While fuzzy armpits and hairy legs are becoming less taboo, nipple hair is still considered a little weird. But the truth is, it’s totally normal—and no reason to panic.
Generally, breast hair is only visible on the pigmented circles surrounding your nipples (areolas) and other non-nipple skin. Having it isn’t a cause for concern unless accompanied by other symptoms, like:
Hair growth in the nipple area can be caused by a number of different hormonal changes – These words are from the website’s editor sexysexstory.com. In fact, a lot of people have this issue, and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. “The nipple area (areolae) and the rest of the breasts are covered with hair follicles, so it’s entirely normal to have rogue hair there,” Joshua Zeichner, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, tells SELF. What’s more, the amount of hair grows differently from person to person. “The color, thickness, and texture vary, depending on ethnicity, age, and hormone balance,” he says.
But it’s also important to remember that the hair on our bodies serves a purpose. “Humans probably evolved body hair for a variety of reasons, but scientists don’t fully understand all those reasons,” Dr. Chen explains. It’s likely that the boob hair we see now is a holdover from the days when it helped us regulate our body temperature, but with air conditioning and warm sweaters, this hair doesn’t seem to serve much of a purpose now.
But that’s not to say that a little hair around the nipples isn’t a sign of something more serious. For instance, having a large amount of hair on your chest can indicate a hormone imbalance like polycystic ovary syndrome or Cushing’s syndrome. Other signs of these conditions include acne, weight gain, or irregular periods. If you notice that your nipple hair seems to be growing faster than usual, talk to your doctor about it.
Hair follicles are found all over the body, including the breast and nipple area. If there are hairs randomly growing around your nipple, it is completely normal and nothing to be worried about.
However, if you’re worried about rogue nipple hair and are experiencing other symptoms that may be related to an infection, such as oily skin/acne and irregular periods, it is a good idea to consult your doctor.
Infections in this area may cause the formation of a boil (a painful, swollen, inflamed cyst that is filled with pus) and should be checked and treated by a medical professional as soon as possible.
Just like other areas of the body, your breasts have hair follicles. So, while it’s weird to see black, wiry hair sprouting around your areolas, it’s completely normal and usually not a sign of anything serious. “Nipple hair is very common, especially when hormones are high, like in pregnancy,” Joshua Zeichner, a New York City-based board-certified dermatologist and the director of cosmetic and clinical research at Mount Sinai Medical Center, tells SELF. That’s because the estrogen and prolactin that come with pregnancy can cause your hair to grow faster than usual, he says.
Biologically speaking, no one is really sure why we have body hair—it’s probably a holdover from when human bodies needed it to help regulate temperature, Dr. Zeichner says, but since things like air conditioning and heaters exist now, nipple hair doesn’t seem to serve any purpose right now. Either way, it’s nothing to stress over or try to remove unless it’s bothering you. If it does, you can always pluck the hair if it starts to get out of hand or talk to your doctor about longer-term solutions like laser hair removal. Just don’t use depilatory creams on your boobs, as they can cause infections and rashes.