3D Areola Restorative Tattoo FAQ
3D Areola Restorative Tattoo FAQ
Is areola and nipple tattooing a good choice for me?
Breast tattoos aren’t just for breast cancer survivors, but it is also for anyone seeking to improve their overall breast appearance. This service might be a good option if you relate to any of the following:
- breast cancer survivor
- areola restoration
- subcutaneous mastectomy
- breast augmentation
- breast reconstruction
- breast lift
- male chest reconstruction
- keyhole surgery
- female to male surgery (FTM)
- sex reassignment
What should a client know about areola tattooing?
Clients should understand that because there is currently no regulation or prerequisites for training, it’s imperative to seek out a highly skilled specialist. They should definitely know that almost 100% of medical professionals who do nipple tattoos have no previous tattoo experience. Survivors deserve nothing but the best, especially after everything they’ve lost!
Does it hurt?
Normally, the client does not feel any pain. Each case is different though and depending on your particular surgery there may be some sensation but it usually is minimal or mildly uncomfortable.
Do you numb beforehand?
No we don’t. When it comes to scar tissue, we are working on compromised skin, so we don’t want anything interfering with getting the pigment in. We want to be sure your 3D areola and nipple tattoo lasts and stands the test of time.
How long does the procedure take?
The entire appointment for both bilateral and unilateral typically takes up to 3 hours. This includes listening to what you want, placement, pigment color selection and design. The actual tattoo time is about 30 minutes to an hour.
What should I wear to the appointment?
We recommend wearing a top that you can easily take on and off. To avoid transferring ink to your clothing, we will remove your top only, at which point we drape you with a robe. At the end of the service, the tattooed area is dressed with a protective covering. Unless you have a tape/adhesive allergy, wearing a bra is optional but not required.
How long does it take for the tattoo area to heal?
Healing times can vary… typically within 2 weeks and we book your touch up in 10 weeks. Some slight scabbing or skin flaking will occur but this is normal. A thin coat of ointment may be applied as needed during the healing process. A small non-stick pad or bandage will be required for the first few days to avoid sticking to clothing. Washing the area once a day and thin coats of ointment are normally all that is required to get a well healed result.
What should a client look for in an areola tattoo artist?
Experience, heart connection and artistic ability! Tattooing in healthy tissue is one thing, but anyone who has ever watched a mastectomy video understands that following the breast amputation, the blood flow is permanently altered, creating a unique set of challenges.
How long does an areola tattoo last?
Restorative tattooing of any kind requires permanence. The tissue is too delicate to require maintenance and easily becomes damaged further by ongoing trauma for touch ups. Any permanent tattoo could use a freshening up once a decade to keep it looking sharp and dynamic.
How do you create a 3D nipple?
With a unique set of visual tricks using hard edges and soft edges and variations between the application of subtle and strong contrast.
How does a person know when they are ready for the procedure?
Physical readiness for an areola tattoo: A safe bet is to wait until the scars are no longer red, showing that they are no longer active and the scar tissue is now mature. Tattooing while the scars are red risks causing further damage to a growing cellular structure.
Emotional readiness for an areola tattoo: Facing a changed body is an incredibly brave and challenging thing to do. Not having nipples can really mess with you in ways that you could never be prepared for. There is a real element of “you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.”
My advice is to find a level of acceptance with what you have now, and where you’d like to be moving forward.
Is this type of procedure covered by insurance?
Yes, by many, although it can still be a challenge to actually receive payment from many insurance companies. I would recommend survivors find an artist based on skill set rather than coverage. Most of us offer gifted procedures to those facing financial hardship, even if we’re not billing insurance companies, but Studio Conceal does work with a billing agency on your behalf.