Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Polythelia and polymastia

Recently, a fellow bayblabber claimed to have a supernumerary or accessory nipple. While not quite as impressive as polymastia (an accessory breast), he's in good company: Mark Wahlberg and Anne Boleyn, as well as fictional characters Krusty the Clown, Goldmember and Chandler from Friends all had extra nipples. While I don't recommend a google image search for pics (at least with SafeSearch off) there are some pics and histology here.

Most of the literature on polythelia is quite old. Extra nipples are more common in women than men, but even then are only 'diagnosed' in about 2% of the female population. The extra nipples can vary in appearance from a patch of hair to full blown polymastia. Early studies suggest a dominant inheritance pattern, and Alexander Graham Bell was successful in raising sheep with multiple extra nipples through selective breeding.

So is it a third nipple? It seems to be on the milk-line which runs from the armpit, through the real nipple and down to the groin, which supports his case, but I think we may need to check his parents.


Anonymous Coward said...

It seems to be quite prevalent: "Of 502 individuals, 28 (5.6%) exhibited a supernumerary nipple". I first heard of this in James Bond, when 007 puts a fake third nipple to get to the villain Scarramanga, which upon seing it replies that in his country (Malaysia or Thailand I think), it is a sign of sexual vigor.

Kamel said...

Yeah, I'm guessing the 2% is lower because few people go to get them checked out. Or maybe there's some sort of association between people with extra nipples and people who will volunteer for a study. The thing I found interesting was that in Caucasians the extra nipple is usually below the regular one, but in Japanese it's above.

Anonymous said...

Polymastia is bizarre and it can happen on MEN. Full grown breasts on theirs legs! See: http://popnomination.blogspot.com/2007/10/third-breasts-are-real-they-can-even.html

KatzyKins said...

Can people with polymastia just get a mastectomy?
Or in this case just get the nipple taken off?