One night in college, I noticed a weird, green-looking scab on my areola. The depiction is cringe-worthy, I know. "I guess the last guy I hooked up with bit my nipple off," I joked to my friends. But as I'm sure many of us have (even though we know we shouldn't), I turned to Google—and saw Paget's disease of the nipple, a form of breast cancer, listed as a potential cause.

I went to Campus Health soon after and asked my doctor about it. She said she'd look into it, but I never heard back. The scab went away in time, thankfully, but I'm still wondering: What happened? How common are scabs on the nipples?

There's not one clear-cut reason

A scab can form on your areola from a variety of abrasive factors, so you may have to do some deducing on your own or with a doctor to figure out the exact cause.

One potential cause is breastfeeding. Approximately, 80 percent to 90 percent of breastfeeding women experience nipple pain and fissures according to a 2018 study by the Journal of Pharmacopuncture.

Other reasons range from innocent to, unfortunately, concerning. "It could be due to a partner sucking roughly