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Worried‌ ‌about‌ ‌dark‌ ‌nipples?‌ ‌Here’s‌ ‌why‌ ‌you‌ ‌have‌ ‌them‌ ‌

Published on:12 October 2021, 15:21pm IST
Wondering if dark nipples are normal or not? It’s time to find out all the causes today, before you decide!
Aayushi Gupta
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Dark nipples
There are several factors that can cause various changes in your nipples. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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The colour of the nipples and areolas (the outer areas of the nipples looking like a circle) is normally darker than your skin colour. It may be pink or red for some women, while many have dark or brown nipples. Again, areolas may also be the same in colour. The nipples, or areolas, often turn darker with sexual excitement. But in some cases, when nipples turn darker to black, it can be because of certain things like breastfeeding, hormonal fluctuations, pregnancy, hair around nipples, etc. 

Noticing dark nipples suddenly may feel alarming at first, but don’t hit the panic button! To understand what are the exact causes of dark nipples, we got in touch with Dr Swati Gaikwad, consultant obstetrician & gynaecologist, Motherhood Hospital, Pune. 

dark nipple
Worried about dark nipple? It can indicate a lot about your health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

She explains the various causes behind having dark nipples.

1. Pregnancy

The size, colour, and texture of nipples change drastically during pregnancy. Dr Gaikwad shares with HealthShots, “When you are pregnant, the body gets prepared for the birth of the baby, Hence, estrogen and progesterone are produced more to help your boobs produce milk for your baby. There are some changes in the nipple due to these hormones, and the nipples can become dark.”

2. Breast cancer

In some cases, however, a change in the appearance or texture of the nipples can be a sign of medical problems such as breast cancer. “It causes a lot of changes in the boobs like lumps along with dark nipples,” says Dr Gaikwad. 

3. Breastfeeding

This is another cause of dark nipples. When you are breastfeeding, your breasts may change colour but dark colour can also be due to hormonal fluctuations that are necessary for milk production. 

Also, read: Want to know everything about nipples? We’ve got your back!

4. Puberty

As you can probably guess this is all about hormonal fluctuation as well. Dr Gaikwad says, “Estrogen levels rise during puberty, and your breast grows owing to hormone fluctuations. At that point, you are likely to see darker and more prominent nipples.”

Also, read: Is having hairy nipples normal? Here’s everything you need to know

5. Contraception

“Though it prevents unwanted pregnancy, it can also affect the body. When estrogen and progesterone levels go up, nipple changes can be seen, ” says Dr Gaikwad. 

dark nipple
Birth control pills may affect the body in a similar way to other hormonal changes. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
6. Menses

Did you know? Estrogen and progesterone levels go up while you are on your period. Dr Gaikwad says, “These hormone fluctuations can lead to darker nipples, and even breast soreness.”

7. Darker hair around nipples

You will be surprised to know that some may have darker hair around the nipples that can make your nipples appear black.

When to see a doctor for dark nipples?

Along with darker nipples, if there is redness, lumps, swelling, watery discharge, and tenderness of the breast, consult a doctor immediately.

Aayushi Gupta Aayushi Gupta

Candid, outspoken, but prudent--Aayushi is exploring her place in media world.