Just like the women they belong to, breasts come in different shapes and sizes. Some may be round and full, while others are slender and thinner. Often, breasts may be asymmetrical – one breast larger than the other. And like breasts, the areola or the darker area of skin that surrounds the nipple, also differ in size, shape, and color from one person to another.

Although it is perfectly normal to have one areola look a bit bigger or smaller than the other, some women may feel insecure and self-conscious because of the dissimilar appearance of the areolas on their breasts.

Fortunately changing the appearance of the areola can be easily done through a number of ways. But for cases that involve correcting the size of an areola, the best solution would be to undergo cosmetic surgery.

What are some ways to change the size of the areola?

For women who are extremely bothered by the disproportionate look of their areolas, there are a variety of options to choose from, but the choice will ultimately depend on what method the patient is most comfortable with and whether they want to enlarge or decrease the size of their areola. Here are the common ways to change the appearance of the areola:

Tattooing
Tattooing could be a good option in enlarging areolas without having surgery. With the help of a specialist who is well-experienced in nipple areola tattooing, it is possible to arrive at very realistic, 3D-looking results. Although tattooing could easily increase the size of the areola, it is not permanent and could fade over time. For long-lasting and consistent results, having surgery would be the best option.

Breast augmentation
A surgical procedure that is more reliable in permanently widening the areola is breast augmentation. In this procedure, breast implants or fat transfer enlarge the breasts. While the breasts increase in size, the areolas are subsequently stretched out, making them look bigger.

Through this surgery, the breasts and areolas both get enlarged resulting in an overall proportional appearance. And unlike other procedures, breast augmentation does not involve an incision around the areola, leaving no scar after the surgery.

Areola reduction surgery
If the problem lies with having areolas that look disproportionately large on the breasts, a good solution would be areola reduction surgery. This procedure is helpful in altering the shape or size of the areola and can be done quickly under general or local anesthesia. After the procedure, patients can expect to have a smaller and more circular areola and an overall tighter or more refined shape to the breast. Because the surgery is relatively fast, the recovery time is also short.

Breast Lift
The breast lift procedure involves lifting the breasts by removing excess skin to create a firmer appearance.
The surgery will elevate the breasts and consequently, will relocate the nipples and areolas as well. This procedure requires creating incisions through lifting and reshaping the tissue to improve the shape of the breasts. Large areolas are also reduced to complement the breasts’ overall appearance.

What are the benefits of undergoing surgery?

Patients who are troubled by the dissimilar look of their overall breast, particularly their areola, will greatly benefit from altering its shape and size through surgery.

Firstly, improving the appearance of the areolas will create a better aesthetic for the breasts in general. By undergoing surgery, differently sized areolas will look more symmetrical and pleasing to the eyes. Not only will the areolas look more proportional, but they will also make the breasts look more refined as a whole.

Other than having improved and more similar looking areolas (and breasts), patients also tend to feel more confident in their overall look. Because symmetry is considered an important standard of beauty, patients who alter their areolas to look more identical could potentially feel complete and beautiful, boosting their confidence in their bodies and promoting higher self-esteem.

The biggest goal of any cosmetic surgery is not only to modify certain parts of the body but more importantly to enhance a patient’s sense of beauty and self-acceptance. Correcting dissimilar looking areolas does exactly that; it allows a patient to look and feel more comfortable and beautiful.

But arriving at these results should be done firstly by talking to people who have the knowledge and experience to guide a patient through the process properly. As such, consulting with a plastic surgeon will ensure that the patient is in safe hands and that they will have a greater chance of getting the desired look and feel for their areolas and breasts.

Author's Bio: 

Pankaj Tiwari, MD is a board-certified Plastic Surgeon serving at Midwest Breast & Aesthetic Surgery in Gahanna, Dublin and Cincinnati, Ohio. Dr. Tiwari focuses on breast reconstruction with advanced microsurgical techniques (DIEP and GAP flaps) and the treatment of lymphedema.

Dr. Tiwari's expertise has extended to several articles and book chapters in various plastic surgery journals. Aside from this, he has also published articles from different blogs and websites worldwide.