Breast cancer is a sad and unfortunate reality of our lives, whether in women or men. A mastectomy is usually carried out to treat the breast cancer, which leaves the patient with scaring and either no or partial nipple/ areola area. Areola tattooing is a rewarding procedure for women or men who have lost one or both nipples through surgery or trauma. By using advanced tattooing techniques, the appearance of the nipple can be restored. For some, this can help them regain a sense of womanhood in the same way breast reconstruction can. After successful areola tattooing, the goal is for the recreated nipple to look realistic and match the existing areola or the look of the nipples and areolas prior to mastectomy surgery.
Areola size or colour adjustment
The colour of an areola can be darkened, balanced, or enhanced with tattooing. The process helps women who have discoloured or lightened areolas after breastfeeding or patients who have had areola graft surgery. Patients with skin discolouration disorders (e.g. Vitiligo) can also benefit from areola tattooing. Also, individuals who have not had breast surgery but are self-conscious about their areola colour or size (too light or too small) may choose this procedure to adjust their appearance.
This procedure is typically performed after breast reconstruction & are fully healed, and if the patient has elected to do so, after nipple reconstruction.
How we perform Areola Tattooing
In your consultation at PERMANENTLY BEAUTIFUL, you may wish to bring photos of how your nipple(s) previously looked. Along with a clear explanation of your goals, this will help us plan for your procedure. During the consultation, we will be sure to explain how areola tattooing works and how you can care for your skin as you heal.
Areola tattooing is completed in a process very similar to a traditional tattoo. For the treatment, a small hand piece will be placed on the surface of your skin.
The hand piece holds the pigment for the recreated nipple. As it passes over your skin, the hand piece will inject small amounts of the micro pigment beneath the surface of your skin. It will do this in a rapid motion, delivering small amounts of the pigment several hundred times per minute, simulating a natural areola / nipple.
What should I expect after treatment
You will leave our office with a surgical dressing covering the tattoo site. You may experience some redness on and around the recreated areola, but this will be a short-lived side effect. Following your treatment, the pigment may appear darker than you anticipated, but it will fade substantially as you heal.
Is an anaesthetic necessary for Areola Tattooing?
Anaesthesia is not necessary for areola tattooing. In some cases, a topical anaesthetic may be offered if you are nervous about discomfort. An ice pack or rooibos tea bags applied to the treatment site can also have a soothing calming effect.
Waiting and preparing for your procedure
Areola simulation or scar camouflage can be performed when your physician approves it. Isabel Pereira openly communicates with her patient’s surgeons and she follows all recommendations made by them. Scar camouflage can usually be performed as soon as 6 months after surgery, but you should first ask your physician. Once you have been cleared for areola tattooing, you can schedule your consultation with Isabel Pereira.
How long will Areola Tattooing take?
Areola tattooing is a relatively quick procedure. However due to the fact that a consultation is conducted discussing the artwork and colour. Therefore a single nipple can often be completed in about one hour, but some treatments take longer. It’s always a good idea to give yourself between 2-3 hours for the procedureas we do not rush these procedures.
How long will the results last?
The tattoo pigments used for your areola tattooing treatment are long-lasting, but that does not mean they will last forever. If fading occurs, you may wish to return to our office for follow-up treatment. The process for touch-ups will be similar to the initial treatment, but may be shorter.
Permanently Beautiful would love to help be the reason you smile everyday, contact Isabel now and change the way you feel forever.