The Finishing Touch: 3D Nipple and Areola Tattoos
Yep, it’s tattoo artistry just for breast cancer survivors… a tattoo of a natural-looking areola + nipple.
By Cathy Hamil
Each year, thousands of women have a mastectomy, either because they’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer or are at very high risk of developing it in the future.
If so, their doctor may have told them about options to rebuild their breast or breasts — a surgery called breast reconstruction. Typically, breast reconstruction takes place during or soon after mastectomy, and in some cases, lumpectomy. During reconstruction, a plastic surgeon creates a new breast shape and sometimes a new nipple.
Instead of using tissue to rebuild a nipple, some women now choose to have a tattoo.
“3D nipple/areola tattooing,” as it’s now called, has redefined a procedure that has been overlooked in the reconstructive healing process. In the past, the only option for so many was to have a patch of pigments implanted into the skin by hospital staff.
While in some instances the results of this may have been good, many were not. As such, the obvious transition of this practice was toward tattoo professionals — those who’ve spent their entire careers perfecting the craft: cosmetic tattoo artists.
In just one session the artist can create or match the areola color and give the nipple a realistic 3-D representation and natural appearance. This is a specialty of many permanent cosmetic artists, with the primary goal of helping the cancer survivor feel more complete.
As well-known tattoo artist Vinnie Myers puts it, “I feel like I have the best possible job as a service provider for breast cancer warriors. I’m on the back side of the battle… the finishing touch… the last step. I truly get to put the ‘cherries on the cupcakes!’”
Check with your local licensed permanent cosmetic business to inquire about this procedure.
If you’re willing to travel, we offer one complimentary areola procedure per month at Facial Designs, Osage Beach, MO. Just submit your story to firstname.lastname@example.org or send to Sue at email@example.com (and she will forward to Cathy!) to be considered.