My Nipples Normal?
Do you worry- Are my nipples
too big, too small? Or are my nipples inverted? Here is a guide to tell
if your nipples are normal.
is a large natural variety in nipples. There are two parts to the nipple
area-- the areola, or the darker skin surrounding the nipple, and the
actual nipple itself.
The size and color of the areola can differ greatly. Areolas can be dark,
they can form a distinct ring (so you can see a round area of darker skin
around the nipple), or they can be very light and fade
out so it is difficult to see the edges. A normal breast can have large
or small areolas-- or appear to have no areola at all. Areolas can be
big or small, light or dark, all are normal variations.
Normal nipples, and Inverted nipple
The nipple can vary in size and shape. There are generally two "types"
normal and inverted.
A "normal" nipple will stick out when erect. An inverted nipple
will be inward, like an innie belly button. It may look like a hole that
Nipples can be large
or small. They can stick out a lot or be almost flat. Nipples can be "puffy",
where the areola and nipple are puffy and stick outward; or they can be
flat. The nipple and areola can also shrivel up and look like a wrinkly
mound when cold. Nipples may stick out all the time, or stay flat unless
they are stimulated by cold or touch (this is very common in teenagers).
Bumps on the areola, around the nipple, are completely normal. They are
called Montgomery glands. Do not pick at or squeeze the glands or they
can become infected. Sometimes the glands are barely noticeable, or they
can stick out and be noticeable.
Hair on Nipples
Some hair around the nipple is normal. However, if there is excessive
hair around a woman's nipple it can be a sign of hirsutism.
Dry, flaky skin around the nipple can be normal. If it is excessive or
is bothering you, it could be a sign of eczema or "jogger's nipple"--
meaning the nipple is being rubbed by clothing, irritating the skin. Try
applying moisturizer, and putting vaseline or tape over the nipple when
This can be normal, especially in women that have had children in the
past. Talk to a doctor if you are worried.
- Discharge with
This can be a sign of cancer, so see a doctor if you have this.
- Extra Nipples
About 1 in 50 people (men and women) have more than two nipples. Extra
nipples are usually not formed as well as normal nipples.
- Excessive Hair
In women, this can be a sign of Hirsutism, which has many causes.
- Inverted Nipple
Inverted nipples are actually fairly common. The nipple goes inward,
like an innie belly button. They can cause some problems with nursing
so talk to a doctor if you are concerned.
- Nipple that suddenly
A normal "outie" nipple that becomes inverted can be a sign
of cancer so be sure to see a doctor.
- Itchy, scaly nipples
of different types of normal nipples
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