Woman holding a post-it note with a smiling face and dimples.

Understanding Breast Dimpling: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Breast dimpling, or skin indentation, is a concerning symptom for many women. However, while it can be a sign of inflammatory breast cancer, a rare but serious disease, it can also be caused by dead fatty tissue.

Below, we will explore this condition’s common causes and symptoms so you know what to look for and what treatment options are available. 

What Does Dimpling Breast Skin Look Like?

Breast dimpling occurs when the skin on the breast appears to be pulled inward or puckered. You may notice that your skin’s texture looks like an orange peel’s uneven surface. 

A change in the underlying breast tissue often causes dimpling. It should not be confused with stretch marks that also appear on the breast and under your armpits. However, if you notice dimpling or even slight puckering, you’ll want to inform your doctor.

Common Causes of Breast Dimpling

Breast dimpling can be caused by a variety of factors, including:

Both fat necrosis, which may result from breast injury or trauma, and fibrocystic changes, which may cause cysts to develop, are noncancerous; nevertheless, it’s best to notify your doctor of any changes in the appearance or texture of your breast, so you can get screened and rule out any serious issues.

Symptoms of Breast Dimpling

In addition to noticing indented and uneven skin around the breast area, you may also experience changes around the nipple, areola, or near the underarm.

Common symptoms may include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Scaling 

In some cases, a lump may also be present (again, this may or may not be due to fibrocystic changes). Document any abnormalities and contact your clinician to discuss the issue and the next steps for diagnosis. 

Diagnosing Breast Dimpling

Breast dimpling is typically diagnosed through physical examination and imaging tests, such as diagnostic mammography or ultrasound

A biopsy may also be performed to confirm the diagnosis if a radiologist suspects breast cancer. 

Treatment Options for Breast Dimpling

The treatment for breast dimpling depends on the underlying cause. For example, if it is caused by breast cancer, treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination. 

If a benign condition causes dimpling to occur, treatment may involve monitoring the condition or surgical removal. But, again, it’s important to discuss treatment options with a healthcare professional. From there, your healthcare team can determine the best course of action for your unique situation.

Other Changes to Your Breast

In addition to dimpling or puckering, be sure to keep an eye on these other symptoms:

  • Lump in the breast: A lump in the breast can be a breast cancer symptom, but it can also indicate a cyst, infection, or other benign conditions.
  • Nipple changes: Look for any unusual discharge of any color or a difference in the shape of one nipple and changes to the area around the nipples, including scaly, red, or swollen skin.
  • Changes to breast shape: Be alert for any change in your breast’s size or shape, including dimpling, unexplained swelling or shrinkage, or recent asymmetry. Most women have one breast larger than the other, which is entirely normal; however, if it occurs suddenly, that’s when to mention it to your doctor.
  • Pain: Contact your doctor if you notice unexplained pain in or around the breast, including under the arms, on the chest, and just below the breasts.

Get Your Breast Health Screening Today

If you, or a loved one, experience any breast changes that are associated with breast cancer symptoms, talk with your doctor, who may recommend additional exams, including a mammogram.

At The Breast Center of Maple Grove, we’re here for all your breast imaging needs. You’ll find a relaxing, comfortable environment at our center paired with state-of-the-art technology. This ensures you receive the support and accurate diagnosis you need to take the next step in your journey to better health. 

We also offer convenient appointment times that fit around your busy schedule, as well as walk-in appointments. 

For questions or more information, please call us at 763-398-6370 or fill out our online form today. One of our team members will return your message within 24 hours. 

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