When our skin color changes, we feel insecure about it. We start thinking about the root that caused it and end up making our conclusions. One of the areas where the color differs is nipples (pale nipples). Let us read more about it.
It is not necessary that the color of your nipples will match that of your skin. Due to various reasons, such as hormone changes and puberty, our nipple’s color might highly differ from that of our skin’s. These are not usually a sign of a serious disease, however, getting a consultation on it doesn’t do any harm.
Causes of pale nipples
If the color of your nipple is pale, there are many reasons behind it, some of which are:
We all know about breast-feeding, so the breasts grow bigger in preparation to feed the baby. When the change in size takes place, the hormones affect the color of the nipples too.
The body produces additional progesterone and estrogen in this process, whose effect is visible. The nipples become darker and the breasts become sore and swell as well. This is a temporary condition and the normal color of your nipples returns, a few months after the baby’s delivery.
As described previously, breast-feeding causes many hormonal changes, one of which is the change in color of the nipples. Studies conclude that the nipples change their color for the sake of the newborn. The change in the color as well as the texture of the nipples, helps the newborn to latch on to its mother’s breasts.
As the newborn’s sightedness is very blurry in the beginning, the darker nipples help the baby to catch the sight of the food source easily. Once the breastfeeding period gets over, the nipples go back to their normal shape and color.
During menstruation, our breasts tend to become firm and bigger due to the discharge of blood from the uterus. After menopause, the breasts lose their ability to be firm, shrink in size and the nipples become smaller and pale in color too. This is normal and an expected situation when you grow older.
When you use birth control pills, you give place for hormonal changes in your body too. These pills produce synthetic versions of progesterone and estrogen which affect the shape of the breasts as well as the color of the nipples. The hormones cause the area surrounding the nipples to grow paler. This is considered normal and will revert once you stop taking those pills.
In teenage girls, a lot of physical changes take place including the change in color of the nipples. As puberty begins to affect them, their bodies produce a lot of estrogens, which also causes changes in hormones. This affects the breasts as well as the nipples. The nipples turn pale in color and this is an absolute normal change.
By now we know that the hormones have a lot to do with nipples turning pale. Such a case also happens during menstruation, during which the ovaries release an egg for fertilization for this cycle. The breasts too go through changes that involve growth in size and becoming more firm.
The nipples to act on this change. During menstruation, the nipples turn pale in color due to hormonal changes. Their color might or might not go back to the color it was, but this situation is completely normal. Similarly, the breasts too will become tender and swell after menstruation is over.
The hair surrounding the nipples
It is very common for a person to have tiny hair growth around the nipple area. The hairs surrounding the nipples might be darker in color as compared to the hairs on the rest of the skin. These might make the nipples look darker even if they are not.
Sign of a Disease
Cancer named Paget’s disease is a rare form of cancer that starts in the nipple area. The early signs and symptoms of this type of cancer are usually darkening of the color of nipples. Like this, there are many other diseases, even some less serious ones, whose early signs include pale nipples. You can successfully prevent these diseases to grow any further by simply noticing the below symptoms:
If you notice any discharge coming out from your nipples, other than during breastfeeding, you should immediately consult a doctor. The fluid may be white, yellow in color, or in some severe cases blood.
- Inverted nipples
This means having nipples that face inward rather than outward. It might be natural in some cases like a response to the situation or a temperature change.
Though it might be natural in some people, if your nipples are always turned inward, then it is time to consult a doctor.
- Different structure
If you feel that the skin around your nipples doesn’t feel the same, rather it has turned hard, flaky and crusty. It might be caused due to dry skin or might also be an early sign of Paget’s cancer, as mentioned earlier.
- Red and scratchy nipples
If you often scratch your nipple areas or breasts due to itchiness, it might be a reaction to some allergies but also could be a symptom of a disease. Itchiness is also a symptom of Eczema, a skin disorder that is curable through topical treatments.
Steps to keep your nipples healthy
- Clean your nipples daily while bathing. Your breasts and nipples might not look dirty but they need to be cleaned and moisturized regularly. Scrub gently as the skin of the nipples are sensitive.
- Using chemical-free soap and moisturizer as applying chemical constituted products causes harm to the skin as well as the organs in the long term.
- Remove innerwear such as a bra while you sleep. This ensures better blood circulation which in-turn benefits healthy nipples.
It is natural to be born with pale nipples. But if due to some reason the color of the nipples turns pale and doesn’t return to its normal semblance, be ahead of your body and get a consultation from an expert. The sooner the better!