Lost pigment in areolas?
January 17, 2007 1:09 PM   Subscribe

BreastFilter: Why am I losing pigment in the lower portion of each of my areolas?

I'm a fair-skinned natural blonde (who gradually darkened to brunette in my 30s) with natural brownish-coral nipples and areolas. I'm in my mid-40s now and have never been pregnant, so my nipples and areolas have been the same colour since puberty. But in the last ten years, the lower section of both of my areolas (the area from 5 to 7 o'clock) look as if most of the colour has disappeared in in an area about a centimeter square. Each spot is a pale beige-pink, slightly darker than the my skin.

No need to scare me with suggestions that it could be Paget's disease of the breast because Paget's presents as an eczema-like rash, which is not what I have. Plus, I'm still alive after 10 years of noticing this change, so I doubt it's anything lethal.

Is this just one of those odd things that happen as you age?
posted by rosemere to Health & Fitness (6 answers total)
is it possible that your weight has changed and thus your boobs..... and that what you're seeing is a difference in the light/shade cast?
posted by taff at 1:44 PM on January 17, 2007

Response by poster: I've put on some weight, but my rack is still pretty perky and my nipples haven't gone south. I've taken a good look under various lighting conditions, and it's definitely a colour change, not a lighting illusion.
posted by rosemere at 2:28 PM on January 17, 2007

Best answer: Have you noticed loss of pigment anywhere else on your body?

My husband (who is also a fair skinned blonde) has vitiligo, mainly on his hands and arms. Because he's so fair, we didn't notice until he got really tan one summer while working in the yard. He had white splotches on this hands where the skin didn't darken. I've noticed recently that his nipples are now losing pigment in a similar manner that you describe.
posted by mamaquita at 2:45 PM on January 17, 2007

Response by poster: Wow, I didn't even think of vitiligo, but then, I tan so rarely that any pigment loss would be very hard to find. If this is what is happening to me, it's progressing pretty damn slowly, thank goodness, as the bleached areas seem only very slightly larger after 10 years.

Is your husband losing pigment on his nipples symmetrically? That's what I thought was odd, that it wasn't just one side I was seeing this in.
posted by rosemere at 3:35 PM on January 17, 2007

I second vitilgo. Be careful if you expose them to sun. make sure you use a total block as those areas have no protection now.
posted by Wilder at 3:40 PM on January 17, 2007

Response by poster: I generally forego my right as a Canadian woman to prance about topless wherever I please (especially as Toronto seems to have now remembered that it's winter), but if I do get some sun on my chest, I'll remember the sunblock.

klangklangston, I'm also considering getting my nipples pierced and I'll probably come here for advice when I'm closer to a decision. When and if I do go through with it, I will link to pictures and you all can confirm or deny your diagnoses then.
posted by rosemere at 4:49 PM on January 17, 2007

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