First there are those little bumps that almost all women have, not the nipples obvi, but the little pimple-esque bumps around the nipple. Those are called areolar glands, or glands of Montgomery, and the only gross thing about them is that they're named after a man (😀). They are not pimples, so do not squeeze them and try to pop them. Their function is to make little oily secretions that keep the areola and nipple lubricated and protected, and when the nipple is.
Most women have anywhere between four and 28 of these glands around their nipples and areola. Despite the rumor that women are naturally hairless, like slick, shiny bowling balls, about 30 percent of us also have a few little hairs around our areola. These hairs are very much normal, and a big moment in most female friend groups is the first time you all openly address your nipple hairs with each other. But if you're really concerned about what others might think when they catch a glimpse of your baby hair friend, yes, it's OK to pluck it. Just do it after your shower, when your pores are more open. Some women (about 10 percent, as studies have shown) have nipples that don't stick out, but lie flat or sort of fall back into the breast. This is called inverted nipples, and while they might not be. They're just, like, cool indie-alt nipples that listen to bands you've never heard of.
Colen, inverted nipples are a result of the tissue that connects your nipple to your breast being a bit shorter. Colen also said that — while women can come to her practice to get their inverted nipples surgically everted — inverted nipples are totally functional. Meaning yes, you can breastfeed with inverted nipples, and yes, you can still get turned on when someone plays with your inverted nipples. Having them surgically altered is just an aesthetic choice. Some women have two inverted nipples, others might just have one. Colen puts it, no two breasts (or nipples) are the same — even when they're on the same woman. But pay close attention to the state of your nips, because according to Dr. Cate, an inverted nipple can, in some cases, be a sign of breast cancer. "If the nipple has previously stuck out and starts to invert, or to sink in, this can be a sign," she said. So if you've noticed a change like that, get it checked out. You should give your boobs a self-exam at least once a month, but TBH just do them every day in the shower. There are some things to look for, other than breast lumps, that could be signs of cancer. "Dry, cracking skin with bleeding can be indicative of breast cancer, known as Paget's," Dr. "In addition, spontaneous nipple discharge that comes from one nipple only can be a sign of a breast cancer." Even though the average age of breast cancer diagnosis is 61, younger women can get it, too, so don't just write off suspicious nipple activity as your nipples being weird. To sum up: If your nipples have always been the way they are, they're normal. If they've changed a lot recently, or just one has changed, that's not normal and you should take your nipples to a doctor. Everyone has a differently-shaped areola — AKA the pigmented skin that surrounds the nipple. Genetics has the biggest role in determining the size, appearance, and color of the areola. Puberty, periods, and pregnancy can also change the appearance of the areola over time. A nipple's appearance can also be altered with plastic surgery. These are some of the creative items people have used to describe the size of the pigmented skin surrounding the nipple, aka the areola. Everyone with nipples has areola — it just comes with the territory. But why are some people in the quarter size range while others are much larger? The not shocking truth is that everyone's nipples are a different size, and that's perfectly fine. "The areola are as variable as the breast that they're on," says Katharine O'Connell White, MD, MPH, director, Fellowship in Family Planning, department of OB-GYN at Boston University, Boston Medical Center. That means, in terms of size and shape, there's a very wide range of what is "normal" for areola.
"Genetics has the biggest role in both the size, appearance, and even color of the areola," Dr.
Areola size is something that you inherit from your parents, just like your breast and foot size, or your freckle pattern. That said, there are a few factors that can change the size, color, and shape of your areola over time, like puberty, periods, and of course, pregnancy.