Thursday, February 23, 2012

Nipple on the sole of the foot

Supernumerary nipples (SNs) are not uncommon and congenital anomalies (1 in 18 males and 1 in 50 female humans.). Accessory nipples are often mistaken for moles. Most occur along the embryonic milk lines but one unusual example is an ectopic nipple on the foot. In humans, the embryonic milk line extends bilaterally from a point slightly beyond the axillae on the arms, down the chest and the abdomen toward the groin, and is generally thought to end at the proximal inner sides of the thighs. When supernumerary nipples appear complete with breast tissue and ducts they are referred to as polymastia.  From antiquity supernumerary nipples held magical powers and were attributed to increased femininity and fertility. Supernumerary nipples in men were a sign of virility and endowed them with divine powers. The first medical report dates back to 1878 when Leichtenstern estimated the prevalence of supernumerary nipples to be 1 in 500 (0.2%). In folklore, an extra nipple was held to be indicative that the woman concerned was a witch - the nipple being used to suckle the devil.

Balakrishnan T, and Madaree A 2010 Case report: Ectopic nipple on the sole of the foot, an unexplained anomaly J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. Dec; 63(12):2188-90.

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