breasts: normal, medically concerning and things to fix | News

Plastic Surgeon and Breast Reconstruction Specialist Dr. Constance M Chen with breast advice

NEW YORK, April 8, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Breasts come in all shapes and sizes and there is endless variety in the human experience. Beyond their physiological function of nurturing babies, however, breasts occupy a unique place in the cultural ether and many women wonder and worry about whether or not they deviate from “normal.” . “Unfortunately, we are often bombarded with an airbrushed, unrealistic image of what constitutes the normal breast,” says dr. Constance M. Chen, plastic surgeon and specialist in breast reconstruction. “Even as young women mature and become comfortable with their own unique physical characteristics, there are a number of variations that can trigger questions about what is normal, what is medically concerning, and what can be ‘corrected’. “.”

There is no normal breast size or shape. There is also no normal nipple size or color. Nipples and the areolas around them can be large or small, pale or dark, match your skin tone or not. Small bumps on the areola are oil glands and are completely normal. “Chances are that what’s causing concern is a perfectly normal variation,” says Dr. Chen. “Here are some common variations in normal breasts along with recommendations on when to see a doctor.”

Breasts that don’t match: Very few women have perfectly symmetrical breasts. One breast may be larger, have a different shape, or be positioned differently from the other. Size differences of up to 20% are normal and are especially common in teenage girls whose breasts can grow at different rates. Hormonal changes associated with ovulation, pregnancy, and breastfeeding that lead to changes in breast size can also lead to asymmetry. Breasts that differ by more than one cup size and asymmetry unrelated to pregnancy that suddenly grow overnight, however, should be evaluated by a doctor to rule out a medical problem.

Hair on or around nipples: “Humans have hair all over their bodies,” says Dr. Chen. “Sometimes human hair is fine and light and sometimes it’s thicker and darker. It’s quite common for women to have visible darker hair around their nipples.” A few hairs are nothing to worry about, but denser growth may indicate a hormonal imbalance or other problem. The best way to avoid infection when waxing around the nipples is to use small scissors.

Inverted nipples lie flat against the areola or turn inward instead of sticking out. They occur in one or both breasts and can be present from birth or develop later in life. “Up to 10 percent of women may have one or both inverted nipples,” says Dr. Chen. “They are generally not a cause for concern and only require treatment if they interfere with breastfeeding, if there is an underlying medical condition that needs to be treated, or to satisfy cosmetic preferences.” There are several treatment options for inverted nipples, most of them temporary; surgery is the only permanent treatment. However, sudden changes may indicate problems that should be evaluated by a doctor.

An extra nipple, also called a supernumerary nipple, occurs in 3-5% of people, both men and women, and rarely needs to be removed for reasons other than cosmetic. It can go unnoticed, be mistaken for a mole, and if it occurs on its own, it can be removed with a simple procedure, much like removing a mole. If it occurs with underlying breast tissue, it should be monitored for changes such as boobs and removal is very similar to a mastectomy.

“Although these variations are mostly common and benign, there are changes in the breasts that require examination,” says Dr. Chen. “While being conscientious about regular mammograms and self-exams to check for lumps, women should also be alert to anything out of the ordinary that persists beyond a menstrual cycle. In particular, there are indications that require a medical evaluation.”

  • Discharge from the nipples: Fluid can usually be expelled from the nipples of premenopausal women, especially those who have given birth or breastfed a baby within the last two years, but a spontaneous discharge, especially if bloody or yellow, should prompt to a visit. to a doctor.
  • Skin changes: Breast skin can be affected by common skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, as well as irritation from clothing or other contact, but some skin changes can have a more serious cause. These include ulceration, scaling, scabs, dimples, and redness that does not come from an identifiable source.
  • Nipple inversion that happens suddenly in an adult could be a sign of trouble.

Dr. Chen reminds us that the soft tissue we think of as a breast is actually a mammary gland, a complex system of fat cells and ducts that produce milk and deliver it to the infant via the nipple. “The breasts are remarkable,” she says. “They perform vital functions, undergo changes at different times in a woman’s life, and are as variable as any other part of the human anatomy. Most of these variations are completely normal, but any woman with a question should not hesitate to discuss their concerns with their doctor.”

Constance M. ChenMD, is a board-certified plastic surgeon with particular expertise in using innovative natural techniques to optimize medical and cosmetic outcomes for women undergoing breast reconstruction. She is Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery (Plastic Surgery) at Weill Cornell Medical College and Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery (Plastic Surgery) at tulane university Medicine School.

Media Contact

Melissa Owner, Constance M Chen, MD, 2039686625, [email protected]

SOURCEConstance M Chen, MD

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