Third Nipple (Supernumerary): Types, Causes, Removal

A third nipple (also known as supernumerary nipples) is a condition where a person has an extra nipple. This condition is more common for men than women.

woman with third nipple covering her breast with one hand

Normally, a human being as only two nipples. In some instances though, a human being can have an extra nipple.

Persons with accessory nipples are fairly common in the world’s population. Some might not realize they have one while others can detect it right away.

The supernumerary nipple has many names. It can be called as polymastia, accessory nipples or polythelia. At the maximum, about 5 percent of the world’s population has an extra nipple, and that is a pretty huge number.

Curiously, accessory nipples are more common to men compared to women. A supernumerary nipple is relatively smaller in size compared to the two other nipples.

If an expecting woman has a third teat, it is possible that it will lactate too like her other two nipples. Lactation of the third teats in men is possible too.

How Do You Detect It?

The extra nipple is relatively smaller and underdeveloped than your regular nipples; this reason makes it relatively difficult for a normal person to detect its presence easily.

There is a part of the human body which is called, the “milk line.” The milk line starts from your armpit, your nipples, and down to your genitals. The milk line is the area to which the extra nipple mostly appears. There are instances though that the extra nipple can be found on other parts of the body aside from the milk line.

Types of the Third (3rd) Nipple

A 3rd nipple is categorized according to their look, shape, size, and issue make up.

  1. Polymastia: This type of supernumerary nipple has a complete areola development around it. Polymastia can almost be considered as a fully developed breast as the underlying tissue is that of a full-blown breast.
  2. Category Two: In category two, the extra nipple has no developed areola around it, but the tissue beneath is still that of breast tissue.
  3. Category three: The category three has no presence of nipple on it, but the tissue around it is that of breast tissue.
  4. Category four: In this category, there is no nipple or areola that can be seen, but the tissue underneath the area has breast tissue in it.
  5. Category five: In this category, the area has an areola in it, but underneath the area, there is no breast tissue but only fat.
  6. Category six: In this category, there is a nipple preset, but the areola and the breast tissue underneath cannot be found.

Causes of an Extra Nipple

Some types of 3rd nipples develop when the human being is still a fetus. When the mother is in its first month of pregnancy, the milk line usually starts to form and the tissue underneath it.

In this juncture, the two strips that can be located to the chest part two which breasts normally form, regress. If the two breasts did not regress, there is a possibility that the creation of the extra nipple will happen.

The Diagnosis of the Third Nipple

Normal people might have difficulty in detecting the extra nipple, but it is not impossible. The extra nipple can be felt by females when they are menstruating because, at times, it might hurt. You can visit a doctor too if you want if you are quite doubtful whether the extra nipple presence is confirmed or not; this is also a good practice to rule out some possibilities of an underlying medical condition.

You have to seek help from a doctor most especially if the third (3rd) nipple has a lump on it, rash, itches, and painful to touch. Seek out the help of the doctor immediately to rule out medical possibilities.

It is also recommended for the person to have regular check-ups with his or her doctor if he or she has an extra nipple. This is to le the doctor monitor the condition of the extra nipple and to let him give you a piece of advice on how to let it not get in the way of you living your best life.

The Complications of Having The Third Nipple

Having extra nipples is usually harmless if it does not get in the way of living your everyday life, but there is a possibility where it can complicate things.

An extra nipple means an extra possibility of breast cancer. The other types of the three nipples might also be linked to some medical conditions in the kidney including cancer. To try to prevent this and to have an early on the cure from these possible risks, you yourself should have the conscious effort to monitor the changes of the extra nipples. Report to your doctor right away if there are any suspicious occurrences or happenings in the extra nipples.

The Treatment

Having three nipples is not something detrimental to your health and most of its appearance in the body is not a sign of an underlying medical condition. However, if it gets in the way of living, you might want to have it removed. For example, if you are an entertainer or somebody who prizes their looks to make a living, having it removes is not a problem at all. The removal of the extra nipples is done surgically. If the extra nipple has an underlying medical condition, the doctor will have to prescribe a medicine to treat the medical condition.

There is a noninvasive type of treatment for the supernumerary nipples. The pain is minimal, and the procedure is quick and can be done outside. The fee of the treatment in removing the extra nipples will depend on the kind of treatment you have and the type of the three nipples you want to have removed.

A supernumerary nipple is in many particular times, pretty normal. One should not be ashamed of it. On the other hand, if your looks are what you are making out for a living, then you might want to consider options into eliminating your extra nipple. In general, you just have to take care of your nipple by not doing anything about it, picking it or trying to get rid of it on your own.

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