Nipple Tattoos After Mastectomy: How It Can Transform Your Life

Are you a breast cancer survivor who’s undergone a mastectomy? At this point, you may desire a sense of normalcy, especially with your breasts. Did you know that you can have a realistic nipple tattoo done post-mastectomy? It is a life-changing procedure you may want to try.

nipple tattoo post mastectomy

After a mastectomy, you may feel incomplete. Not all survivors are able to spare their nipples and most women are left with scars.

Your body has been permanently altered and with that comes the challenge to accept those new changes. Thankfully, there are medical procedures performed by plastic surgeons like breast reconstruction surgery and nipple reconstruction surgery that can make you feel whole again.

There are also nipple-areola tattoos. What is it? In this article, we’ll learn more about nipple tattoos, how they can change your life and where to book an appointment for a 3D nipple tattoo.

What Are Nipple Tattoos

nipple tattoo post mastectomy

Breast cancer patients may need to undergo a mastectomy. This medical procedure involves the removal of parts or the whole breast to remove cancerous tissues. This also includes the removal of the nipple and areola, which may sound worrying.

Nipple tattoos or areola tattoos are an excellent solution to have natural-looking nipples. An areola tattoo is not just recommended for women who had a mastectomy but also for cosmetic reasons. For example, those who want to improve the appearance of their areola or those who underwent sex reassignment.

As for breast cancer survivors who underwent a mastectomy, this is an excellent option for a non-invasive and less risky procedure if you want to restore the look of your nipples. Nipple tattooing is usually recommended 3-4 months after a mastectomy. This is to ensure that the skin or surgical scars are fully healed before we needle the skin again.

Nipple Reconstruction Surgery + 3D Nipple Tattoos

areola tattoo

For some, they combine nipple reconstruction surgery and 3D nipple tattoos. A nipple reconstruction surgery is an outpatient procedure where plastic surgeons use small skin flaps in the breast area to create a new nipple. After that, the patient can have a 3D nipple tattoo to add color to the areola for a natural-looking nipple.

Is It Like Traditional Tattooing?

It is similar to traditional tattooing; it is permanent and performed by professional tattoo artists. However, nipple tattoos are a form of art, using the color pigment of a nipple.

Nipple tattooing is often offered at a medical center or at tattoo shops, but there are also specially trained artists who offer this service. We would suggest searching for a professional tattoo artist who specializes in nipple tattooing, not an ordinary tattoo shop.

Nipple tattooing specializes in creating the illusion of a realistic nipple: it involves using visual tricks, hard edges, soft edges, shading variations, and true-to-life features to make it look real. In fact, 3D nipple tattoos are also a thing.

nipple tattoo

With 3D nipple tattoos, the artist uses an oscillating tattoo needle coated with a nipple-colored pigment. The pigment is then inserted into the skin to create a realistic appearance of a nipple. By realistic-looking, we’re talking about light pink to brownish-black color that matches your skin color and is circular or oval in shape.

Who Can Benefit From Nipple Tattoos

Let’s get one thing perfectly clear; nipple tattoos are not just for breast cancer survivors who underwent mastectomy but for cosmetic reasons as well. Who can benefit from getting a nipple tattoo?

  • Breast cancer survivors (after mastectomy)
  • Areola restoration caused by injury or accident
  • Those who underwent procedures like breast augmentation, breast reconstruction surgery, breast lift, sex reassignment surgery, or keyhole surgery and want to improve the appearance of their nipple.
  • Men and women
  • Improve the overall appearance of the breast: To cover scars, improve areola symmetry, and enhancement of the nipple color.

What Are the Advantages of Nipple Tattoos

Here’s the thing, breast cancer survivors have the freedom to choose which procedure they prefer after mastectomy. As mentioned above, there’s nipple reconstruction surgery, breast reconstruction surgery, and nipple tattoos; for others, they combine it.

However, the idea of undergoing another surgery in the hands of plastic surgeons after having a mastectomy may sound overwhelming for some. Just after scar recovery, undergoing another medical treatment or visiting the doctor is stressful.

That is why more breast cancer survivors prefer a less invasive and less intimidating procedure like a nipple tattoo. Here are some advantages of nipple tattoos, why more people choose them over nipple reconstruction surgery:

Quick and Far Less Risky

A nipple tattoo is quick, far less risky, and far more painless compared to a nipple reconstruction surgery. This makes it a better option for those who feel worried about going under the knife again.

Restores Confidence

After a mastectomy, with the scarring and removed nipple, a breast cancer survivor may feel incomplete and have a poor body image perception. With a nipple tattoo, patients gain back their confidence.

Faster Healing Process

Compared to nipple reconstruction surgery, a 3D nipple tattoo has a faster healing process. The healing may only take 7-10 days after a nipple tattoo, while with nipple reconstruction surgery, it may take several weeks to months.

Less Painful

After a nipple reconstruction surgery, the patient may feel weak and need pain medications. This is not the case for 3D nipple tattoos. You won’t be needing pain medications.

Improve Intimacy

Many women may feel embarrassed to take their clothes off in front of their partner after a mastectomy, resulting in loss of sexual desires. With a realistic-looking nipple tattoo, a woman feels more confident and improves the intimacy in the relationship.

FAQs About 3D Nipple Tattoos

1. Is Nipple Tattoo Painful?

The pain is tolerable during a 3D nipple tattoo procedure. As for some women who underwent mastectomy, there are no sensations; as a result, there will be little to no pain. A 3D nipple tattoo artist may use topical anesthetics to reduce pain and provide comfort during the procedure.

