Areola – 9 Weird Changes That Doesn’t Mean You’re Pregnant

Categorized as Getting Pregnant, Preparing For Pregnancy
common areola changes
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If you notice a change in your areola, a color change in the area surrounding the nipples, or the area becomes darker or enlarged, called dark areolas, you may be experiencing one of the early signs of pregnancy. This can happen a week or two after conception. No worries, this change in appearance and color is just a normal pregnancy sign and not a cause for concern.

If you are really pregnant, this is the first of many changes that occur during pregnancy. Like many signs of pregnancy, when pregnancy hormones increase, the area around the nipples darkens and prepares the breast to feed the baby. Some women may notice swelling (similar to gooseberry bumps) around their areolas.

They are called Montgomery tubercles and they are your friends! If the baby sticks to the bumps, they lubricate the nipples. As pregnancy progresses, the areolas can grow and the color may deepen. Good or bad, these changes usually continue after birth.

9 Common Areola Changes:

1. Your Areola Color Is Changing

The color of your areola changes naturally over time, you also may have noticed this because your areolas darkened when puberty is reached. However, your areolas can change color in adulthood and not only when you’re pregnant (although this is the most common time for this).

The main reason for color changes is the increase in the levels of progesterone and estrogen because an increase in the body’s pigment development is caused by these hormones. Dark areolas can be a sign of hormonal imbalance or just your body’s normal ripple during the menstrual cycle.

When to consult a doctor:

If your dark areolas are accompanied by other symptoms, such as peeling or flaking, or if you notice that only one of your areolas has changed color, something more medically serious may be happening, the condition is known as Paget disease.

Paget’s disease is a rare tumor (cancer) that begins especially in the nipple and areola areas. One of the early signs is nipple discoloration. This cancer is prevalent in people over the age of 50. However, if you notice persistent changes in color and other symptoms such as scaly, itchiness, lumps, redness or thick skin, consult a doctor immediately for a checkup.

2. Increase In Size Of The Areola

common areola changes

Depending on the hormonal level, the breast size changes during the menstrual cycle. This is completely natural and if the breasts change normally, areolas can also change their size. Your areolas can even when you’re turned on or ready for sex. While in the mood, your breasts swell with blood as both the heart rate and blood pressure increase. This can cause the areola to expand slightly.

When To Consult A Doctor:

This turns into a kind of avoidance, but the only time to worry is when only one of your areolas becomes bigger. This breast asymmetry can be a sign of breast cancer. If so, contact your doctor for an examination.

3. You Have New Hair On Your Areola

Did you know that your areolas and nipples have hair roots like the rest of your body? That’s right! Therefore, it is completely natural for hair to grow out of the areola skin. Hormonal fluctuations may trigger the body hair in this area and therefore occurs more often during puberty and menopause. It can also be caused by taking a birth-control pill.

When To Consult A Doctor:

If you suddenly discover that you have a lot of chest hair (not just a few hairs around the nipples, or there are lots of hair around the chest area), this can be a symptom of a disease. The main disease is called a polycystic ovarian syndrome, a hormonal imbalance, which can cause irregular periods, ovarian cysts, and Cushing syndrome, a rare hormonal problem that occurs when your body has a high level of cortisol (stress hormone) for a long time.

Other symptoms of Cushing’s syndrome include having stretch marks and a hump between the shoulder. If you have any of these additional symptoms, contact your doctor to check your hormonal level. If you do not like your Areola hair, you can safely remove it by plucking or lasering them off.

4. Your Areolae Are Puffy

common areola changes

Some people notice that their areolas are swollen or raised. This is common in adolescence and pregnancy, but it can occur at other times in a person’s life. This is completely normal and is nothing to worry about.

When To Consult A Doctor

If this is the only change that your areolas are experiencing, you don’t have to worry!

5. Your Areolae Are Itchy

Itching in areola is rarely a sign of something medically stressful because your skin is dry, your bra rubs or you are allergic to a cleanser or soap.

When To Consult A Doctor

If itching continues even after changing detergent and moisturizers, consult your doctor. Some types of skin cancer have itchy symptoms, but there are also more visible symptoms (such as scaly or flaky skin).

6. Your Areola Skin Is Flaking & Peeling

Any skin can dry and crack or flaky, and areola skin is no exception to this condition. Peeling or flaking of the skin can be caused by climate change (the skin usually dries in the winter), topless and tan, or a sexy frenzy featuring a rough nipple play and rubbing the nipples and areolas got chafed.

When To Consult A Doctor

If you notice the skin of your areola or nipple is peeling or flaking, especially if this is happening to one nipple, consult your doctor immediately. An exception to this may be a chronic condition that causes itching and peeling of the skin, called eczema. Eczema occurs in families, so it is important to look for this especially if another person in your family has it.

These changes may also be a sign of skin cancer. A few skin cancers present with flaky, scaly, and red spots that may appear on the skin in the areola and nipple, Paget’s disease begins in this area.

7. Your Areola Is Bumpy

common areola changes

It is quite natural that Areola’s skin becomes bumpy in the cold. Therefore, if you notice bumps after going out in winter, don’t worry: they will disappear when you get warm. Another cause of areola bumps is Montgomery tubercles. This is the technical name for when your areolar or Montgomery glands get clogged. These glands work by helping in the breast lubrication during breastfeeding.

About nine of these small areola glands are present in some people, but some people may be more than 30, others do not. Clogged Montgomery glands can become painful, change color to red or yellow, and increase in size slightly.

When To Consult A Doctor

Although Montgomery’s tubercles appear mainly during pregnancy (it’s actually a symptom of early pregnancy), they can also be triggered by hormonal imbalances or physical changes like stress and also significant weight changes. Therefore, if you learn that you have these bumps and know that you are not pregnant or stressed, you should talk to your doctor to evaluate your hormone levels. It may be an indication that something else is happening.

8. Your Areolae Are Lumpy

There are many possible bump situations under the areola, and most of them are not cancers. The most common option is that you have a fibrocystic breast, which is a normal change, usually before the period begins. Breast fibrocystic means that the breast tissue changes and is tight and full of lumps. This usually disappears on its own. Lumps can also be from clogged milk ducts (even if you’re not breastfeeding); an infection (intraductal papilloma), which is an elegant name for a benign tumor (also known as non-cancerous) in milk ducts.

Sometimes, a lump can be called ductal carcinoma in situ, which is the name of the first form of breast cancer. Cancer is very treatable at this stage, but cells need to be treated to prevent it from spreading to other areas of the breast.

When To Consult A Doctor

As with other parts of the breast, if you notice or feel a lump in the areola, it is definitely worth going to the doctor to find out what is happening and to act if necessary. If you have cancer or a breast tumor, you may want to treat it. Infections should also be treated immediately.

9. You Have Pimples On Your Areola

Since Areolas have sweat and sebaceous glands (oil-producing glands) and hair follicles, these glands can become clogged and produce nipple pimples! This can happen especially before menstruation.

When To Consult A Doctor

Most Areola pimples are not medically stressful and will disappear if you clean the area with warm water and a mild detergent (no odor, chemically dense). If you have problems with these pimples, you can always consult a dermatologist for more help and prevention advice based on the specific reasons your body keeps producing these pimples.


You know your breasts better than anyone; After all, they are yours! It is a perfect idea to monitor and notice changes, as some medically scary things (especially cancer) can be in this area. Therefore, take care of your areolas, but do not overdo them. Most of the possible changes are not medically worrying.

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