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The nipples are located slightly to the side rather than in the middle of the breasts. Usually, the size of the nipple is in proportion to the size of the breast, but large nipples may be found on small breasts and vice versa.
Surrounding the nipple is a pigmented area called the areola. The color of the areola varies with the complexion. In childless women, it is usually reddish. During pregnancy it increases in size and darkens in color, becoming almost black in brunettes. The color fades after the milk-producing period ends. The tip of the female nipple contains tiny depressions that are openings of the lactiferous ducts. During pregnancy special care should be given the nipples. Any secretion that accumulates should be gently washed off. If the nipples are tender, the physician will advise the use of cold cream, cocoa butter, lanolin, or another emollient to increase their pliability.
Synonym(s): mammilla (2) , teat (1) , thelium (3) .
nippleThe conical or cylindrical projection from the breast that is surrounded by a darker areola. The female nipple is larger than that of the male and is perforated by the ducts of the milk-secreting segments of the breast.
nipplea conical projection at the centre of a mammary gland on which the milk ducts have outlets.
Patient discussion about nipple
Q. I am observing some change in the nipple of my left breast. Can anyone give information? I am 44 year old women and from some days I am observing some change in the nipple of my left breast. My nipple is drawn inside. My haggard nipple apart from itching burns as well. The size of my left breast is increased. Some bloody discharge from nipple is giving indication that there is something happening wrong. I doubt if it may be a breast cancer. Can anyone give some information?