Women stress so much about their body hair growth, they shave their underarms, wax their legs, and pluck their eyebrows. Worrying for fur-free, smooth skin persists for women’s lifetime along with spending lots of money, effort, and time in removing their bodily hair. But what about the thin, lengthy, and curly hair on your nipples? No, we are not talking about those flimsy hairs around your breast, but those dark and easily seen long hair precisely on your nipples.
Is it a normal thing to have hair on the boobs? Or does it indicate an underlying medical condition? Do you have to take it lightly or do you have to freak out?
We homo sapiens are designed to have hair follicles all over our body to regulate our body’s temperature, and hairy nipples are a common condition in women.
You can switch off the panic button as you are not the only one who has areolas with hair. Reports say that more than 30% of the female population have hairy nipples, but many are unaccounted for since many women feel embarrassed to admit their hairy nipples.
In most women, the hairy nipples are a normal phase of their bodily changes. But occasionally they might be a sign of a problem that needs your health practitioner’s attention.
Causes of hairy nipples in women
There are few underlying causes that lead to the growth of hair in the nipples. Most of them are very common, while some of them are upsetting.
Fluctuation of Hormones
It is not a surprise to learn that hormonal fluctuations lead to new hair growth in the areas you never imagined.
- Puberty triggers hormonal changes that support the transition of a child to a woman, including breast development and growing of hair in the parts like underarms, vagina, face, and umbilical cord area is a part and parcel of that period. Similarly, it is absolutely natural for some women to have hair on their nipples and the area around their breasts.
- If you are a carrying mother and notice new or abnormal hair growth in the areolas, then it is again due to the hormone fluctuations caused by the pregnancy. The hair growth may reduce or disappear once the baby is born.
- Menopause is another stage when women face the falling in levels of the female hormone, oestrogen. Many women experience new hair growth on their face and chest areas including the nipples, during this time.
- Very subtle hormonal changes can occur in a woman’s body during their 20’s and 30’s, which can change the appearance of the hairs or lead to new growth.
Excess Production of Male Hormones
In some women, androgens (male hormones) such as testosterone are produced at a high level, which causes hair growth in uncertain places like nipples. When there is too much testosterone and not enough oestrogen to balance it out, she might have hair on her boobs.
The other symptoms caused by the male hormones are
- Abnormal periods or absence of periods (amenorrhea)
- Overgrowth of skeletal muscle mass
- Acne and oily skin
- Hair loss on your head leading to baldness
A simple testosterone test by your doctor can confirm this condition.
Some medications like contraceptive pills, glucocorticoid steroids, and some immunosuppressants cause unusual hair growth on the areolas as a side-effect.
PCOS and Nipple Hair
One of the main symptoms of Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is excess and unusual hair growth in unusual places (hirsutism). The wiry hairs on your nipple might be a signal for some serious condition if you also experience the following symptoms:
- Ovarian cysts
- Mood swings
- Inability in conceiving
- Irregular menstrual cycle
- Mental health disorders
Cushing’s Syndrome and Nipple Hair
Another worrying cause for the hairy nipple is Cushing’s Syndrome. This condition is characterized by the surplus levels of cortisol in the body due to the prolonged intake of glucocorticoid steroids, or because of tumours in the lung, brain, or adrenal glands.
Cushing’s Syndrome is a rare disorder and its symptoms are similar to that of PCOS like
- Excess hair growth
- High blood pressure
- Big stretch marks
- Easy bruising
- A build-up of fat in some areas of the body like chest, tummy, back of the neck, and shoulders
- Red and puffy face
Should you visit a doctor for the hairy nipples?
In most women, the presence of nipple hairs is a normal state and does not require a visit to your doctor. But if you are experiencing sudden hair growth in the nipples along with some unusual symptoms like abnormal or absence of a menstrual cycle, weight gain, or mood swings, then you should see the doctor. He/she can determine whether it could be an indication of some underlying medical issues like PCOS, or Cushing’s Syndrome.
In addition, your doctor may offer some advice on safe ways to remove the unwanted hair without the risk of infections or any other complications.
Message from Bliss Naturals
Your boobs, your bliss! There is nothing to feel ashamed of or bothered about some strands of hair on your nipples. Many women compare their bodies with the actresses or models shown in the films/TV and dream for the same. But they forget to understand that the flawless bodies shown by them are artificial and man-made. So, give some rest to agonizes and do whatever is feasible and convenient for you.