Taking care of the body parts that are exposed to the environment is easy. But what about all those areas in our body that remain covered by clothes? To be more precise, we are talking about the nipples that are never your priority for being taken care of. Isn’t it so? But when you have a beauty regimen for every part of your body, then why not for nipples? Well, pink or light-colored nipples can give a feeling of having fresh and beautiful breasts while making the sex life more satisfactory. Though you can neither recast the biological changes nor turn back the clock, there are certainly some safe and natural remedies that can help lighten your nipple color. Here is everything you need to know about the shade of your nipples and a few effective DIY recipes to make it lighter.
What Determines the Nipple Color?
As we all know, melanin is the pigment that is responsible for the skin color in most organisms including human beings. The same pigment is responsible for the color of the nipples too. Melanin is a group of natural pigments generated through a process called melanogenesis. This multiphase chemical process involving oxidation and polymerization of the amino acid tyrosine happens in a certain group of cells called melanocytes. The pigment melanin is again categorized into eumelanin, pheomelanin, and neuromelanin. Eumelanin is brown, which causes dark nipples and Pheomelanin, a reddish pigment, leads to light-colored nipples. (1)
Eumelanin is the most common type of melanin that can be subdivided into brown eumelanin and black eumelanin. Pheomelanin is rich in poly benzothiazole that also contributes to the color of red hair. Found in the brain, neuromelanin has been linked to the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s.
Why are Nipples Dark in Color?
So, why are the nipples darker than the rest of the skin while both contain the same pigment? It is a cumulative effect of hormones and melanin. During puberty, our body secrets more estrogen and testosterone hormones, which results in an increased production of melanin. This eventually turns nipples, areolas, labia, etc. darker than the rest of the skin. (2)
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Are Dark Nipples Abnormal?
The very first thing you need to keep in mind is that having darker nipples is not a disease or illness. In fact, it is quite natural and similar to having other transformations in your body that happen with age and time. But nipples in lighter shades are acknowledged more than the ones that have darker shades, which make us feel uncomfortable about ourselves.
Why Do Nipples Turn Darker Sometimes?
Before acting upon the remedies for dark and discolored nipples, you need to know how they change color with time in some cases. There are myriad reasons for which nipples become black or brown. Given below are the most common factors that may show up in the form of darker nipples:
- Chronic illness (diabetes, cancer, etc.)
- Unhealthy lifestyle
- Friction caused by rubbing clothing
- Vigorous use of nylon loofah
In a condition called Acanthosis Nigricans, a person may get very overweight while developing a darker neck, nipples, armpits, and groin over time (3). Sometimes the nipple color may change into pink or purple because of cancer too (4).
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10 DIY Remedies to Lighten Dark Nipples
Now, here are some effective and easily available remedies to get rid of the dark and unhealthy looking nipple:
1. Almond and Milk
Almond and milk are the most natural and easy-to-get ingredients hidden in your kitchen that can lighten your nipples magically. Both have excellent moisturizing qualities that will also keep your skin smooth.
Soak a few almonds overnight in a bowl of milk, make a smooth paste of it, and apply it onto your nipples. Leave at least for an hour, and then rinse properly. Apply this mixture daily until you get the expected results.
2. Lime Juice and Honey
Lime juice contains acidic properties that exfoliate the skin of areolas surrounding the nipples to make it look brighter. On the other hand, honey acts as a great moisturizer for the skin. Pure organic honey will give you even better results.
Mix the ingredients well and apply to your nipples. Wait for half an hour and rinse it with tap water. You may also add yogurt for effective results.
3. Milk Powder, Honey, Almond Oil, and Lemon Juice
This is an age-old remedy used to cure a vast number of skin-related problems. As we already mentioned, each of these ingredients is sufficient enough to make the skin lighter and keep it smooth. So, the combined usage of them can surely do wonders.
Mix all of them in correct proportions to form a paste of medium consistency and apply it to the areolas of your nipples. Let it dry for 30 to 40 minutes and rinse well thereafter. Make sure to follow it at least 2 -3 times a week.
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4. Oatmeal, Curd, and Tomato Juice
These ingredients can act as the best-kept beauty secret for all your skin woes. Tomato juice acts as a natural bleach for the skin in your nipples. Adding oatmeal and curd is effective for smoothening and softening the skin.
