Welcome to our Areola resource guide. We have tried to list every bit of of information related to female areolas possible.
Areola Resource Guide (FAQ)
“Everything you need to know about areolas”
Definition of areola/Areolas
Areolas are the colored skin surrounding the nipple on a woman’s breast. It can be a very wide variety of sizes, shapes and colors. The plural form of areola is areolas.
More information about areolas: Wikipedia
Purpose of areolas
There is just not one purpose for having areolas but rather many reasons. The Areola tissue helps support the nipple and to also make the nipple much more visible. When a baby is born it has very poor eyesight. The size of the areola helps the baby find the nipple when breastfeeding. This is also why the areolas darken during pregnancy.
The areola also have glands called “Areolar glands or Glands of Montgomery.” The purpose of these glands are to produce small amounts of lubrication and antibiotics to help keep the nipple and areola in good condition. Breastfeeding can dry out nipples and areolas without this lubrication. These glands may appear as little bumps on the areola and will become more prominent during pregnancy.
Another reason women have such prominent areolas is for sexual attraction purposes.
Bumps on areolas
These are called “Areolar glands or Glands of Montgomery” and it it is perfectly normal to have these tiny bumps on your areolas. Some women may have none, a few or many of these bumps on their areolas. They can be singular bumps or may be clustered. They provide lubrication to the nipples to keep them from becoming dry, particularly during breastfeeding.
The glands often become much more prominent in the later stages of pregnancy. After pregnancy and breastfeeding the bumps may reside or disappear but in some women they will continue to be prominent permanently.
Size of the areola
Many women feel insecure about their areola size for various reasons. Areolas are as different as fingerprints, no two are the same. Some women have almost no areola while others have areolas covering half of their breast or more, especially during and after pregnancy.
Many women want to know what the average areola size is. The answer is that there is no answer. Generally speaking small breasted women have smaller areolas while larger breasted women have larger issues. This is just a generalization though and is often not true. Aeolas can range from none to 8 inches in size.
The shape of a woman’s areolas can range from round, oval to almost no shape. Some women have areolas that are wider in some spots than others. This is 100% normal and nothing to worry about.
The color of areolas very greatly from woman to woman. Much of this has to do with genetics and the amount of pigment in your skin. Some women may have almost no visible areola, this is common in women with pale skin. Areola color may be anywhere from pale to very prominent and specific colors may be:
- Light to dark pink
- Light brown to very dark brown
- Other shades of the above colors
After a woman becomes pregnant her areolas will most likely become darker in color. After birth and breastfeeding the areolas my lighten back to their original color or may stay dark.
See for more information: Pale Areolas
Areola thickness – puffy areolas
Some women may have what is called a “raised areola.” This is very common in young women during puberty. Pregnancy may also cause the nipple to become thicker looking or somewhat puffy. Some adult women naturally have puffy nipples their entire life also.
Hair on the areolas
Many women regardless of age may have some hair that grows out from around or on their areola. This is common and becomes more common as a woman grows older. Hormonal changes are often the cause of the hair growth.
Areola changes during pregnancy
Most women will experience a darkening of the areola to some degree while other women will experience very significant darkening. The areola may also become much larger in size. After childbirth and breastfeeding the areola may lighten in color or stay the same. Generally speaking the areola size will remain the same and not return to its original size and shape.
Darkening of the areola
A darkening of the areola is one of the first signs of pregnancy. The areolas will continue to darken throughout the pregnancy.
It is very common for the areola to be sensitive to touch but should not be so sensitive that it bothers you during the day.
Puffy areolas are common during puberty and generally flatten out when sexual maturity is reached. Some adult women though do have puffy areolas.
Areola reduction surgery is the process of making the areola smaller. This is purely a cosmetic procedure that is elected by women that are insecure with themselves and their breasts.
Moles on areolas
See the article titled Moles on areolas.
Itchy areolas and/or nipples are almost never a sign of a medical or health issues. Itchy areolas are most commonly related to breast growth, dry skin, friction/rubbing and pregnancy. Areolas may be irritated by some laundry detergents also.
This is a procedure that is used for women that have had some type of breast surgery or want to darken there areolas.
See for more information: Pale Areolas
Areolas should never be pierced!