition to further explore the involvement of hormonal pathways.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent.

Conflict of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

Financial support and sponsorship



  1. , , . Hyperkeratosis of the nipple and areola: Report of 3 cases. Arch Dermatol. 2001;137:1327-8.
    [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  2. , , . Nevoid hyperkeratosis of nipple: Nevoid or hormonal? Indian J Dermatol Venereol Leprol. 2006;72:384-6.
    [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  3. , , . Hyperkeratosis of the nipple and areola. In: StatPearls. .
    [Google Scholar]
  4. , , , . Pregnancy-associated hyperkeratosis of the nipple: A report of 25 cases. JAMA Dermatol. 2013;149:722-6.
    [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  5. , . Estrogen-induced hyperkeratosis of the nipple. Cutis. 1980;26:95-6.
    [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  6. , . Unilateral hyperkeratosis of nipple and areola associated with androgen insensitivity and oestrogen replacement therapy. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2001;15:376-7.
    [CrossRef] [Google Scholar]
  7. , . Dermoscopic features of accessory nipples. Int J Dermatol. 2007;46:1067-8.
    [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]
  8. , , , , , , et al. Nipple and areola lesions: Review of dermoscopy and reflectance confocal microscopy features. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2019;33:1837-46.
    [CrossRef] [PubMed] [Google Scholar]

Fulltext Views

PDF downloads
View/Download PDF
Download Citations
Show Sections