Nursing diagnosis Nipple areolar complex injury

Nipple-areolar complex injury

Nipple-areolar complex injury

Domain 11. Safety-protection
Class 2. Physical injury
Diagnostic Code: 00320
Nanda label: Nipple-areolar complex injury
Diagnostic focus: Injury

A primary nursing diagnosis of nipple-areolar complex injury is an example of the situations and diseases that a nurse must attend to with the utmost care and attention. This type of injury involves an extensive area that encompasses the entire chest wall, from the nipple line to the rib cage, and is especially vulnerable when a patient is exposed to radiotherapeutic treatments. Nursing interventions for this type of injury requires specialized knowledge and skills to minimize possible physical and psychological effects for the patient.

Table of Contents

NANDA Nursing Diagnosis Definition

Nanda Nursing diagnosis for a nipple-areolar complex injury consists of a set of expected outcomes that a nurse can achieve by assessing the patient’s condition and formulating appropriate interventions. In short, it helps doctors and nurses in treating the affected area and preventing the spread of any bacteria or viruses.

Defining Characteristics

Subjective Defining Characteristics of a nipple-areolar complex injury include discomfort when touching, itching, redness and pain on compression followed by blisters, swelling and/or ulceration in some cases. Other subjective characteristics may include a feeling of warmth, altered nipple shape and sensitivity they may also feel a sensation of burning or stinging.

Objective Defining Characteristics of a nipple-areolar complex injury include skin breakdown, edema, abnormal color, exudate and surface irritations. When observing a nipple-areolar complex injury closely, signs of infection such as purulent discharge, lymphangitis, and hyperemia could be noted.

Related Factors

Several factors can place a patient at risk of developing a nipple-areolar complex injury. These include: radiation therapy, use of certain topical creams and lotions, frequent pressure from bandages or medical devices, trauma from surgery, allergic reactions, and bacterial or viral infections.

At Risk Population

Patients that are most prone to developing a nipple-areolar complex injury are those with weakened immune systems, newborns, elderly individuals, recipients of ionizing radiation, those with pre-existing skin conditions, such as eczema, and those undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

Associated Conditions

The associated conditions associated with a nipple-areolar complex injury include eczematous dermatitis, allergic contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, secondary syphilis, candidiasis, tinea corporis, inflammatory dermatoses, especially impetigo and herpes infection.

Suggestions of Use

When attending to a nipple-areolar complex injury, nursing interventions should be tailored to meet the individual needs of the patient. First of all, the affected area should be carefully assessed and monitored on a regular basis. Appropriate wound dressings should be applied, if needed, as well as systemic antibiotics if prescribed. Furthermore, education regarding proper hygiene and avoidance of skin irritants should be provided to the patient.

Suggested Alternative Nanda Nursing Diagnosis

Alternative Nanda Nursing Diagnosis for a nipple-areolar complex injury includes Diaphoresis, Impaired Skin Integrity, Risk for impaired Skin integrity, Pain associated with Injury, Risk for infection, Knowledge Deficit related to Care of Injury and Risk for impaired Urinary Elimination.

Usage Tips

It is important to be aware of the potential causes and associated conditions of a nipple-areolar complex injury before deciding on the best course of action. Also, ensure the appropriate technique and prevention methods are strictly followed to avoid further complications or the recurrence of the symptoms. All the while, recognize that the patient has underlying physical and psychological needs that will have to be addressed as well.

NOC Outcomes

The NOC Outcomes for a nipple-areolar complex injury includes: Skin Integrity, Comfort, Coping, Knowledge (about Skin Care), Family Dynamics, Family Coping and Family Knowledge.

Explanation of Each

  • Skin Integrity – Maintaining intact skin is essential to ensure the patient’s overall health and protect them against further infections.
  • Comfort – Providing comfort to the patient to help them manage their distress.
  • Coping – Promoting positive coping strategies to enable the patient to effectively manage their condition.
  • Knowledge (about Skin Care) – Educating patients on how to care for their skin appropriately to promote healing and reduce discomfort.
  • Family Dynamics – Assisting family members in adapting their roles to the patient’s health condition.
  • Family Coping – Encouraging family members to actively participate in the patient care plan.
  • Family Knowledge – Enhancing the family’s knowledge about the patient’s condition and care measures.

Evaluation Objectives and Criteria

The nurse should evaluate a nipple-areolar complex injury by looking at whether the patient’s symptoms have improved, their comfort level has increased, and their wound is healing properly without any signs of infection or further injury.

NIC Interventions

The NIC Interventions for a nipple-areolar complex injury includes: Skin Care, Wound Care, Pain Management, Activity Intolerance (for infants), Nutrition Management, Stress Reduction and Discharge Planning.

Explanation of Each

  • Skin Care - Providing direct care to improve and maintain the patient’s skin condition.
  • Wound Care - Applying appropriate dressing, cleansing and debriding techniques.
  • Pain Management - Providing the patient with the necessary treatment to relieve the pain caused by the injury.
  • Activity Intolerance (for infants) - Preventing excessive strain on the infant by encouraging rest periods.
  • Nutrition Management - Creating and implementing dietary plans to address a patient's nutritional needs.
  • Stress Reduction - Using non-pharmacologic and pharmacologic methods to reduce stress levels.
  • Discharge Planning – Assisting patients in preparing for discharge and providing them with information about care and follow-up measures.

Nursing Activities

Nursing activities for a nipple-areolar complex injury often involve the following:

  • Monitoring the patient’s wound on regular basis
  • Cleaning the wound with an appropriate antiseptic
  • Applying a suitable dressing over the affected area
  • Providing wound care instructions to the patient and their family
  • Educating the patient regarding proper care and use of medical devices
  • Referring the patient to the appropriate specialist if needed
  • Administering medications as prescribed
  • Monitoring the patient’s response to treatment
  • Helping the patient to create a suitable care plan
  • Providing emotional support


In summary, a primary nursing diagnosis of nipple-areolar complex injury requires careful assessment and interventions tailored to the patient’s needs so as to help them best manage their condition and optimize their healing. Nurses must provide comprehensive education, correct wound dressings, and appropriate medications as well as show empathy towards the patient to ensure their recovery is both fast and successful.

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