Tattooing Scars for Breast Cancer Survivors

Breast Nipple Tattoo

There is nothing fun about cancer. But while some cancer patients can have transplants to replace organs, breast cancer patients may spend the rest of their lives looking down and seeing what has been lost. Breast implants can give them the appearance of still having breast tissue but plastic surgeons often have to remove the natural nipple, forever signifying the experience they’ve had. But there are still options out there! Tattooing over scars is nothing new. With a good tattooist and a little bit of creativity, you’ll soon be starting to feel like yourself again.

How are Realistic Nipple Tattoos Done?

Artist like Vinny Myers are known for their skill in recreating nipples. This makes implants appear more realistic. It can be a huge boost in confidence to see once the bra comes off. Nipple tattooing is a cosmetic procedure and it’s quite unlike any design where your artist will put a stencil on and then line it out and color it. A cosmetic tattoo has to look real, there’s no linework and the colors are muted. Artists use color washes where the color is mixed with water so that it isn’t so punchy to dull down colors and make them seem more natural.

Survivors…I ❤️ them all! 3D Areola Tattoo by Jody

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When looking at a nipple you can see bumps, textures, and tones of color. Recreating a nipple is a form of realism, it’s a very particular form but no less challenging. Flesh is a funny color, in fact, our skin changes color constantly which is what makes tattooing skin colors on skin so hard. You want a color that is dark enough to be visible against the skin but light enough that it doesn’t look fake.

Women also have areola around their nipples. The areola is a colored area that surrounds the nipple and separates it from the rest of the breast, these can be small or large and come in a range of colors. Some women don’t even have them. When it comes to reconstructing the nipple the artist usually has to do the areola as well without making it look like a big, colored in circle that goes around the outside and makes her breasts look like targets.

It Doesn’t End with Nipples

For thirty years now women have turned to tattooing to help, and the creativity in that area is astounding. In fact, there’s an image from the 90’s of a lady with a full “bra” tattoo in bright color. This kind of work covers up not only the fact that she has scars from her mastectomy but also the missing nipples. You’re so distracted by the colors and designs that you don’t see them.

The scars that cancer survivors bear can be a painful reminder. Tattooing can remove the scars and boost confidence to make anyone feel like themselves again.

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