I bet you didn’t know that more than 70% of the 18,541 women who were polled as part of the Breast Size Satisfaction Survey, published earlier this year, reported that they were dissatisfied with theirs. In other words, it’s not a coincidence that breast augmentations are the most popular cosmetic surgical procedure performed in the United States, and has been for quite some time.
At Davis Cosmetic Plastic Surgery we find size isn’t the only quality many women would like to change about their breasts. If you ever stared into a mirror and wondered to yourself, are my areolas normal? You’re not alone. They come in all different colors and sizes, both of which tend to change over the course of a woman’s lifetime—which only seems to feed the insecurity that surrounds them.
What does a “normal” areola look like?
First thing first: What is the areola? Sure, it’s the pigmented skin that surrounds the nipple, but what is it, exactly? Have you noticed the tiny little pimples on your areolas? Dr. Davis explains, “Those are lactiferous ducts. There’s a small number of them on the areola. There are also Montgomery glands – they can release a small amount of breast milk, but they mostly produce a lubricating substance to keep both the areola and the nipple soft and smooth for lactation.”
The pigment ranges from nearly identical to the rest of the skin to deep purple or dark brown. The color of your areolas is not indicative of anything, though the color generally darkens as the breasts and areolas grow during pregnancy and breastfeeding — due to hormonal changes.
Genetics are the driving factor for how large your areolas are. Sometimes their size correlates directly with the size of the breasts, but there’s a lot of deviation from that.
The so-called “normal” areola doesn’t exist. There’s too much variation to pin down any one combination of color, size, and shape and anoint it the ideal. Here, we make sure our patients understand, it’s OK if your areolas aren’t identical.
How to change the size of your areolas
Dr. Davis is experienced in many procedures that will alter the size of your areolas. Whether you want to go smaller or larger, surgery is your best bet. If you want smaller areolas, an areola reduction is most often done as part of breast reduction or breast lift, though it can also be done on its own, or with breast implants. This procedure is generally able to reduce the diameter by 25% to 50%.
A breast augmentation is the most effective way to increase the size of the areola. When the breasts get bigger, the areolas will too. And that’s because, as the breast grows, the overlying skin stretches with it, increasing the diameter of the areola.
Davis Cosmetic Plastic Surgery is known for state-of-the art breast procedures that insure you looking great and feel the best about yourself.