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What is 3D Areola Tattooing?

Updated: Oct 12, 2023

A 3D areola tattoo offers a lifelike nipple illusion post-surgery to recreate a natural-looking nipple.

Imagine a technique that can beautifully mimic the look of a natural nipple and areola, especially if you've undergone surgery or experienced trauma. 3D Areola Tattooing does just that. While the skin remains smooth and flat, expert shading and design craft an illusion of depth, creating what appears to be a three-dimensional nipple. Think of it as artistry meeting paramedical expertise, all geared towards helping you embrace your body and regain confidence in your appearance. It's a thoughtful step towards feeling like yourself again after significant life events.

Valencia's World of Beauty specializes in 3D areola tattooing. We can help you restore your confidence with this procedure. First, educate yourself on the process. When you're ready, book a virtual or in-person consultation in our Chicago studio.

What is 3D Areola Tattooing?

3D Areola Tattooing (Before & After Pictures)
3D Areola Tattooing (Before & After Pictures)

3D areola tattooing is a remarkable service that offers a visual enhancement to the breast area, specifically for individuals who have lost their nipple and/or areola due to surgery or trauma. This can include cancer patients, sex changes, or from mastectomy scarring. By utilizing advanced tattooing techniques and specialized ink, this method simulates a realistic nipple and areola on a flat surface, giving the illusion of three-dimensionality.

The Procedure

During the procedure, a skilled paramedical tattoo artist uses specialized equipment and pigments to design and shade a nipple and areola that matches the natural color and shape of the client's preference or their original areola. Precision, artistic skills, and keen observation are employed to ensure the resulting tattoo looks as lifelike as possible. Here is a breakdown of the entire procedure.

Post-Procedure and Aftercare

After the tattooing session, it's crucial to follow aftercare instructions closely. This may include keeping the tattooed area clean, avoiding submerging it in water for a few days, and refraining from scratching or rubbing that area. Your tattoo artist will provide specific products or suggest over-the-counter ones to help with the healing process.

Results and Healing

Initially, the tattooed area might appear darker than intended. However, as it heals, it will lighten to its desired shade. Depending on individual factors, full healing can take several weeks. Throughout this period, it's vital to protect the tattooed area from direct sun exposure.

What to Expect During Nipple Tattooing?

When you come in for your 3D areola tattooing session, you'll first have a consultation (either virtually or in person) with the tattoo artist to discuss your desired results, color choices, and answer any questions you may have. During the actual procedure, comfort measures will be taken to ensure minimal discomfort. The process itself is meticulous and can take several hours, depending on the complexity.

Why Do People Get Areola Tattoos?

The primary reason people seek 3D areola tattoos is to regain a sense of wholeness and normalcy after surgeries like mastectomies. A mastectomy is a surgical operation to remove a breast. They help breast cancer survivors and those who've undergone various forms of chest surgery restore their confidence and body image.

How Painful is an Areola Tattoo?

Everyone's pain threshold is different. However, many describe the sensation as mild to moderate discomfort rather than outright pain. Topical anesthetics can be applied to minimize any discomfort during the procedure.

Nipple Tattooing vs. Nipple Pigmentation

Nipple tattooing involves creating a 3D illusion of a nipple, whereas nipple pigmentation focuses on shading and coloring the areola to restore or enhance its natural appearance. Both procedures aim to recreate a natural-looking nipple and areola, but the methods and results can differ.

3D Tattoos vs. 4D Nipple Reconstruction

3D areola tattoos create a visual illusion of a three-dimensional nipple on a flat surface. On the other hand, 4D nipple reconstruction is a surgical procedure that not only tattoos but also builds a physical protrusion to replicate a real nipple's look and feel.

What Should I Do if I Have a Problem?

If you notice any unexpected reactions, such as excessive redness, swelling, or signs of infection, it's essential to contact your tattoo artist or medical professional immediately. Always remember that post-procedure care plays a crucial role in ensuring the best outcome and preventing complications.

Although a consultation would determine eligibility, our salon does have the following restrictions:

  • Allergic to pigmentation and makeup.

  • Has glaucoma and/or on blood-thinning medicines.

  • Skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis on the treatment area.

  • Under 18 years of age.

  • Active skin cancer in the treated area.

  • Experienced inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

  • Undiagnosed rashes or blisters on the treatment area.

  • Transmittable blood conditions (e.g., Hepatitis or HIV).

  • Uncontrolled diabetes.

  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure.

  • Healing disorders.

  • On skin medication like antasure, ro-accutaine, or steroids that thin/sensitize the skin.

  • Undergoing or scheduled for radiotherapy/chemotherapy (must be 42 days post-treatment).

  • Epileptic or experienced faint spells, dizziness, or excessive movement.

  • Pregnant or lactating.

In conclusion, 3D areola tattooing is a transformative procedure, offering those who've experienced nipple and areola loss a chance to regain a part of themselves. Through art and precision, this service not only restores physical appearance but also gives a boost in confidence and self-esteem. If you're considering this procedure, make sure to do thorough research and find a trusted professional to guide you through the process.

The licensed and trained professionals at Valencia's World of Beauty can assist in the consultation and execution of 3D areola tattoos. Our pricing ranges from $250 to $500, depending on timing. For those who experience this amazing service and require a touchup, we charge $150 for a refresh.

Photo by NAMYNOT Inc.

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