Nipples. We don't often talk about those, huh? Big, small, large, round, small, lopsided, we all have them. Just like our beautiful faces, they are individual and unique all in their own special way.
Oftentimes though, we have ... questions. Nipple questions. Questions you may not bring up to your girlfriends because, well, who actually brings up the topic of nipples these days over a glass of pinot grigio at Friday night cocktail hour? Not me, that's for damn sure.
So I'm sure you want to know: What are normal nipples? We answer that question and more in our guide to nipple health, here:
1. What is a "normal" size of a the areola? Generally the areola, the darkened area around your nipple, is on average around 1.5 inches, or 4.7 centimeters in diameter. However, having smaller or larger areolas is not an anomaly and absolutely nothing to worry about. Areola size can be impacted by genetics, and is also affected if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
2. What colors are "normal" for the areola? Areolas can be many shades, all of which are considered normal. Pink, dark brown, tan, and beige are standard.
3. Is discharge from the nipples normal? It depends what it looks like. If your breasts have been squeezed or compressed excessively or you've been aroused, then it's normal to see a slight off-white or clear discharge. However, if you see a bloody discharge -- head immediately to see a doctor; that is never normal. Either way, though, if you see discharge regularly and are not breastfeeding or pregnant, consulting with a doctor is recommended.
4. Should I be alarmed if I have small bumps on my areola? Oftentimes, small bumps on the areola could be Montgomery glands. Their purpose? To provide breasts with lubrication. You'll notice these bumps are higher when you're aroused. If you see that these bumps have increased in number or size, consult a doctor.
5. Are dry nipples problematic? Truthfully, they can be an indication of Paget's Disease, a rare form of breast cancer. They can also be just that, dry. Just like the rest of your body, it is important to give your girls the dose of moisturizer they deserve. If dryness and itchiness is persistent, seek medical advice.
Do you find this information helpful? Do you have your own nipple concerns?
Image via Caitlinator/Flickr