Dolly Doctor

Are my nipples normal?

Boobs. No matter how big or small, every girl gets them at some stage in her life. So why do you feel like your bust looks different to everyone else’s? DOLLY Dr explains why your nipples are totally normal.

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Dear DOLLY,

I have this problem with my nipples but I’m scared to show my mum. All my friends’ nipples are spread out, with the little nipple in the centre, but mine are puffy and squashy & they haven’t spread out. I’m a size 10C and my friends’ boobs are bigger. I’m wondering if anything is wrong with me? I’m 14 and very embarrassed, please help!

Anonymous

There’s nothing wrong with you at all! What you’re talking about is the size and proportion of your nipple and areola. The areola is the “circle” around the nipple and is about the same colour as the nipple (usually pink or brown, depending on your skin type.)

The actual nipple is the bit in the middle that usually sticks out (although in some women it doesn’t). Underneath the nipple and areola are tiny muscles that contract involuntarily in the cold, or during breastfeeding or sexual arousal. These situations make the nipple become erect, or hard.

When your breasts are still growing, there is a period of time when the areola is more spread out and “puffier” compared to the rest of your breast and your nipple. Sometimes, it stays like this, and sometimes the breast grows more and the areola becomes relatively small compared to the rest of the breast.

In a fully grown breast, the areola can be anywhere from a couple of centimetres to about 10 centimetres in diameter! The nipple in a fully developed woman is about 1cm in diameter. However, no two women will be the same.

The size and proportion of the nipple and areola can even be different in the breasts of the same woman. There is absolutely nothing to be embarrassed about. It sounds as though your breast development is in full swing, and within a couple of years or so, they will probably reach their adult size and shape.

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