10 facts that you must need to know about your nipples and breasts

Here are 10 surprising things you didn’t know about your nipples and breasts.

1. You can have More Than Two Nipples

It is very true that one can have more than two nipples. In medical terms, it is known as supernumerary nipples or extra nipples. They can grow in places other than the breasts and may even develop breast tissue.

Supernumerary nipples are considered a common congenital abnormality of the breasts and can occur in both males and females. An additional nipple begins to form when the regular nipple formation process is incomplete and the tissue doesn’t fully regress.

This type of nipple usually develops along “milk lines”. These lines start in the armpit on each side of the body, run through the normal nipples on the breasts and down to the sides of the groin.

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Often mistaken for moles, extra nipples are diagnosed in approximately one in 18 people. In a 2012 case study published in the Indian Journal of Human Genetics, a 32-year-old man was found to have seven nipples, becoming the second person in history with so many nipples.

Apart from the chest, such nipples can develop on other areas of the body, even the feet. Supernumerary nipples do not cause problems and do not need to be removed.

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2. Nipple Hair is Normal

Not every woman has nipple hair, but it is very normal if you do.

The areas around the nipples, or the areolas, have hair follicles just like any other skin area. Usually, women do not have hair on their chest, unlike many men, but at times some women develop a few long hairs around the nipples.

Hormonal fluctuations in the body that accompany puberty, pregnancy or menopause can cause a few strands to grow around the nipples. Certain medications can also cause excessive hair growth.

If you notice more than just a few hair strands popping up, consult a doctor as it may indicate hirsutism, a condition that causes excessive, coarse body hair in women. It can even be linked to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

If you are embarrassed about hairs around your nipples and prefer to have them removed, pulling them out with tweezers or cutting them with scissors are temporary solutions. However, do not shave the hairs or use a wax treatment, as these methods may damage the sensitive skin around your nipples.

3. Everyone Develops Nipples in the Womb

You may wonder why men have nipples on their chest since they do not need them for breastfeeding.

It is mainly because, despite whether you’re male or female, all embryos begin developing identically in the womb.

In fact, for the first several weeks, a developing embryo follows a “female blueprint,” from reproductive organs to nipples. After 60 days of embryonic development, the hormone testosterone kicks in, resulting in changes in the genetic activity of cells in the genitals and the brain. This is when embryos change into male and female genders.

Testosterone causes the male embryo to secrete factors that block the development of female ducts and structures and also influences other sex-specific traits in the body.

However, the previous developments in the womb remain intact, leading to flat breasts and nipples in men.

4. Only Humans have Permanent Breasts

Whether you want to believe or not, humans or Homo sapiens are the only primates with permanently enlarged breasts. No other species or primates share this trait.

In the rest of the primates, plump breasts last only during the breastfeeding phase.

The main reason behind permanent larger breasts in human females is not related to pregnancy or lactation. In fact, it denotes a woman’s ability to store fat and her fertility. Breasts become plump only after a female reaches puberty. Remember, a woman’s breasts are only filled with milk after delivering a baby, and rest of the time they are mostly made up of fat.

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