For breast cancer survivors, it can sometimes be triggering, dysmorphic, or otherwise upsetting to have to undergo breast reconstruction surgery, also known as a mastectomy. To repair a sense of normalcy for those who want it, it's possible to get an areola tattoo, which reconstructs the way your nipple looks with pigment to make it appear more natural and realistic.
What is an Areola Tattoo?
An areola tattoo is a cosmetic procedure that is done on the area of the breast or chest where the areola is found. The idea of areola ink is that it alters the appearance of the nipple in some way, be it adding one or changing the shape. Areola tattoos are done in the same manner as other tattoos—by depositing ink under the skin to create a permanent image—but tend to be particularly detailed in regards to blending and feathering, to ensure an extremely natural look.
Why Would You Get an Areola Tattoo?
An areola tattoo essentially creates a new nipple, and there is one particularly powerful reason the procedure is done: to help breast cancer survivors be comfortable in their bodies post-surgery. Many cancer survivors undergo breast reconstruction surgery (or a double mastectomy if both breasts are affected), but still don’t feel comfortable in their bodies after all they have to endure. That’s where areola tattoos come in: they’re a great way to help women construct the bodies they want to boost self-confidence and help them feel natural in their own skin. It’s also a great alternative to nipple reconstruction surgery for those who want something a bit quicker and easier.
It’s important to note that areola tattoos aren’t just for survivors who have undergone breast reconstruction surgery and had their nipple affected. If you had surgery that left the nipple intact, you may have scars or misshapen areola. These issues can be easily visually improved by tattooing over them to even out the shape, size, and color of the nipple.
"This type of tattooing offers so much healing for someone who has experienced a drastically altered appearance,". "Being able to reconnect with your previous self when you look in the mirror is a magical thing!"
While areola tattoos are a fantastic resource for breast cancer survivors, it’s also totally appropriate to get the ink for other reasons. Some people like to change the shape or color of their nipples with ink, and it allows you to have full control over how a part of your body looks.
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