Breasts come in all different shapes and sizes, this rings true with nipples too. “Is this normal?” is a question we ask ourselves a lot while we are developing and even as our body changes when we get older. Are my nipples supposed to be that color? Why is there hair there? What are those little bumps around my nipple?
When we say “normal”, we don’t mean in appearance, no two nipples are alike, there is no standard, the nipples you were given are perfect for you. That’s why checking yourself is important, it helps know what your normal nipple is and when something is wrong. These things can be scary or confusing when breasts are developing, but don’t fret, we are going to get to the bottom of nipple health by answering a few frequently asked questions.
Is dark hair around my nipple normal?
Yes, our bodies are covered with hair, most of it tends to be so light and fine that it’s not visible, but sometimes thicker hairs can form around the areola. This is super normal and you have nothing to worry about it. If they bother you, you can trim them carefully with small scissors, shaving or plucking can irritate the area and cause infection.
What color, size or shape should my nipple and areola be?
Nipples vary in color, some women have dark brown nipples, some light pink, some red, it’s even normal for areolas to change color depending on the situation. Sometimes each breast can have a different sized areola or even a different shape than the other. Nipples can even stick out (become erect) all the time, not just when you’re cold. Whatever color or size or shape your nipple is naturally, is perfect! There is no reason to worry or change them.
Is nipple discharge normal?
Yes and no. Some discharge can be normal and may happen for many reasons, like rubbing on the area from a shirt or bra, stopping breast feeding or use of certain medicines. The color can range from milky, clear, yellow, green or brown and doesn’t indicate whether its harmful or not. What to look for in abnormal discharge is blood, the discharge only coming from one breast and if it happens without you squeezing or touching it. Discharge can be caused by breast cancer, so if you are having abnormal discharge, contact your doctor to know for sure!
What are those bumps around my nipple?
Don’t worry, those tiny bumps around the areola are called Montgomery glands and are supposed to be there. Sometimes they are visible and sometimes not. They can appear white and can become more visible during pregnancy. It is best to leave them be because squeezing and popping them can cause infection!
Now that you know what’s normal for nipples, pledge to do a self-breast check once a month to protect your boobies. If you know your “normal”, you’ll know when something’s wrong and could possibly save your life.