So you know that breasts come in all different shapes and sizes (nine of them, to be exact), but did you know the same goes for nipples? In fact, there are actually eight different types.
Each type of nipple is completely normal, even if you have a combination of the two (like yours are protruding and bumpy). Even if you think there's something weird about your nipples, it's almost guaranteed that other people share the same thinking.
Continue ahead to discover what types of nipples you're rocking beneath your clothes.
Protruding nipples are raised a few millimeters above the surface area of the aereola and protrude outward. They can harden and become more pronounced when cold or during stimulation.
Protruding nipples can be short or long, either sitting directly atop the aereola or stretching out from it.
Just as many people have protruding nipples, flat nipples also abound. Another similarity to the pronounced nip is that it too can harden and become more pronounced when cold or stimulated, but instead of protruding from the aereola, it sits directly on it and looks like a small, raised mound on top of the breast.
Basically, if you have flat nips, they'll turn into pronounced nipples when you step outside in the wintertime, but go back to their normal state when you're all warmed up.
Everyone has bumps on their nipples, but some are bumpier or more pronounced than others. Those bumps, which are actually located on the aerolae, are called Areolae bumps or the Glands of Montgomery — and are so named after William Montgomery, who first described them in his medical papers in 1837.
While scientists aren't exactly sure why they exist, one theory is that they can help with breastfeeding by guiding infants to the nipple. "They can secrete a little bit of fluid, but in general there's no functional purpose to them," Elisa Port, MD, chief of breast surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center told BuzzFeed Life. "Some people think that babies might use them to sort of find their way to the nipple, because of the texture," she says.
With puffy nipples, it's hard to tell where the nipple ends and the aereola begins. They too can become more pronounced, but usually look like the entire aereola is one small mound on top of the breast.
Puffy nipples still protrude from the breast, but the aerola is raised from the breast and looks, well, puffy.
If your nipples don't protrude at all, and instead point inward towards your chest, that just means you have inverted nipples. They're usually classified in three divisions: slightly inverted, mid-inverted and full-on inverted.
Depending on the grade of the inverted nipple, you can sometimes use your fingers to bring it out, but don't force it if it won't budge.
If you have one nipple that protrudes outward and one that protrudes inward, that just means you have unilaterally inverted nipples.
The unilateral inverted nipple is still totally normal, as long as it hasn't recently become inverted as an adult. If you notice that one of your nipples has turned inward recently, you should call your doctor, as it could be a sign of breast cancer.
As weird and alarming as it may be, stray, dark hairs growing from the aereola are completely normal. You can chalk weird hair growth up to being a mammal and having hormones. Big hormone jumps, like puberty or pregnancy, could start some wacky hair habits, but once your body starts to calm down, so will those weird hairs.
If those long nipple hairs are bugging you or making you feel uncomfortable, feel free to take a tweezer to 'em and pluck away. Just make sure your tweezers are sterile and you're not irritating the follicle, which could result in an ingrown hair.
In this case, supernumerary just means you have an extra nipple! In fact, you may have one without even realizing it, as they can be much smaller than a normal nipple and be confused with a mole.
Also called "accessory" nipples, extra nipples can develop along "milk lines" that run from your armpit through your normal nipples and down your side, typically disappearing in the womb or groin. While research varies on how much of the population actually has extra nipples (reports go from 0.22 percent to 5.6 percent), the general consensus is that more males have them than females.
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