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Ask the Medical Expert Archives 2000-2004

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Breast Sensitivity
December 2000

Q. I am a 32-year-old mother of a 15-year-old. When I first became pregnant my breasts would be sensitive to cool weather. I have had this problem ever since. It has become more frequent in the last three years. I avoid being out in the chilly air; sometimes the pain is unbearable. It starts with the nipples hardening then goose bumps, both breasts will hurt almost like a burning sensation. I have been on no medication, no alcohol, no smoking and no caffiene. I have searched for information on this and I've asked around, but no ones ever heard of such a thing. Can you help me?

A. I performed several search inquiries in Medline, and also could not find any data on your question. However, in general, there are some people that have cold sensitivity to their extremities, in particular hands, feet, and often the ears and head. It therefore, seems possible to me to also have some cold sensitivity to one's breasts. I believe the obvious and prudent thing to do would be to dress as warmly as reasonably possible including using sweaters and scarf, etc. Ref: Ben Shiller, MD

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