Supernumerary nipple

Supernumerary nipple
Supernumerary nipple
Classification and external resources

Supernumerary nipples. (Third and fourth nipple of Scandinavian male). A - regular birthmark. B - regular nipple. C - Supernumerary nipple[dubious ]
ICD-10 Q83.3
ICD-9 757.6
OMIM 163700
DiseasesDB 32140
MedlinePlus 003110
eMedicine derm/735

A supernumerary nipple (also known as a third nipple, triple nipple, accessory nipple,[1] polythelia or the related condition: polymastia) is an additional nipple occurring in mammals, including humans. Often mistaken for moles, supernumerary nipples are diagnosed at a rate of 1 in 18 males and 1 in approximately 50 female humans.[1][2]

The nipples appear along the two vertical "milk lines", which start in the armpit on each side, run down through the typical nipples and end at the groin. They are classified into eight levels of completeness from a simple patch of hair to a milk-bearing breast in miniature.[3][4]

type glandular tissue nipple areola fat tissue hair patch
1 yes yes yes yes
2 yes yes
3 yes yes
4 yes
5 ("pseudomamma") yes yes yes
6 ("polythelia") yes
7 ("polythelia areolaris") yes
8 ("polythelia pilosa ") yes

Polythelia refers to the presence of an additional nipple alone while polymastia denotes the much rarer presence of additional mammary glands.

Although usually presenting on the milk line, pseudomamma can appear as far away as the foot.[5]

A possible relationship with mitral valve prolapse has been proposed.[6]


Known examples

  • Carrie Underwood during her American Idol audition admitted to have had a third nipple which looked like a mole.[7]
  • Lily Allen has a third nipple, which she showed freely on television in a 2007 episode of The Friday Night Project.[8]
  • Mark Wahlberg, actor and producer as well as Calvin Klein underwear model and former singer known as Marky Mark, has a third nipple.[9] He famously spoke about it to the press before considering an operation to have it removed, but has since reneged, citing his third nipple as his "prized possession".[10]
  • Anne Boleyn, second wife to Henry VIII of England, and mother of Elizabeth I, is said to have had a third nipple or even a third breast. This may well have been a slanderous rumour, as in Tudor times these "malformations" were considered to be a sign of the person having been a witch. The circumstances of her marriage to the king, whose previous marriage had been annulled, made her a controversial figure.[11]
  • Jo Whiley, BBC Radio 1 presenter revealed in early 2005 that she had had a third nipple removed. "Yesterday I had three nipples - today I've got two. I was lying on the table and the doctor was looking at my mole. It was on my trunk, near my boob. And bearing in mind where it was, the doctor said: 'I think this is actually an accessory nipple'." Her husband gave her the nickname Scaramanga, after the James Bond villain who had a supernumerary nipple.[12][13]
  • Jonathan Spector, professional football player for West Ham United has a third nipple, which he claims to use to intimidate opponents on the pitch.[citation needed]

Examples in popular culture

  • In the 1965 novel and the 1974 James Bond feature film The Man with the Golden Gun, the eponymous villain, Francisco Scaramanga, has a third nipple. In the film, Bond has Q Department make a fake nipple in order to impersonate Scaramanga, although he places it in an anatomically impossible position.[clarification needed]
  • The feature film Mallrats features a topless psychic who attributes her abilities of precognition to her, albeit fake, third nipple and the topless manipulation of said supernumerary tissue.
  • Chandler Bing, a character on the American television series Friends, has a third nipple he calls a "nubbin." He later has it surgically removed.
  • In an episode of the animated television series The Simpsons, Lisa uses her knowledge of Krusty the Klown's third nipple to see if Krusty is an impostor.
  • In a second season episode of the drama "Nip/Tuck", Christian Troy meets a young man who has a third nipple and invites him to McNamara/Troy for surgery. His third nipple is successfully removed.
  • In the Ed Edd n Eddy episode "Pop Goes The Ed", the Eds don't want Nazz to go with them in the pool so Eddy tells her that Ed has "a third nipple, like that guy in James Bond".


In folklore, an extra nipple was held to be indicative that the woman concerned was a witch - the nipple being used to suckle the devil.[14]

See also


  1. ^ a b Rapini, Ronald P.; Bolognia, Jean L.; Jorizzo, Joseph L. (2007). Dermatology: 2-Volume Set. St. Louis: Mosby. ISBN 1-4160-2999-0. 
  2. ^ "Cancer hope over breast gene find", BBC, 1 September 2005; references the rate of extra nipples appearing in humans.
  3. ^ Kajava Y. "The proportions of supernumerary nipples in the Finnish population". Duodecim 1915; 1:143-70.
  4. ^ Revis, Don R. Jr., MD. "Breast Embryology". eMedicine. Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  5. ^ "Pseudomamma on the foot: An unusual presentation of supernumerary breast tissue". Retrieved 2007-12-03. 
  6. ^ Rajaratnam K, Kumar PD, Sahasranam KV (2000). "Supernumerary nipple as a cutaneous marker of mitral valve prolapse in Asian Indians". Am. J. Cardiol. 86 (6): 695–697. doi:10.1016/S0002-9149(00)01057-2. PMID 10980229. 
  7. ^ Fields, Curt (2005-11-18). "The High (and Low) Notes of 'Idol'". The Washington Post. pp. WE41. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  8. ^ "Lily Allen". The Friday Night Project. Channel 4. 2007-06-29. Transcript.
  9. ^ "The Joy of Third Nipples", H2G2, 28 October 2005, article citing known examples of supernumerary nipples.
  10. ^ Softpedia article with quotes of Mark Wahlberg discussing his reasons not to have his third nipple surgically removed
  11. ^ Article on the topic of Boleyn's third nipple/breast
  12. ^ Jo Whiley Show. Presenter: Jo Whiley. BBC. BBC Radio 1. February 1, 2005.
  13. ^ Saney, Daniel (February 2, 2005). "Jo Whiley shocked by her nipple". Digital Spy. Retrieved 27 July 2009. 
  14. ^ Bond villain's nipple triple gives clues to breast cancer treatment(retrieved 26 February 2010)

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Look at other dictionaries:

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