A woman’s breasts are an important part of the body, especially when it comes to motherhood, but most people don’t know too much about breasts other than they are a main food source for newborns. And even fewer people know that the circular ring around your nipple is the areola.
The areola, the pigmented area around the nipples has its own important job to do. The areola contains many nerves endings. Their stimulation triggers the release of oxytocin, a hormone that makes you happy and promotes physiological bonding.
There are special glands called the Montgomery glands, located within the areola that releases the oil that protects the tender skin of the breast from irritation. It helps prevent breast from cracking that may appear during breastfeeding.
Areolas may come in different shapes (oval, or round), color light pink to brown.
During pregnancy, while the areola can be lightly tinted on a woman who has never given birth, during pregnancy, the area might begin darken because of the increased blood flow to the breasts, which are getting ready for lactation.