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What is Areola Tattooing?

Most widely known for helping breast cancer survivors after surgery, 3D areola tattooing can be tattooed post-mastectomy to recreate the areola and nipple. These tattoos play an important role in the recovery journey for survivors, specifically helping to regain self-confidence and self-esteem. Areola tattooing can also be used as a part of the gender affirmation process or "top surgery", following breast reduction surgery, and to correct color and asymmetry.

How long after surgery can you get your areola tattooed?

Areola tattooing

When tattooing over scar tissue, it is important to wait until the scar has fully ‘matured.’ This can take anywhere from six months to two years depending on your individual circumstances, surgery types, and/or cancer treatments. Seeking the advice of your consultant, surgeon, or medical professional is recommended.

Before Your Appointment:

  • Get a good night’s sleep the day before

  • Make sure you are feeling well

  • Eat a good meal at least 2 hours prior to appointment

  • Avoid alcohol and caffeine for 24 hours prior to appointment

  • Avoid aspirin-based medication for 48 hours prior to appointment

  • Please note you cannot be tattooed if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or taking antibiotics.

What to expect at your appointment

At your appointment, you will have a detailed consultation. The drawing and tattooing process will be reviewed with you as well as a discussion on placement, nipple style and colors.

Appointments take between 1 – 3 hours, depending on the type of tattoo(s) you are having done.

Color swatches are done on the breast area to establish a suitable color palette for your skin tone and desired look. For a unilateral mastectomy, the natural areola is matched as best as possible in appearance, placement and color. For a bilateral mastectomy, placement, shape and size are discussed and drawn on to compliment the breasts and create balance and symmetry.

Once the design prep is complete, you will be laid back comfortably on the bed and the process will begin, taking approximately 30-50 minutes per nipple.

You will need a follow-up appointment after 8-10 weeks. During this appointment, any adjustments to color, shape and detail will be made.

Does it hurt?

Yes and no. Surgical incisions and skin/nipple grafts frequently cause damage to the nerve endings in that area; meaning sensation and pain is minimal, if at all, during a process. The area is pre-numbed with a topical anesthetic and a secondary numbing agent is used during the process if needed.

Why book with me?


For the past 7 years, I  have been helping people look and feel their best through the artistry of permanent makeup.

As a double mastectomy breast cancer survivor myself, I understand what you have been through and will aid in closing the final chapter of your healing process. 

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