How Long Does It Take for Areola Tattoos to Heal?

How Long Does It Take for Areola Tattoos to Heal

Areola Tattooing is a micro-pigmentation process that involves implanting a small amount of skin-safe pigment under the surface layer of the skin, using needles. This procedure gives permanent color to the nipples and areola but doesn’t go as deep into the skin as a regular traditional tattoo. 

Additionally, the technique and hand movement involved in areola and nipple tattoos are different too, given the fact that the clients are aiming specifically for nipple reconstruction. While areola and nipple tattooing is majorly preferred by breast cancer survivors, the tattoo and the artists do not limit anyone from enhancing their looks. 

If you or someone you love is heading for the areola tattoos, here’s all you need to know about the healing timeline and aftercare. 

What to Expect Right After the Procedure?

The first thing every client wants to know is how their nipples and areola will appear right after the procedure. It’s wise to go into the procedure knowing full well, what will happen right after the process and the weeks following it. 

Right after you get the tattoo, you may experience swelling and redness in the general area of the tattoo, followed by a slightly uncomfortable tight feeling. As if your skin is being stretched.   

These symptoms won’t go away right away but would take at least a week to get back to normal. It might take more or fewer days depending on the sensitivity level of your skin. 

However, the symptoms shouldn’t stop you from getting back to your normal routine. Other than a few precautions and abstaining from certain activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and excessive workout, you’re free to do as you please. 

After the procedure, a Tegaderm (clear bandage) is applied to the treated area and is not removed until seven days post-procedure. Alternative dressings can be used if adhesive allergies are indicated. 

Let the healing process take its natural course, doing anything to rush the process might botch the results. 

How Long Does It Take for Areola Tattoos to Heal?

With proper care and pre and post precautions in place, the tattoo would take 14 to 21 days to heal completely.  That said, the healing process also depends greatly on the different skin types and the candidates’ habits and hobbies. 

A few people might even need a few more sessions to get the right shade and color in their tattoos. 

Healing Phases

With a Tegaderm clear bandage application, leave the bandage alone. Showering is allowed, just no submersion into water (bath, hot tub). There may be fluid build-up in the treated area which is normal. After Seven days, the bandage can be removed and a light wash applied to the area. Then let it air dry for 45 minutes. 

    -Alternative bandage Healing process is as follows: 

Three stages of healing occur after the procedure name, healing, peeling, and fading. Here’s what happens in each stage:  

Healing: As a result of our body’s natural defense, scabs would form on the tattooed area.

Peeling: Once the tattoo has healed considerably, the scabs would start breaking and falling off on their own.

Fading: After the scabs have fallen off, the pigment would be much lighter than what it was right after the procedure. This lighter and more natural pigment shade would be the final appearance of the tattoos. 

Week Before the Procedure

To make sure that your tattooing process and healing goes smoothly, here are a few rules you’d need to follow a week before the process:

  • No sauna 
  • No blood thinners
  • No workouts and cardio
  • Mustn’t have any surgery done at least 12-weeks before the process
  • No tanning
  • No pain killers
  • No alcohol intake
  • No antibiotics 2 months before the process

Weeks Following the Procedure


First Seven days

  • Your tattoos will be wrapped in a dressing after the procedure. Follow the provided instructions and do not remove the dressing up until seven days. 
  • Showers can be taken as long as the dressing is waterproof – which it is in most cases. 
  • Fluid buildup under the dressing is normal.


  • On the seventh day, you can carefully remove the dressing and wash the area gently with warm water and soap. Do not rub or scrub the tattoos. 
  •  Do not touch or pick any scabs. Once the tattoo heals, the scabs would come off on their own.
  • After washing the area, let it air dry for 45 minutes. Afterward, a nonirritating lotion can be applied 

Two Weeks

  • Up until two weeks after the procedure, continue applying a gentle moisturizer 
  • Depending on how dry the tattoo area feels, you can apply the moisturizer more than once a day. 

Aftercare Instructions After the Procedure

In addition to the above-mentioned aftercare instructions, there are a few more instructions that you need to follow throughout the 14 days after the procedure. The more attention and care you pay at this point after your procedure, the better it will heal. It will also eliminate the chances of infection.

  • Keep the areas as dry as possible during the first 3 days
  • You can use yellow soft paraffin (bepanthen) to apply over the tattooed area
  • For extra protection, place gauzes in the bra for added comfort. 
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach 
  • Avoid touching the tattooed area with your fingers until it is completely healed, as this can increase the chances of infection


Once You’ve Completely Healed

In 14 to 21 days, your tattoos would be completely healed. And then you can enjoy the nipple and areola tattoos for several years. You can increase their longevity by making a few changes in your lifestyle and skincare habits. Natural factors such as your skin type will also play a role in deciding how long your areola tattoos last.

If you spend long hours under the sun or use tanning beds a lot, then you might need to limit that to prevent your tattoos from fading faster. Make a habit of applying sunscreen of 50 SPF and above to all over your chest, to keep the sun exposure at a minimum. 

You will also need to stop chemical exfoliation to make the tattoos last longer. Chemical exfoliants help with skin turning and regeneration, which is a good thing for skin, but not so favorable for tattoos, as it can make them fade faster. Laser treatments need to be avoided for the same reasons as they can change the color of the pigment.

If you wish to make your tattoos last as long as possible. Regular touch-ups will help you keep the tattoos looking fresh and natural. 

If you are out on the search for highly experienced and well-reputed makeup artists in Austin, TX for your areola tattoo, look no further. Luxe Brow + Lash house some of the most skilled and professional artists, ones you can truly trust to give you the results you want.