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The Doctors Lounge - Fertility Answers

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Forum Name: Female Sexual Disorders

Question: strange nipples


misti - Tue Aug 10, 2004 9:35 pm

Hi... this is sort of embarrassing but I'm concerned.
I'm 17 and my breasts are quite small, that doesn't bother me. But the fact that my nipples look the same as if I'm still 10 yrs old does. Right now my right nipple has a cut in it that is causing it to split in half. Sometimes the nipples would separate from the breast, a bit, where it protrudes. I don't know how this happens but it tingles so I check it out to find these abnormities. It doesn’t bleed, or anything just heals when I leave it alone. This doesn't seem normal at all, what's wrong with me?

Misti
Dr. Pradeep Bhandari - Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:19 am

Dear Misti,

You are still an adolescent and your body is continuing to transform into an adult shape and size. It is natural to be conscious and concerned about one’s body during teenage years, and notice some discrepancies here and there. But, you should not be unduly concerned unless there is something really wrong.

Puberty is a process that transforms the body gradually and it may continue to the age of 18 in girls. The initial puberty change is the development of breast buds, in which the breast and nipple elevate. The areola (dark area of skin that surrounds the nipple of the breast) increases in size at this time. The breasts then continue to enlarge. Eventually, the nipples and the areolas will elevate again, forming another projection on the breasts. At the adult state, only the nipple remains erect.

It is normal sometimes for one breast to be a little larger than the other, or to grow faster; don't worry, it will even out in the end. During the later years of the puberty, the breasts become larger, and each nipple and areola (darker skin around the nipples) become larger. This is the stage where you will probably need to wear a bra, at least under some of your clothes. Towards the end of puberty the breast, areola, and nipple continue to grow in size. Some girls will notice a brief time when the nipple and areola seem swollen, and actually form a second small mound on the breast. The shape of the nipple is not of much significance unless as a mother, later in life, the nipple still remains inverted and breast-feeding becomes difficult, when you should consult a doctor.

Dr. P Bhandari, MBBS, M.Med.

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