Do Big Areolas Bother You?

Large Areola, The human areola on the breast around the nipple is a pigmented region. More commonly, Areola is a small circular region on the body that is histologically distinct from the surrounding tissue, or other small circular areas, including a flammable skin area. 

The adult human female nipple has several small openings radially arranged around the tip of the lactic conduits from which milk is released. Sebaceous glands, also known as Montgomery glands, form other small openings on the areola. The colour of the areola can be pinkish or brownish. The shape, size and colour of areola vary from individual to individual. With time, visible changes can be noticed in the appearance of the areola.

The areola contains the Tubers Montgomery, which are small drums with many essential features that secrete fluid. The fluid lubricates and protects the skin, and has a scent attracting a nursing child. The fluid may also enable a sexual partner to attract or excite him.

Nipple and areola stimulation in breastfeeding allows oxytocin and prolactin to be released into the hormones and increases the production of milk in our breasts. Your areola may be extra sensible or sore at a specific time of the month (i.e. when you are on your period), or when you get pregnant, you could also discover bigger and darker areolas due to different body changes or underlying conditions. Some tiny hairs can often start to grow around the perimeter. (Plucking or laser hair removal is a simple option for getting you out of your hair).

The average diameter of the areola is 4 cm. The size of the areola will depend on various factors, including genetic makeup, body weight, etc. Some studies indicate the areola is typically 3x smaller than the breast. It is normally three times the size of the nipple around the nipple. 

Changes in areola

There are several factors that affect the shape and size of the areola, such as:

  • Hitting puberty

During puberty, the size and colour of your nipples & areolas develop and become darker, this is triggered by hormonal changes, especially oestrogen, which is normal and happens with all of us. On entering puberty, our body undergoes certain visible changes. However, these changes are different in both the genders. A girl who has hit puberty may be able to notice significant changes in the appearance of her breasts, nipples, areola and the entire body. 

  • Menstruation 

The breasts of a female usually change over every menstrual cycle. During the menstrual cycle, even before the periods start, the ovary follicle matures and releases an egg, the womb prepares itself, in case fertilization takes place. This triggers the release of oestrogens. Estrogen promotes the growth and development of the milk canals in the breasts. Oestrogen development slows down after ovulation and when an ovary releases an egg. At this point, the levels of another hormone called progesterone rise. The breasts can swell and become tender during this second half of the menstrual cycle. Nevertheless, during a normal menstrual cycle, nipples and areolas appear with no alterations.

Large Areola

On conceiving, your entire boobs including the nipples, areola and the entire structure tend to change. It becomes bigger, darker and tender. This happens to make it easier for the baby to find the nipple and latch to breastfeeding. Your areolas may decrease back to their original pre-pregnancy size following pregnancy and breastfeeding or may keep the fresh, bigger size and colour, as well as end up in a different look.

  • Breastfeeding 

Many women experience large areolas on conceiving. These changes can persist during and after the birth of the baby. It is usually said that a newborn may be drawn to the breast for food by the larger, darker skin of the areolas during this time. However, these modifications do not affect or restrict the willingness of women to breastfeed during their pregnancy.

Can one make changes in the appearance of areola?

It is perfectly natural to have large areolas, but for some personal reasons or purposes, some people may want to get it reduced. Individuals who want to minimize the dimensions of their areolas should contact a doctor. The process can be costly but it is the only way to reduce big areolas. The following are the methods by which one can get a smaller areola:

  • Surgery

Areola Reduction is a discretionary treatment that means it is not protected by insurance. Even if the process is fairly straightforward, it can be costly. To do so, the pigmented tissue will be removed and reconstructed by your doctor. You put a permanent trick inside your breast to stop the spread of the areola. The accidents occur around the edge of the new areola, so that operative scars are always well concealed. The time for recovery is typically small. 

Areola reduction procedure may be performed alone or with breast enlargement or breast lift combination. Local anaesthesia is only used when performed alone. You are less likely to have surgical complications. Your breastfeeding capacity will be impaired by this procedure. It may also reduce the sensation of breast surgery in your nipples.

  • Topicals

Some people try to reduce the appearance of large areolas with skin-lightening creams. This can be fatal at times and such a decision must not be taken without consulting your doctor or dermatologist and asking for their permission to use skin-lightening creams. 

Your doctor may prescribe prescription cream, such as hydroquinone or retinol, used for the treatment of hyperpigmentation. It can lighten dark skin but can take six months to years before you see results. Usually, creams comprising of the following should be considered:

  • 2% hydroquinone
  • azelaic acid
  • glycolic acid
  • kojic acid
  • retinol
  • vitamin C

Avoid any skin lightening cream without consulting your doctor as it contains bleaching agents and can cause serious damage to not only the skin but even your entire breasts and may even interrupt in its function. Make an appointment with your doctor if you are willing to make certain changes in the appearance of your areolas. The doctor will provide you with the best solutions.

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