2. Do Nipple Tattoos Fade?

It will not fade; instead, it will have a lighter shade 4-6 weeks after the scabs have fallen off. You can always opt for a touch-up if you’re not satisfied with the final shading.

3. Is Nipple Tattoo Procedure Safe?

Yes, a nipple tattoo procedure is safe. With a proper aftercare regimen, you can avoid infections during the recovery process. Always inform your tattoo artist if you have previous allergic reactions to tattoo inks to prevent complications.

4. Does Insurance cover 3D Tattoos?

Typically, the 3D nipple tattoo is covered under private insurance. Always check with your health insurance provider before undergoing the procedure just to make sure. If not, you can pay in cash.

Finding a Professional 3D Nipple Tattoo Artist

nipple tattoo

Nipple tattooing is the final step in a breast cancer survivor’s journey. It’s like getting a traditional tattoo, and it’s to mark a milestone and celebrate life’s precious moments. At this point, what is your next step? To find a professional 3D nipple tattoo artist.

Hello! My name is Jayd Hernandez, proud owner of Studio Conceal and professional Camouflage Tattoo Artist based in Gilbert, Arizona. My passion is to promote a positive body image through transformative solutions. Furthermore, I aim to train more artists to promote this cause.

Our body is our temple, and we should take care of it. I believe that you deserve a body that you can be proud of. That’s why I started Studio Conceal. My passion for art, design, and human shape inspired me to offer services like 3D Areola Tattoo Restoration, Scalp Micropigmentation, Stretch Mark, and Scar Camouflage Tattoo.

Many women, even men, may have low self-esteem when looking at their imperfections. This shouldn’t be this way! I search for solutions to correct your imperfections. You deserve to make this powerful change in your life, and I’m here to help you heal.

3d nipple tattoo

Before and After Nipple Tattoo at Studio Conceal

What to Expect in a Nipple Tattoo Procedure at Studio Conceal

Here at Studio Conceal, expect experience, heart connection, and artistic ability combined. With our years of training and experience, I’ve had many satisfied patients happy with the final result of their chosen procedure.

nipple tattoo artist

Furthermore, I have helped many aspiring camouflage tattoo artists to fulfill their calling through our training program. Here at Studio Conceal, here’s what you can expect from our 3D Areola Restoration services.


Before the procedure, you can book a free consultation through the website. You just need to answer some questions and fill in some details. Our free consultations at Studio Conceal can be done by phone or in-person in our office located at SanTan Village 2212 E. Williams Field Rd. Suite 200.

It helps if I can check the area we need to work on to determine the best way to proceed. We’ll create a plan depending on your preferences. We will talk about the size of the nipples, placement, pigment colors, and everything you need to know about the procedure.

If you have any questions, this is the best time to ask me your concerns. If you’ve had allergic reactions to the pigment ink before, do let me know. I will also give you instructions on preparing on the day of the procedure, what to expect, and the after-care.

On the Day

On the day of the procedure, expect to spend at least three hours in the shop to finish the whole process. However, the actual tattoo time for both nipples will typically take about 30 minutes to 1 hour. You will need to fill up a health questionnaire and sign a consent form before we start.

On the day of the procedure, I recommend that you wear a top that you could easily take off, like a loose shirt or a buttoned blouse. During the procedure, you will be asked to remove your top and bra.

This is to avoid the tattoo ink from transferring to your clothing. Then you will be draped with a robe during the tattoo process. After the procedure, the tattooed area will be dressed with a protective cover or a bandage.

Make sure you have showered and have clean skin before going to our office. Don’t apply any lotion, moisturizer, or numbing agent on your nipples. The procedure takes place in a private room, so you’re comfortable to undress. The areola area will be disinfected before the tattoo session starts.

During the Procedure

Before we start, we’ll go over all the details we talked about during the consultation, like shading, placement, color, and design markings. This is to ensure that we’re on the same page. Once you approve, we’ll proceed with the nipple tattoo. The actual tattoo time for each nipple is around 15-30 minutes.

The Aftercare

After the procedure, a protective bandage will be applied to your tattoo. Expect to see some mild scabbing or flaking; this is normal, just like the healing in a traditional tattoo. The total healing time is about 7-10 days.

As for the aftercare and healing process, here’s what you need to remember:

  • Keep the area clean at all times. Wash the area 1-2x a day with antimicrobial soap and water. Pat dry before applying the ointment.
  • Apply an antibacterial ointment a few times a day for several days.
  • Wear a bandage or non-stick pad for the first few days so it won’t stick to your clothing.
  • Avoid touching, peeling, scratching, or rubbing the area until the scabbing entirely falls off.
  • Overexposure to water like swimming in the pool or beach is best avoided.
  • Avoid tight-fitting clothes and avoid excess sweating.

Book a Nipple Tattoo Appointment With Studio Conceal Now

nipple tattoo az

Here at Studio Conceal, our team will guide you throughout the whole process. We take pride in all our services, and we plan each procedure meticulously. Why choose Studio Conceal? We are masters of our craft and we address every case differently to accomplish the best results.

Change your life now and take this brave step for a better you and a better life. Our experienced team of tattoo artists is here to help you heal from the scars that remind you of your battle with breast cancer. Book an appointment now.

Also, make sure to check out our page of the before and after transformations of our dear clients. We can’t wait to be a part of your healing journey!





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