Definition: the darker skin of the breast which is around the nipple in a circular area.
The reason for the darker color is that the ducts of the mammary glands are located under it. Between 15-20 small openings are located in the areola, around the nipple, from which milk is released during breastfeeding.
Alternate Spellings: aureola
Common Misspellings: ariola
During a lumpectomy for ductal carcinoma in situ,
a surgeon may make the incision along the curved edge of the areola, because the scar can easily be hidden there when the patient has healed after surgery.