Top surgery is a procedure for transgender men and nonbinary people that removes unwanted chest or breast tissue. Men or women who have undergone subcutaneous mastectomy choose to recreate their gender-affirming nipples or areolas to help give their breasts a more natural look.
As one can imagine, after undergoing such an intense surgery the last thing a person would want is yet another one. As such, the least invasive procedure to restore the natural appearance of the breast, after top surgery, is permanent 3D nipple tattoos. These tattoos are far less painful than nipple reconstruction surgery and have much shorter healing periods.
What Is A 3D Nipple Tattoo?
A 3D nipple tattoo is an accurate replication of a nipple or areola on the breast or chest. The nipple is designed to look three-dimensional but is flat to touch.
These semi-permanent makeup tattoos are applied by highly skilled, trained, and experienced tattoo artists. The procedure is conducted with the help of a small electronic machine that uses sterile needles to inject pigment into the papillary layer of the skin.
3D nipple tattoos are far less invasive than nipple reconstruction surgery. Plus, this procedure focuses on fine details such as shading and bumps that make the nipple and areola area look far more natural than even the ones you get done surgically.
A nipple tattoo is the last step to natural-looking breasts after top surgery. It should be done at least 4 months after a subcutaneous mastectomy or a breast reconstruction surgery.
The Benefits Of Gender Affirming 3D Nipple Tattoos
Whether it is a female-to-male top surgery or a male-to-female top surgery, 3D nipple tattoos can play an important role in completing the operation and giving your new breasts or chest the right size, color, and shade of the areola and nipple.
3D nipple tattoos don’t leave scar marks and have a much faster recovery period than surgically implanted nipples. The procedure is also completed in just one session which makes it highly convenient.
When Should You Not Opt For A 3D Nipple Tattoo?
There are some instances where you may not be suitable for a 3D nipple tattoo. Such as:
- You have recently undergone radiation treatments that have damaged the skin around your breast or chest
- Your breast skin has become overly thin as a result of tissues being removed during mastectomy
- The tissues around your chest area are swelling due to lymphedema
- You have a medical history of infections in and around the chest area
Who Can Benefit From Nipple Tattoos?
Nipple tattoos benefit people who have undergone mastectomy or double mastectomy by helping create a new nipple.
This procedure helps breast cancer survivors feel good about their bodies, helping boost their self-confidence.
Nipple tattoo is also beneficial for people who have undergone chest surgery, have asymmetrical nipples that require resizing or reshaping, have had a breast lift, or have had sex reassignment surgery or top surgery.
A 3D nipple tattoo has an edge over breast reconstruction surgery due to the following reasons.
- People don’t want to have another surgery and the formation of new scars
- The healing process is a lot shorter
- 3D Nipple tattoos can imprint fine details such as the illusion of Montgomery glands and use shading and coloring techniques to make your nipples and areola look as natural as possible
Do 3D Nipple Tattoos Hurt?
3D Nipple tattooing is done in one session. The tattooing process takes about half an hour per nipple.
The level of pain experienced during a nipple tattoo may vary from person to person but it is typically not very painful. You may feel mild discomfort and a tingling sensation, however, numbing lotion or local anesthetic is used during the procedure to ease the pain and any discomfort.
3D Nipple Tattoos – Aftercare & Healing Period
3D Nipple tattoos take approx. 10 to 14 days to heal. However, for the entire area to settle into its new appearance can take maybe even a month or two.
The healing period can also vary from person to person depending upon their healing capabilities and immune system.
The healing process takes place in 3 stages – healing, peeling, and fading
Stage 1 – Healing
A few days after getting the tattoo the skin which was penetrated will scab over to protect the area from infection. The scabs are the first sign that your skin is healing and during this stage, it is best to refrain from itching the area no matter how badly you may want to do so.
Stage 2 – Peeling
After the healing phase, the scabs start to naturally fall off. Avoid picking at the scabs as it will hinder the healing process and can also result in pigment loss leading to less desirable results.
Stage 3 – Fading
This is the last stage in which the scab falls off completely and the person will notice a lighter pigment area.
It will take 4 to 6 weeks for the pigment to fully settle and reveal the true color, definition, and depth of your 3D nipple tattoo.
After the procedure has been done a person may experience mild swelling, redness, and tightness in the skin. You can get rid of this sensation by taking OTC drugs or applying a cream prescribed by your aesthetician.
The post-procedure symptoms and recovery period can shorten if you follow guidelines strictly.
You must also take special care for at least the first 14 days after getting your tattoo to reduce the risk of infection.
A person can take shower the next day but it’s best to avoid using soap. Don’t soak the tattooed area with water and try to keep it as dry as possible.
Apply the recommended ointments, balms, and creams, prescribed by your artist in a timely manner and cover your tattooed nipples with gauze bandages to reduce discomfort.
Keep the wound clean and don’t touch it unnecessarily.
How Much Do 3D Nipple Tattoos Cost?
The cost of a 3D nipple tattoo depends largely on where the artist is located and how much experience or credibility they have. A renowned studio or artist will likely charge a lot more than an amateur.
On average, a 3D nipple tattoo will cost around $300-$400 for one nipple. For both nipples, you are looking at anywhere from $600 to $800.
Finding An Expert 3D Nipple Tattoo Artist Near You!
Nipples tattoos can be done by nurses, plastic surgeons, or specialized nipple tattoo artists. However, you are likely to get the best results by opting for a specialized 3D tattoo artist as they have a lot more experience and training.
If you’re looking for the best and most trusted 3D nipple tattoo studio, look no further than Luxe brow and Lash. Located out of Austin, TX, we specialize in all types of permanent makeup and deliver flawless results.
If you live around Round Rock you have likely heard of us. If so, stop by and have a chat, or give us a call and we can help guide you on what your next move should be!