When a breast is disfigured due to breast cancer treatments or an accident, the results can take a dramatic toll on a woman’s confidence and self-image. For women with marred, scarred, or deformed areolas, an areola re-pigmentation tattoo isn’t just a unique and innovative procedure; it is a way to restore the breast’s natural beauty and the woman’s self-confidence. Please scroll down to learn more about areola restoration procedures, techniques, and results.
Areola Pigmentation Tattoo
The goal of an areola pigmentation tattoo is to create a very natural areola and nipple, thus restoring the breast’s natural beauty. The procedure can be used after a mastectomy or another form of breast surgery, but it’s also useful for women with fading or irregular areolas. The tattoo can help a woman “feel like herself” again and regain confidence in her femininity.
If you have ever gotten a tattoo, you will understand the basics of the procedure. Tiny needles will transfer the pigment to your skin, and sometimes a local anesthetic is provided to reduce discomfort. The process is very quick and can be completed in one appointment (omitting the initial consultation and allergy patch test, of course). As reds and pinks have the highest allergy rate among tattoo pigments, a patch test is highly recommended. The test will also allow you to see which pigments heal closest to your desired color.
COLORS & SHAPING
The color will be carefully selected to produce the correct healed pigment. If only one areola will be tattooed, the technician can match the shade of the existing areola. If both areolas have been reconstructed, your technician can use preoperative photos to choose a color, or you can choose the shade yourself!
Natural areolas are not a single flat shade of color. Instead of using one color throughout, typically multiple shades are used to create a more natural look. If your technician is comfortable with their skills as an artist, they may even be able to mimic the original texture or vascular look of the pre-op areola. The technician should take time to carefully consider the size and shape of the areola, and your personal desires are also very important. Finally, if you have not had nipple reconstruction, some technicians can give the tattoo a three-dimensional appearance to provide the illusion of a nipple.
All tattoos fade over time, so your new areola will appear darker than you expected at first. Be patient as you wait for the color to lighten and the skin to heal. The tattoo may weep at first, but you can wear gauze (to protect your clothing). The tattoo area may also peel, scab, or itch. Apply ointment to keep the tattoo moist and to assist with comfort and healing. It may take one to three weeks for your tattoo to completely heal, but you can resume your normal activities immediately after the procedure (such as exercising and showering). However, avoid soaking the tattoo in water (in a bath tub, hot tub, swimming pool, etc.) and call your technician if you have any questions or concerns.
After a breast trauma, such as cancer, an accident, or reduction, the areola may not be the only concern. There may be disfiguring scars that are also damaging to the woman’s confidence. For textured scars, DermaHealth offers other treatments in the office, but for discoloration, there is the option of getting a tattoo over the scar to better match the color of the scar to the surrounding undamaged skin.
Although this procedure is simple in practice, its impact cannot be underestimated. If you’re interested in an areola pigmentation tattoo, please contact DermaHealth Laser & Skin Care Clinic if you live in southwest Missouri. Our experienced technicians strive to re-create the color and look of a natural areola. After a consultation in which you will discuss the procedure and the artistic details involved, you will have a test patch four weeks before the procedure due to the potential allergy risks. To get started, please give us a call at 417-447-7777 or click here to schedule a complimentary consultation online. We look forward to hearing from you!