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Mammal Areolar Tissue spread, 400X
The areola is a small circular area on the body with a different histology from the surrounding tissue. The term is most commonly used to denote the pigmented area on the human breast around the nipple (areola mammae) but it can also describe other small circular areas such as an inflamed region of skin. In the anatomy of mammals, a nipple, mammary papilla or teat is a small projection of skin containing the outlets for 15?20 lactiferous ducts arranged cylindrically around the tip. The skin of the nipple is rich in a supply of special nerves that are sensitive to certain stimuli. The dominant innervation to the nipple is derived from the lateral cutaneous branches of fourth intercostal nerve. The physiological purpose of nipples is to deliver milk to the infant, produced in the female mammary glands during lactation.