There’s nothing wrong with trying to find out what type of nipple you have. The feeling of fitting into the nipple category can actually be quite satisfying. Before anything, you should keep in mind that no one type is better than the other. It is quite possible for your nipple to belong to more than one category. All types of nipples are normal. And even if your nipple doesn’t fall in any of the categories that we mention, it’s okay. You don’t need to worry.
Before we get into the details of different types of nipples, there’s something that we wanted to ask you. Do you know the difference between the nipple and the areola? If you’ve answered yes, then good for you. However, if you just thought that there is absolutely no difference between the two, then you are, well, absolutely wrong.
Your nipple refers to the protruding portion of the breast that is raised outward and right at the centre. The areola is the pigmented area that surrounds the nipples. Nipples have milk ducts and nerves, while the areola also has glands that produce lubricating oil. When stimulated or you’re feeling cold, the nipples become more visible. Now that we’ve established the difference, let’s explore the types of nipples.
What Makes Nipples So Interesting?
You’ve got to wonder about that. It’s just something that is. Your nipples are an intimate part of your body, and when looking at them, you might have had many questions like why are there bumps on them or is that even normal, etc. It’s only natural for humans to feel curious about their own bodies and try and find out more about them.
And nipples are interesting for a wide variety of reasons. Most of us grow up thinking that there is only one kind of nipple. However, only with time do we come to know that nipples come in many different shapes, colours, and sizes. They could be bumpy, hairy, protruding, flat, pale, pink, or very dark in colour. So, naturally, there are different types of nipples!
Your Nipples Don’t Always Have to Protrude
If they don’t, then you’ve got inverted “innie” nipples, which is one of the types of nipples. You don’t have to worry about them when breastfeeding. It is quite possible for you to have both inverted nipples or just one inverted nipple alongside a non-inverted nipple.
Nipples Don’t Always Come in Twos
This means that you can have more than two nipples. Both the nipples can be present on the same areola and even produce milk. There’s a condition called Polythelia in which people have more than two nipples.
Mark Wahlberg has supernumerary nipples. They can be as many as up to seven. There was one woman who even had the nipple on her foot with fat tissues and glands. However, the opposite of it can also happen. Sometimes, they don’t come at all because they don’t develop in the womb. The condition is known as Athelia. One or both of the nipples could be missing from the person’s body.
The Bumps Are the Hair!
Now, to answer the most asked nipple question, those tiny bumps on your nipples are actually hair follicles. These are found in both males and females. So, you don’t have to feel bad about hair growing there. It’s quite natural. If you don’t like their long, wiry appearance, you can always get rid of them through tweezers.
The bumps around the nipples are different. They are the Montgomery glands, and you should have those because they keep the areola and nipple lubricated.
Male Nipples Can Lactate
It occurs due to a condition known as galactorrhea (abnormal discharge of milk, which can also affect females). There are records of men who have lactated. It could have happened due to severe hormonal shifts.
Be Careful! You Can Make Them Bleed
That can happen due to chafing and cracking. It can occur when the woman is breastfeeding. If it isn’t that, you may have your exercise regime to blame.
We might all remember Andy Bernard’s famous lines from The Office where he says, “I’m petrified of nipple chafing. Once it starts, it’s a vicious circle. You have sensitive nipples, they chafe. So they become more sensitive, so they chafe more.” The image of him bleeding through his shirt because of chafing after he ran is, well, quite memorable, to say the least.
What Are the Different Types of Nipples?
You might have been anxiously waiting to know the answer to this question. So, without further ado, let’s find out about the different types of nipples!
Of the different types of nipples, bumpy ones are very normal. You should have the tiny bumps there. Those Montgomery glands produce a natural, oily substance that not only lubricates the area but also cleans it to keep the germs away. If you have bumpy nipples, you might find them more noticeable.
In these types of nipples, the nipples blend into the areola. And so, you end up with a flat surface. However, they don’t always stay flat. They can protrude on cold and stimulation.
It’s about time we all acknowledged these. These types of nipples are very much real and very common. It’s absurd that people feel shameful when talking about it. With hair follicles on the areola, you should expect hair growth. If you’re bothered about their coarseness or thickness, simply tweeze them out. However, it is completely normal to have them. If you have slightly more hair than usual, then you have hairy nipples.
Inverted nipples are the ones that are not protruding. They are tucked in. It is possible for you to just have one inverted nipple (unilateral inverted). If one of your nipples gets inverted all of a sudden and doesn’t come out, then get in touch with a doctor. These types of nipples can result from certain health conditions.
When the nipple’s raised a few millimetres above the areola, you have protruding nipples. Unlike inverted nipples, they point outwards. They can become harder when subjected to cold and stimulation.
Puffy Nipples Supernumerary Nipples
These are the types of nipples where the areola and the nipple noticeably “sit” on top of the breast like a “raised mound.” That’s how you end up with puffy nipples.
We all remember Chandler Bing having an extra, third nipple, right? That’s just what it is. When you have more than two nipples, you have supernumerary nipples. They can be as many as seven and even eight.
Is It Normal for the Shape and Size of Nipples to Change?
Your breasts and nipples can change over time. The shape, colour, and size of your nipple can change. However, make sure to keep an eye on them and check yourself from time to time. If you notice anything unusual, you should immediately get yourself checked by a professional doctor.
If you’re experiencing tingling, throbbing, burning, or pain in your nipples, then you should definitely book your appointment with a doctor. There are many reasons for experiencing nipple pain, such as changes in hormones, infections, breastfeeding, friction burn, and eczema, among others.
Is There Anything You Can Do to Change the Shape of Your Nipples?
You don’t have to think that your nipple shape needs “correcting.” This is because it assumes that there is an ideal, standard nipple shape. Nipples can come in different shapes, sizes, and colours. It is completely normal. No matter which types of nipples you have, there is nothing wrong with them. However, if you do feel uncomfortable with the current shape of your nipples, you can consider having some surgical or non-surgical treatments.
Nipple and Areola Reduction Surgery
As we established before, the areola is different from the nipples. You can reduce their size through a surgical procedure. Generally performed under local anaesthesia, in a nipple reduction surgery, the surgeon makes an incision on the nipple to remove the extra tissue. Once that’s done, the surgeon then makes the stitches to close the wound.
If you’re seeking an areola reduction surgery, the incision is made on the areola’s perimeter. Again, extra tissue is removed, and the skin is stitched up. This is one way you can switch to different types of nipples.
PRP Injections to the Nipple Area
The inventor, Dr. Runels, used this technique to “fix” inverted nipples. The way this works is that the surgeon will draw blood from your arm, put it in the centrifuge, extract the platelet-rich plasma and inject it into the target area. It can help increase the volume of the area, thus lifting it outward. Through PRP injections, you can get perkier nipples with improved nipple sensitivity.
In A Nutshell
There are many different types of nipples. They come in different shapes, sizes, and colours. You don’t have to feel bad about the type of nipples that you have. If your nipples fall in more than one category, then it’s completely normal. For instance, you might have a hairy and protruded nipple, which is okay. Make sure that you can keep an eye on the changes that your nipples are going through. Check yourself regularly, and if anything seems abnormal or unusual, immediately book your appointment with a doctor.
If you feel uncomfortable or unhappy with the current shape of your nipples, you can change it through surgical procedures, such as nipple and areola reduction surgery. Non-surgical, non-invasive options, such as PRP injections to the nipple area, are also available. Contact us today to get your customized treatment plan.