Unhappy with the way your areola looks? While it is normal for areolas to vary greatly in size and shape, many women are unhappy with how theirs presents. The size and colour of the areolas can also change over time. For example, they can darken in colour and become larger or smaller.
If you are unhappy with how your areola looks, there are surgical options available. Nipple correction surgery has become particularly common in recent years and it can be carried out alongside breast surgery. Below, you’ll discover everything you need to know about areola changes and surgery options.
How can the areola change over time?
Over time, your areola will go through significant changes. During puberty, the pigmented part of the areola grows in size. Eventually they develop into a raised area, appearing darker than the rest of the breasts.
When you go through pregnancy, the areola can again increase in size and darken. While the breasts go back to their original size once lactation has ended, the areola doesn’t. It may shrink a little, or go lighter in colour, but it is unlikely to go back to how it looked before.
These are the main changes your areola can go through during your lifetime. However, there are some changes in the nipples you should watch out for that could need medical intervention.
Knowing when to consult a doctor
Most changes in the size and colour of the areola are completely normal. However, there are some changes that could point to an underlying issue.
If the nipples are dry, itchy and flaky, it could point to nipple eczema. This is linked to atopic dermatitis which can also produce small, raised bumps on the areola.
Any lumps and bumps that develop on the areola should be investigated. They could point to a rare type of breast cancer known as Paget’s Disease of the nipple.
Is nipple correction surgery a good option?
If you do want to alter the appearance of the areola, nipple correction surgery could be a good option. An incision can either be made down from the nipple to the areola, or around the outside of it. The surgeon will then work on reducing the size of the area.
Alongside altering the areola, nipple surgery can also help to correct inverted nipples, and reduce larger nipples. In a lot of cases, nipple surgery is also used alongside breast surgery.
While most patients don’t experience any issues after the surgery, it is important to note there are some risks and complications. Nipple surgery can result in issues with breastfeeding for example. Therefore, if you are planning on having a baby, you may want to hold off on the surgery until you have finished breastfeeding.
If the size of your areola is causing issues with your confidence and self-esteem, book a consultation with Mr Nigel Horlock. You can then talk through your treatment options and decide on the best one for you, as well as ask any questions about the procedure or the aftercare.