There are many atypical breast conditions which may become apparent as a girl develops into a woman. Breast abnormalities might be physically noticeable, but the anatomical implications of their presence pales in comparison to the psycho-emotional consequences they might enact.
Polythelia and polymastia are 2 conditions which entail having more than the usual 2 nipples or breasts, respectively. These extra mammary structures typically grow below the usually placed breasts or nipples along what are known as the mammary or milk lines. Polythelia, also called supernumerary or accessory nipples, are more common and can actually grow anywhere on the anatomy. While some are little more than an interesting birthmark, others are fully formed nipples, complete with areolae. Polymastia, also called accessory or supernumerary breasts are usually more noticeable, but not always. Sometimes, these are little more than a fatty pouch, while other circumstances have them as fully formed breast structures, complete with nipple/areola complex and lactation ability. When these fully formed breasts grow off the mammary line, they are called mammae erraticae.
Some women are born missing one or both breasts and/or nipples. There are many reasons for this to occur, but the effect is devastating. Alternately, all tissue might be present, but simply does not develop properly. This is called breast hypoplasia or sometimes breast hypotrophy. This condition can affect both breasts or only one. While bilateral hypoplasia creates a flat chested look, unilateral conditions are extremely disturbing since the unaffected side develops normally and often winds up significantly larger than the hypotrophic side.
The opposite condition can also occur, causing breasts to grow uncontrollably. This condition is called hypertrophy or sometimes hyperplasia. This condition can also affect one or both breasts and can be very serious. Most hypertrophic conditions will stop by themselves, but some continue to grow, necessitating drastic and invasive interventions, including radical mastectomy in some instances. While very large and stable bilateral hypertrophic breasts may not be too much of an issue, as long as they do not get out of control, unilateral breast hypertrophy is once again a very noticeable concern for any developing girl.
Typical breasts can also be affected by size and proportion issues. Most breasts are not symmetrical and it is common for women to have up to a 30% size discrepancy from one side to the other. However, sometimes, this difference in size is extremely pronounced, making the body appear unbalanced and making a proper bra fit impossible without custom tailoring. Additionally, nipples and areolas may be considered too large or too small for the breasts they occupy. While this is a very subjective topic, it can still be troubling to any woman who views her body as abnormal.
Inverted nipples or nipples and areola without pigmentation can be an emotional burden for many women, as well. While these conditions do not seem too serious and may even be considered aesthetic by some standards, many women who must endure these atypical breast conditions do so unwillingly and would love to change their anatomies to be “normal”.
Snoopy deformity is a cute name for a not so kind condition in which breast tissue herniates into the nipple/areola complex. This is usually not very pronounced and some women truly like their puffy nipples. However, some cases are very severe, leading to a breast which appears odd, as if there was a small secondary breast growing in the middle of the existing breast mound.
Finally, tuberous breast condition is one of the atypical breast conditions which is usually very disturbing to affected women. Tuberous breasts are characterized by an elongated shape, since the chest wall attachments are constricted, forcing the tissue to squeeze into a tubular profile, rather than a traditional half globe shape. This condition is generally not considered aesthetic and in some cases may be a major source of body image issues.
The good news is that plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries have been invented to help women overcome not only the physical abnormalities, but more importantly, beat those truly domineering emotional issues which can make life a psychological torture. No one wants to feel betrayed or disgusted by their own body and plastic surgeons have made it possible for every woman to choose how to shape her body to suit her own internal motivations. I consider myself blessed to be a vital part of this industry…