Have you heard that there are several types of nipples and that they are not only distinguished by their shape? There are larger or smaller, more out or more sunken, of different shades of color, in different quantities, etc. These traits can sometimes affect breastfeeding, but they don't have to affect anything else.
Do you want to know what kind yours are? So, pay attention to this article from in which we explain what the different types of nipples with images and characteristics of each are.
9 types of nipples
Just as there are different types of breasts, according to their size and shape, there are also different types of nipples and these are some of them, according to various classifications (size, shape, quantity, etc.).
- Common nipples (normal nipple).
- Flat or short nipples.
- Pseudo-inverted nipples.
- Inverted or retracted nipples.
- Unilateral nipples.
- Large nipples.
- Supernumerary nipples or polythelia (accessory nipple).
- Nipples with hair or hair.
- Nipples with Montgomery's glands marked.
Many people who wonder what is the normal shape of the nipples to know if theirs are or not, especially if it can affect some aspect of their health or not, also wonder about the different nipple colors.
The truth is that there are different, as many as skin tones. However, the color of the nipples is usually some shade darker than that of the areola or the skin of the rest of the body. There are from very dark to very light and there are nipples that have a pinker tone and others that become browner.
In most women the color tone of the nipple is darker than in the rest of the breast for a simple sexual and reproductive trait. For example, in this way, when the time comes, breastfeeding is easier for babies to locate it to breastfeed.
Common or normal nipples
What does a normal nipple look like? The most natural and widespread way around the world is in which they stand out a little, not staying flush with the areola or noticing much.
In addition, this hardens when stimulated, either by touch or by temperature, and then they can stand out and be noticed a little more. Its average size is one centimeter or a little more. In the cover images and below you can see them.
Flat or short nipples
Flat or short nipples are shorter or smaller than normal nipples, although the areola does not have to be smaller. In addition, they do not protrude from the areola, they are at the same level, except if they are stimulated by touch or temperature.
In this case, there is also no health aspect to worry about and they are also a very widespread
Inverted or sunken nipples
This type of nipple is the one that is hidden in the areola, that is, it has been placed inward internally in the areola. Inverted, sunken or retracted nipples never protrude, so even if they are stimulated, they do not harden or come out, they always stay inward. When these cases occur, it usually happens in both nipples.
There are surgeries and some techniques, such as the placement of a piercing on the nipple to solve this problem, whether it is done because it has given a dermal or gland problem, or if it is for aesthetics. In addition, it can be applied in cases of sunken or inverted nipples, but also in pseudo-inverted and in flat or short. Here we explain more about How to correct the flat or inverted nipple.
Pseudo-inverted or pseudo-sunken nipples
Pseudo-inverted nipples are those that look a lot like sunken or inverted nipples, but do not get to be as tucked into the areola.
These are embedded in the areola, but unlike the retracted ones, as we have seen before, when they are stimulated, they do harden and protrude without problems.
Having one-sided nipples does not mean that there is only one, but that each one is with a shape. Specifically, it occurs in cases where there is only one nipple inverted or retracted and the other is flat or normal.
In these cases, many people choose to match them by placing the piercing on the inverted. If you decide to get one, whether you have this type of nipple or not, we recommend reading this article on How to care for a nipple piercing.
Polythelia, supernumerary nipples or third nipple
This type of nipple is medically known as polythelia and commonly as accessory or supernumerary nipples. This case occurs when a person has more than two nipples. In principle, they do not pose any problem or risk to health.
Normally, apart from the two of the two breasts, there is a third smaller nipple near another or in some area of the breast itself. However, there are cases in which one or more supernumerary nipples have appeared on other parts of the body such as the belly, back and even on the sole of the foot. It is an area of skin in which the cells have reproduced forming tissue of this type, exactly as in those of the breasts, but this can be more or less developed and are usually smaller, but there are cases in which they are of a normal nipple size.
The nipples usually measure a few centimeters, but there are large ones. In fact, there are nipples that reach up to 20 cm. This does not pose any inconvenience to health.
There may only be a problem during breastfeeding because it is too big for the baby. However, there are solutions, such as the use of a nipple former, which helps to collect it so that the little one can hook well to suckle.
Although much more common in men, nipples with hair on the areola or around the nipple also occur in women. The amount of hair is highly variable and usually depends on hormone levels. A greater amount of hair is also much more frequent in men than in women.
Thus, in women, it is totally normal to have fine hair or some isolated hair on the breasts, especially near the nipples, but there are also those with more, as well as there are men with a lot of hair on the chest and others who barely have any.
Nipples with marked Montgomery glands
This aspect can have any of the above types of nipples, that is, in addition to having its own color and one or more of the commented shape features, you can have these glands very marked or, on the contrary, not notice anything.
Montgomery's glands, Areolar glands or Montgomery's tubercles are in all nipples, both women and men, and are located in the areola, around the entire nipple. In women they have a more relevant role in the lactation period, since they secrete a lubricating liquid that provides a protective layer on the areola, protecting the breast against infections and the dryness of the areolas and the appearance of unwanted cracks during lactation. In addition, the smell of this substance stimulates the appetite of nursing babies and guides them to find their mother's breast and feed.
Thus, although they can give the nipple a rough or granite appearance, these glands have a clear function. However, having them more or less marked does not mean anything special, because even if they are not very large, they can fulfill their function without problems.
If you have ever wondered why I have pimples on my nipple, this is one of the possible answers, but in this other article we tell you more.
As you can see, there are so many types of nipples that no two are the same.