Take all three ingredients together and mix them well in a bowl. Apply it over your nipples, leave it for 15 minutes, and then wash it with lukewarm water. Repeat it daily for a speedy result.
5. Cucumber, Avocado, Orange, Honey, and Milk
All of these are traditional beauty products that are mostly available in the kitchen. You will surely be amazed to see how these lighten your dark nipples naturally.
Blend the fruits and just add milk and honey to the mixture to form a paste. Apply it daily all over your nipples to get noticeable results.
6. Mulberry Extract
Mulberry is a powerhouse of minerals and vitamins. It also contains a huge amount of carbohydrates that convert sugar to glucose for providing energy and revitalizing our skin cells. If you can’t get your hands on the fruit, its extract can be easily available in nearby stores.
You may apply the fruit extract directly to your areolas and let it dry for 5 to 10 minutes. Then, rinse it properly with normal water.
As we all know, Vaseline is a petroleum jelly that can actually do wonders to our skin in an effortless way. It provides nourishment to the areolas, thereby making them look healthy and pink.
Massage your nipples with vaseline and leave it overnight. Make sure that you rinse it properly after waking up the next morning. The stickiness and greasiness of the product may encourage bacterial growth, which can eventually lead to other problems like acne and pimples.
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8. Licorice Root
Licorice root, also known as sweet root, is mostly used for medicinal properties. It is available in myriad forms like liquid extract, tea, and even powder. Being loaded with antibacterial properties, it is widely recommended by dermatologists for many skin usage including the lightening of the nipples.
Dissolve some licorice root powder into water and leave it overnight or at least for 7 to 8 hours. Then, apply the solution to your nipples and leave it to dry. Finally, wash it away properly. For quicker results, repeat it every alternate day.
Arbutin is one of the most efficient natural skin whitening and lightening agents. It slowly releases hydroquinone through hydrolysis in the skin, which ultimately reduces skin pigmentation.
Banned in many countries, arbutin is mainly available in the form of extract. You can also find this ingredient in any of the skin lightening creams or lotions in the market. Just buy the extract and apply it to your nipples for amazing results.
10. Orange Juice
Vitamin C in orange juice contributes to its skin lightening properties. This is the key ingredient responsible for the reduction of skin pigmentation that causes darkening of nipples.
You may apply orange juice directly to the areolas of your nipples and leave it for the skin to absorb the juice. Later clean the areolas and nipples well with a damp washcloth.
The pigment ‘melanin’ is responsible for the color of your nipples, which can range from pink to black. Though having darker nipples is not at all abnormal, you may want to lighten their shade for aesthetic reasons. As our body goes through hormonal changes during puberty, melanin production gets increased, which makes nipples darker than the rest of the skin. They may even turn darker in shade due to other reasons like menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding, chronic illness, friction, poor lifestyle habits, genetics, aging, and so on. However, there are some simple, natural, and highly effective remedies that may help you turn your nipples healthier and pinker over time. You may try almond, lemon juice, oatmeal, curd, tomato juice, cucumber, avocado, orange, honey, milk, mulberry extract, licorice root extract, arbutin extract, orange juice, Vaseline, etc. to see noticeable results in a few months.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Pregnancy Make Nipples Bigger?
The size of the breasts tends to increase during pregnancy, which makes the nipples look bigger too. In fact, it is quite prominent around 6-8 weeks of pregnancy. As a result of this, stretch marks can also appear on the breasts. (5)
Do Nipples Get Bigger During Period?
Women’s body goes through serious hormonal changes during periods. Hence, it is quite normal to have enlarged breasts and nipples.
Why is My Areola so Big/Small?
The size of the breasts varies from person to person. It is quite common to have big or small areolas. Additionally, it goes through various changes with respect to color and sizes over a period of time. (6)
- “Melanin”, Wikipedia.org
- “Revealed… Why Your Penis and Nipples are Darker Than the Rest of Your Skin”, DailyMail.co.uk
- “Skin Complications”, Diabetes.org
- “Inflammatory Breast Cancer”, Cancer.gov
- “Breast Changes during Pregnancy”, BabyCenter.com
- “Are Large Areolas Normal?”, MedicalNewsToday.com