Areola (Anatomy)

Areola . In anatomy , the term areola or areola (diminutive of the Latin area, “open place”) is used to describe any small circular area , such as the colored skin around the nipple . It is also used to describe other circular areas such as the inflammation surrounding a pimple .


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  • 1 Features
  • 2 Color of Areola
  • 3 Areola Size
  • 4 Why is the Areola dark?
  • 5 External links
  • 6 Sources


It is a plate with a circular shape and brown color, which is generally located in the center of the breast . Its approximate diameter does not exceed 2.5 millimeters, increasing during pregnancy and lactation. Inside and irregularly there are small bumps or lumps known as Morgagni tubers (there are between 12 and 20), which are large sebaceous glands . At the center of the areola there is a conical structure, of irregular and rough tissue , which has a central function during lactation. It is the nipple, whose size varies according to the size of each breast and which has numerous holes at its ends (mouths of the ducts galactóforos)

Areola Color

Not all areolas have the same color, but they cover the range from light pink to dark brown, depending on the color of each person’s skin, with variations even within the same person. During puberty it is of an attractive and delicate hue. In the 2nd month after gestation it enlarges and acquires a darker tint, while the pregnancy progresses it can assume a brown or even dark black color. Color decreases when breastfeeding ends, but never goes away.

Areola Size

Prestigious North American sexologists have come to the conclusion after many years of study on the female body that the size of the areola is not in line with the volume of the breast, being able to give the case of large volumes with small areolas and vice versa. They have set the following values ​​to define normal size. Small Areola: 1 to 2 centimeters in diameter Medium / Normal Areola: 2 to 4 centimeters in diameter Large Areola: 4 to 6 centimeters Giant Areola more than 6 centimeters.

Why is the Areola dark?

In this region, the superficial layer of the epidermis is very thin and smoother than in the rest of the body, so it is very well protected against ultraviolet radiation . Therefore, it is tinted more intensely. This is done by melanocytes , the melanin- producing cells found in the epidermis.


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