Your Bod

Are my nipples normal?

Those two bumps in your bra can cause ya to have all kindsa questions. Here are a few of your most common probs:
Spotted: Red bumps near the nipple.

Chances are, this is a Montgomery gland. All women have them on the areola, the area around the nipples, but they’re not always noticeable. The glands, which look like goose bumps, lubricate and condition. Dr. Carie D’Agata says a gland could be blocked. “Try warm compresses,” she suggests. If the bump is sore or is there for more than a month, see a gynecologist.

Spotted: Nipples that stick in, not out.

It’s called an inverted nipple, and it occurs in 2 percent of girls, says Dr. Kathleen Kaufman of Santa Monica, Calif. They can pop out as your breasts continue to grow. The breasts are fully developed about four years after you start having menstrual periods, says Dr. Kaufman. There’s no medical reason to be concerned about inverted nipples, but it can restrict you from future breastfeeding. Surgery is an option if they remain inverted, but Dr. Kaufman suggests discussing concerns with your doc.

Spotted: Dark, unwanted hairs around the nipples. 

Pluck them! Gently pull out the little rascals with tweezers. Avoid waxing or shaving that area—it’s too tender, and you’ll get red bumps that aren’t harmful but can be sore and unsightly. Most women have a little nipple fuzz, explains Dr. Carol Livoti, author of “Vaginas: An Owner’s Manual.” Hair is there to protect skin against weather and other irritants. No need to talk to your doc unless you notice way too much dark, thick hair on nipples, face, chest, back, upper thighs or upper arms. A hormonal imbalance called hirsutism could be to blame, and that can be fixed with a prescription.

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8/5/2009 7:00:00 AM