Caring for exposed body parts is common, but what about those areas concealed by clothing, particularly the often neglected nipples? Despite being overlooked, they deserve attention in your beauty regimen. Maintaining pink or light-colored nipples contributes to a sense of fresh, beautiful breasts and enhances satisfaction in your intimate life. While you can’t reverse biological changes, there are safe, natural remedies to lighten nipple color. Explore insights into nipple shades and discover practical DIY recipes for a lighter tone.
What Determines the Nipple Color?
As widely understood, melanin, the pigment accountable for skin color in various organisms, including humans, plays a similar role in determining nipple color. This natural pigment is produced through melanogenesis, a complex chemical process involving the oxidation and polymerization of the amino acid tyrosine within specialized melanocytes. Melanin encompasses eumelanin (resulting in brown pigmentation, leading to dark nipples), pheomelanin (a reddish pigment associated with light-colored nipples), and neuromelanin. (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 secretes more estrogen and testosterone hormones, which increases melanin production. This eventually turns nipples, areolas, labia, etc., darker than the rest of the skin. (2)
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. 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 makes 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 to pink or purple because of cancer (4).
10 DIY Remedies to Lighten Dark Nipples
Now, here are some practical and readily available remedies to get rid of the dark and unhealthy-looking nipple:
1. Almond and Milk
Almonds 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, and apply it to 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 an excellent 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 many 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 after that. Make sure to follow it at least 2 -3 times a week.
4. Oatmeal, Curd, and Tomato Juice
These ingredients can be 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 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 primarily available in the kitchen. You will surely be amazed to see how these lighten your dark nipples naturally.
Blend the fruits and 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 many carbohydrates that convert sugar to glucose for energy and revitalizing our skin cells. If you can’t understand the fruit, its extract can be readily 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 do wonders for our skin effortlessly. It nourishes the areolas, 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 following day. The stickiness and greasiness of the product may encourage bacterial growth, which can eventually lead to other problems like acne and pimples.
Read Also – Expert Review: AuraVedic Skin Lightening Oil
8. Licorice Root
Licorice root, or sweet root, is mainly used for medicinal properties. It is available in myriad forms like liquid extract, tea, and even powder. Being loaded with antibacterial properties, dermatologists widely recommend it for many skin uses, including lightening the nipples.
Dissolve some licorice root powder into water and leave it overnight or at least 7 to 8 hours. Then, apply the solution to your nipples and leave it to dry. Finally, wash it away correctly. 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 as an extract. You can also find this ingredient in any skin-lightening creams or lotions on the market. Just buy the extract and apply it to your nipples for excellent 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. It is quite prominent around 6-8 weeks of pregnancy. As a result, 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 pretty standard 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 pretty standard to have big or small areolas. Additionally, it goes through various color and size changes over 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