Home Women's HealthBreast Diseases Darkening of the areolas: causes and treatment

Darkening of the areolas: causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on
Darkening of the areolas

The skin around the nipples, known as the areola, is heavily influenced by hormones. It also shows changes if there are significant imbalances in the body, as in the case of diabetes. You can also suffer from local severe disorders, such as Paget’s disease.

If you are interested in delving more deeply into the causes and treatment of the darkening of the areolas, we invite you to continue reading the article presented by FastlyHeal.

Why are the areolas darkening

The skin near the nipples is usually a shade a little darker than the rest of the skin, very similar to the tone of the lips. This area is known as the mammary areola.

Due to the influence of hormones that circulate in the body and due to imbalances, this skin can darken more turn purplish or even blackish-brown. The causes of darkening of the areolas can range from standard to pathological states, among which we can mention:

  • Puberty.
  • The pregnancy.
  • Estrogen consumption in menopause.
  • Use of oral contraceptives.
  • Diabetes.
  • Paget’s disease.

Next, we will address each of these causes specifically.

Darkening of the areolas in pregnancy

Pregnancy is one of the most common times when significant breast changes are seen. These transformations can include one or more of the following symptoms :

  • Breast growth.
  • Growth of small bumps on the nipple that are called Montgomery’s tubercles.
  • Increased breast sensitivity and even pain.
  • Darkening of the areolas.

This hyperpigmentation is related to a higher amount of circulating hormones. The skin of the breast is transformed to facilitate and promote breastfeeding.

What to do?

I recommend you pay attention to your body’s changes and enjoy them.

You can improve your sensations and the appearance of your nipples in pregnancy by adopting good habits such as:

  • Healthy nutrition.
  • Gentle exercise.
  • Hydration of the breasts: you can use something very soft and beneficial like sesame oil or opt for a natural calendula cream.

Darkened areolas upon entering puberty

In this case, hormones are also responsible for body changes, among those that affect the breasts are:

  • Breast enlargement.
  • The appearance of hair in different body areas, even in the armpits and, in some cases, near the bust.
  • Darkening of the skin in the breasts and genital area.

Knowing what happens in your body is essential to understand and go through this stage in the most friendly and calm way possible.

Change in color of the areolas during the menstrual period.

Some women experience some discomfort in the breasts before the menstrual period. This can also be accompanied by a slight darkening of the areolar area.

Once again, female hormones cause these transient changes during this cycle.

It is essential to adopt healthy habits to prevent breast pain and even PMS symptoms (such as mood swings and PMS). If your body is in balance, it is possible to carry those days naturally and peacefully.


The artificial hormones given to some women in menopause or those that are part of oral contraceptives can bring some side reactions. Among them is the pigmentation of the skin near the nipples.

Keeping the body with extra doses of estrogens and progestogens for a long time is not healthy. It can be helpful, but the long-term imbalance is not gratuitous. Although many studies support the use of hormones at low doses for a long time, it is difficult for the body to cope with chronic medication of this type.

What to do?

If you notice that your body reacts inappropriately with the hormonal supplementation you receive, you should speak with the professional who indicated it. In this way, they can find a healthier option for you.

Paget’s disease of the breast

Paget’s disease is a type of inflammatory breast lump. This type of abnormal tissue growth manifests itself with these symptoms:

  • Pain.
  • Inflammation of the breast.
  • Suppuration from the nipple.
  • Itch.
  • Ardor.
  • Peeling of the nipple.
  • Darkening of the nipple.

The cause is unknown, but it has been linked to unhealthy habits, obesity, alcohol intake, and a history of previous breast disease.

What to do?

If you have any of the symptoms we have mentioned, you must pay attention to what is happening.

On the one hand, thinking about those unhealthy habits that lead to imbalance is essential for healing.

On the other hand, a timely medical consultation can guide you to a specific treatment such as chemo or radiation therapy. All this will be much more beneficial if you adopt a healthy diet, rest properly, and seek to balance your mind.


Another significant imbalance that can cause the darkening of the areolas and affects the entire body is diabetes. Caused by excessive intake and a sedentary lifestyle, diabetes is one of the most common diseases today due to unhealthy habits.

The increase in blood glucose generates problems of all kinds at the kidney, liver, nervous, and pancreatic levels. One of the possibilities is the darkening of the skin in different areas, including the nipples.

What to do?

If the reason for the hyperpigmentation of the skin is diabetes, the only way to return to normal is to improve your habits.

If you return to a state of balance, your body will return to normal, and you cannot achieve only with medication to keep glucose at low levels because you are not going to the cause. You are only covering a symptom of your disease.

For the pancreas to return to its normal function, you can take into account the following tips:

  • Improve your digestion: it is essential to choose easily digestible foods so that the body can reestablish its functions.
  • Leave out the processed ones: all kinds of dietary and low-calorie products are usually nothing more than chemical mixtures of substances that the body cannot metabolize. Consequently, they accumulate and generate more imbalance.
  • Choose natural products: whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes should be the base of your diet.
  • Exercise: it is a habit that you must have daily. In this way, your muscles consume the increased glucose in your blood, and you can return to balance more quickly.
  • Sleep adequately: the body needs 6 to 8 hours of sleep a day and at appropriate times. Falling asleep late (more than 11 p.m.) or doing it during the day encourages body imbalances. In this case, they worsen your diabetes and prevent you from recovering.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Darkening of the areolas: causes and treatment, we recommend that you enter our category of Female reproductive system.

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