Summary Paraffin injection was regarded as a simple and effective method of improving body contour. It was widely used in breast augmentation until the long-term complication of paraffinoma was recognised. Paraffinoma of the breast can present as a spectrum of disease ranging from a painless mass to a destructive ulcer simulating breast cancer. This makes it difficult to make the correct diagnosis and provide suitable treatment. Eight patients with paraffinoma of the breast have been managed at a teaching hospital over a 10 year period. All were females, with a mean age of 65.6 years (range: 57–73 years). The average time between paraffin injection and the onset of symptoms was 24 years (range: 11–30 years). These patients have been followed up for between 3 and 10 years (mean: 6.1 years). One patient died of congestive heart failure 4 years after bilateral mastectomy for painful paraffinomas of the breasts. Another patient had a coexisting infiltrative ductal carcinoma of the breast. The clinical presentations, radiological appearances, histopathological features and the treatment are discussed.