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Should I be worried if my nipples change color?

A patient should see her doctor if her nipples change color. It may not be cause for alarm; however, a change in color can indicate something more serious.

Nipples do change color and become hyper-pigmented. This can occur with pregnancy (the theory is that it makes it easier for infants to know where to nurse).

In addition to changing color, the areolas can also stretch—which is usually permanent. Just keep in mind that any change in the breast, including the nipple or the skin around the nipple that is different from one side to the other should always be looked at and evaluated.

Most women don’t need to worry if their nipples change color. Women's nipples usually get darker as they get older, especially after a pregnancy. If your nipples are pink or light brown and are the same on both sides, they are probably normal. If the two look different colors, or have red or white spots on them, you should see your gynecologist for a breast exam.

Dr. Jennifer Z. Landa, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrician & Gynecologist)

You should not worry if your nipples change color, it's common; hormonal changes that occur with pregnancy and menopause can trigger it. Watch sexual health expert Jen Landa, MD, explain these factors and discuss when you should be concerned.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.