Can you spot yours?
Women often compare breasts (size, weight, shape and evenness), but the conversation rarely stretches as far as nipples. The topic always seems a little more private – something saved for very best friends and your other half.
Why all the secrecy? Probably out of fear that your nipples are ‘abnormal’, since there’s a common idea that all nipples are supposed to look a certain way. Society would sometimes have us believe that if our nips don’t match up to Samantha’s from Sex and the City, then there’s something terribly wrong with us.
In fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. There is no such thing as the perfect nipple and it is actually quite normal for yours to differ from a friend’s. In fact it turns out that there isn’t one generic nipple type – there are actually eight.
Here are the 8 different nipple ‘types’ out there…
Protruding nipples are probably the most widely known variety, with nipples raised slightly above the areola’s surface, pointing outwards.
Flat nipples are pretty self-explanatory. This is when the nipple is so flat that it almost blends into the areola.
Inverted nipples are also pretty straight forward – this is when nipple retracts into the breast instead of pointing outwards.
This sounds complex but it’s actually pretty simple – one nipple is protruding and the other is inverted.
Having bumps on the areola is very common, they are actually called Montgomery glands (often mistaken for whiteheads) and they’re not dangerous in any way.
Having hairy nipples is often stigmatized and seen as masculine but it’s actually pretty normal. In fact, all women grow hair around the areola of their nipples, but some hairs are just more dark and coarse than others.
This is when the nipple is raised on top of the breast in a peak.
This term refers to those who are born with an additional nipple, looking just like a large raised mole and dubbed a ‘nubin’ by Chandler Bing. It turns out one in eighteen men are born with one, and one in fifty women – including Mark Wahlberg, Lilly Allen, Tilda Swinton and Harry Styles, who explained ‘they’re a bit smaller than the other ones…I don’t look like a cow or anything.’
Phew! What a relief, it turns out that we’re completely normal after all.
If, however, there is any abnormality that you are concerned about, you should contact your doctor.