After mastectomy and breast reconstruction surgery, you have officially defeated cancer. For many survivors, the final step to that journey is having nipples that appear exactly like they used to. That’s where the art of areola tattoos and 3D nipple tattoos came in.
One of the first questions asked about these tattoos is how long do they last, or if they are permanent. We are answering this question and some others, so that breast cancer survivors can learn about the options they have.
What is Areola Tattooing
Areola tattoos are cosmetic procedures most often used for restoration purposes by breast cancer survivors. Micro-pigmentation techniques and intricate art is used to create a realistic replica of real areola and nipples.
A small tattoo machine is used to insert pigment under the skin, to add color, design, and texture to improve the aesthetics of the nipples after mastectomy.
Why The Areola Pigmentation Technique?
Breast cancer survivors look into all the options they have, and one of the most common questions they asked is why areola tattoos are so preferred over any other procedure that can be done medically.
The answer is simple, it is less invasive and much more realistic than anything medical has come up with so far. Before the artists came up with areola tattoos, the most common procedure for restoring the color of areola was skin grafting. However, after already going through such major surgeries, most survivors used to be reluctant to go into another. Moreover, unlike areola tattoos which are done in one sitting in an hour, skin grafting involves multiple visits before achieving the desired appearance.
Areola tattoos gained a reputation so fast, that they almost erased the concept of skin grafting after mastectomy for aesthetic reasons. And then, came the 3D nipples tattoo, which is now on its way to replacing nipple reconstruction surgery.
Not only are these tattoos less invasive, but they give you the option to choose a shade as close as possible to the real areola as well as a chance to add all the intricate details to make them look extremely close to reality.
What are The Benefits of Getting an Areola Tattoo?
An areola tattoo and 3D nipples bring back a sense of normalcy and boost confidence in people who’ve had a mastectomy. Choosing tattoos as a final touch after your surgical procedure gives you lots of say and choice in the matter. You can have your pick of the color and match it very close to your natural areola. This is highly appreciated when someone had a single mastectomy and needed both the nipples to look exactly alike.
A trained tattoo artist finds the closest match to the areola or even offers to add designs, shades, and dimensions to the other. You can have your nipples look exactly like you want them to, and be extremely realistic and natural.
What Happens After the Procedure?
It is completely normal to see swelling and redness in the area right after getting a tattoo. The same goes for areola tattooing. You might also feel your skin tightening in the area. These are normal post-tattoo phases and take up to a week to subside and heal. It also depends on the type of skin a person has. People with sensitive skin will experience slow healing, whereas others would see completely healed skin after a week.
The tattoo does not, in any way, hinder your day-to-day life. You can drive yourself home after the tattoo and do everything normally, as you do. The only thing you might need to do differently prevents the use of moisturizer until your skin is entirely healed.
Following the same line of logic, you need to prevent anything that might make the freshly tattooed area come in contact with any sort of harsh ingredient. For instance, swimming will bring the skin in contact with chlorinated or saltwater. The same goes for direct exposure to the sun.
Doing any of the above rights after getting the tattoo can fade it and you won’t receive the results you were expecting. You can start moisturizing, swimming, sunbathing, and spending your time in Jacuzzis once the tattoo is healed completely.
Here’s how you’ll know your tattooed skin is healing:
- Your body’s natural healing mechanism may form a scab over the tattoos, the same way we get a scab on a wound.
- The scab will take a few days before it will start flaking. We strongly recommend against picking at your tattoos. If you do so, you will lose the pigment and the tattoos will become faded and incomplete.
- When the scabbing flakes on its own, you’d see a fainter and more natural version of your tattoos, than what you saw right after getting the tattoo.
- After 4-6 weeks, your tattoos would have completely healed and set. The appearance of the tattoos you see then is the appearance that will stay there for years to come.
Are Areola Tattoos Permanent?
Areola tattoos and 3D nipples look extremely real, the only time you can tell they are not real is by touching them and finding them flat against the skin. The procedure of getting three-dimensional tattoos is the same as traditional tattoos, and while areola tattoos aren’t permanent, they last for a long time – sometimes years.
They eventually, gradually fade over time. However, some people take extra precautions and end up having it for several years. For instance, wearing UV protective swimwear and using high SPF sunscreen will prevent the tattoos from fading faster.
Areola Artist Near Me
The beauty and intricate details of an areola tattoo are the reasons behind its success. When choosing an artist for the job, take a look into their work, take a consultation, ask the past clients about their experiences and how long their tattoos lasted. You also need to make sure that the person who’d be giving you the tattoo is licensed and authorized to perform such a task.
If you are in Austin, Tx you can end your search for an amazingly qualified artist and reach out to Luxe Brow + Lash. Here you’ll find a trained and licensed artist with skills to match. After all, you do have to compromise on skills and expertise when it comes to permanent designs.