These are few of what every woman should know regarding her
breast! Share it with your loved ones. Tell your wife about
these, your daughters, your friends!
1. Breasts get fat. In your 20s, your boobs are made up of fat,
milk glands and collagen -- the connective tissue that keeps them
firm. "But as you age, the glands and collagen shrink and are
replaced by more and more fat," explains Laurie A. Casas, a
plastic surgeon and associate professor of surgery at
Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine. Instead of making your
bra size go up, however, the added flab can send breasts down,
closer to the floor, if you catch our drift. Wearing an underwire
bra (whether you're an A-cup or a D) can help fight -- but not
stop -- sagging over time.
2. But they weigh less than you think. That surge in the scale
isn't your set's fault: An A-cup clocks in at only a quarter
pound; a B, about half a pound; a C, three-quarters of a pound;
and a D, around one pound.
3. They're thin-skinned. "Because they were stretched as you
developed, breasts have thinner skin than the rest of your body,
leaving them susceptible to dryness," says Laurie Polis, a
dermatologist in New York City. Keep your pair supple by
moisturizing them with a firming cream that stimulates collagen
and elastin growth and has UV protection and retinol to prevent
wrinkling. Don't ignore your nipples either; they're also prone
to dryness. Give them a daily dose of a superemollient
moisturizer, like Vaseline or Aquaphor.
4. Stray strands are normal. Almost all women have some degree of
nipple hair. "Having 2 to 15 dark, straight strands growing at
one time is extremely common," explains Debra Jaliman, M.D., a
clinical instructor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of
Medicine in New York City. The general rule is, the darker your
skin and the hair on your head, the more nipple hair you'll have.
If the hair bothers you, waxing it away is fine. But if you have
only a few strands, it's easier to tweeze: Clean the area with
alcohol, pluck each hair, then wipe down the affected skin with
an antibacterial lotion to prevent infection. That should give
you a week or two before you have to break out the tweezers
5. Each pair has its own point. Not only do nipples come in
varying sizes, they also point in different directions. "Whether
your nipples go up, down, left or right depends on their
structure and where the areolae sit on the breasts," says Dr.
Casas. "Some areolae rest a little higher, which can angle the
nipples upward. Others rest lower or are closer to the edges of
the breasts." Some women even sport a pair that aim in opposing
6. They have their own monthly cycle. "Fluctuating hormones cause
your breast tissue to change week by week," explains Hilda
Hutcherson, M.D., associate professor of obstetrics and
gynecology at Columbia University. In the days after your period,
breast tissue feels smoothest, thanks to even hormone levels.
Midcycle, your nipples may become more sexually sensitive, due to
increased estrogen levels. Finally, the week before and during
your period, extra progesterone may leave your set swollen, bumpy
and tender. Popping an OTC painkiller and cutting back on
caffeine can help quell the ache.
7. There's a right time to take them to the doctor. Because your
boobs are at their smoothest and least tender the week after your
period, it's the best time to have your gyno check out any
unusual lumpiness or swelling. "Your doc will have an easier time
diagnosing the problem because it'll be easier to detect
something abnormal," says Dr. Hutcherson.
8. Four million of them are fake. About two million women in the
United States have breast implants, with 250,000 going under the
knife each year. But if you think it's mostly Jenna Jameson
wannabes getting boob jobs, read on: The average age of a woman
who gets implants is 34, and 90 percent do it after they have had
kids. "Most women increase two cup sizes," says Leroy Young,
M.D., chair of the breast surgery committee of the American
Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. No, they're not always
happy with the results: Six percent of women who sport a fake set
return for a size adjustment or to have them taken out
9. But implants still pose health risks. Though research hasn't
conclusively linked implants to serious health ills like
immune-system disorders or an increased risk of cancer, both
silicone (which has been unavailable to most women in the U.S.
since 1992) and the far more common saline type can still cause
side effects. "In less than 10 percent of cases, either kind can
deflate, leak or become wrinkled, requiring another operation to
replace the damaged implant," says Dr. Casas. Another
complication is called capsular contracture, which is when the
scar tissue that naturally forms around implants tightens,
causing the breast to feel hard. "This also requires another
procedure to fix," she adds. And as with any operation, there's
the small but dangerous risk of infection and excessive bleeding.
10. They can get sunburned even if you're not topless. "Bathing
suit fabric can be pretty sheer. Your bikini top probably
provides only a paltry SPF 5 or 7," says Dr. Jaliman. So slather
your girls with sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15 plus UVA and UVB
protection each time you hit the great outdoors in your bathing
suit. Without it, you'll rack up sun damage such as premature
wrinkling and brown spots.