Medical Tattooing


What is Areola Re-pigmentation?
Areola Re-pigmentation is a speciality area of medical tattooing that requires advanced education, training and experience. These procedures help improve the appearance and self esteem of both women and men who have undergone breast surgery. Areola Re-pigmentation techniques can create an areola after breast reconstruction, minimize the appearance of scars, or restore an Areola micropigmentation, Areola pigmentation, Areola recoloring, Areola restoration or Areola simulation.

How Areola Re-pigmentation helps people after breast surgery.
The Areola is part of the human breast in both men and women. It is a circular area of skin around the nipple that is often darker and thicker than the surrounding skin. The Areola plays a key role in the aesthetic look of a breast. Sine a woman's self-image can depend on the appearance of her breasts, a missing areola can be psychologically devastating. A woman can survive breast cancer after undergoing a mastectomy, and she can regain her figure with a breast reconstruction. However she may not feel "complete" without an areola. A woman can become emotionally distressed from a scarred areola as well. A mans self-esteem can also be lowered by the appearance of his chest and breasts. Areola tattooing provides the "finishing touch" after breast surgery. Patients feel the tattooing process helps them during the last part of their recovery to look complete and feel "whole" again.

What causes Areola scars?
Surgical procedures on the breast can create a scar if they require an incision at or around the edge of the areola. The scar that is left is called a peri-areolar scar. Some breast surgeries also create a vertical scar from the nipple through the lower portion of the breast that may need to be camouflaged. The following are breast surgical procedures that may create a scar; Breast Augmentation or Enlargement (Augmentation Mammoplasty) Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty), Breast Lift (Mastopexy), and Male breast reduction (Gynecomastia).

Post-Surgical Areola Tattooing Techniques

  • Areola-Nipple Complex Simulation:

This procedure is for patients who have had breast reconstruction after a mastectomy or lumpectomy. Cosmetic tattooing techniques and colour pigments are used to create the appearance of an areola. For a unilateral mastectomy patient, this process helps the reconstructed breast to match the natural breast. For patients with bilateral breast reconstruction, both areolas are recreated. Areola complex simulation can be achieved with or without a nipple button created by the surgeon.

  • Areola Scar Camouflage:

Many breast operations require one or more incisions at or around the edge of the areola which mat produce scarring. The most common peri-areola scars are from breast augmentation or reduction surgeries. A scars appearance can be softened, blended or reduced by tattooing the areola scar using corrective pigment camouflage techniques.

  • Areola Size or Colour Adjustment

The colour of an areola can be darkened, balanced or enhanced with tattooing. The process helps women who have discoloured or lightened areolas after breastfeeding or patients who have had areola graft surgery. Patients with skin discolouration disorders (e.g. Vitiligo) can also benefit from areola tattooing. Also, individuals who have not had breast surgery but are self-conscious about their areola colour or size (too light or too small) may choose this procedure to adjust their appearance.

Waiting and preparing for your procedure
Areola simulation or scar camouflage can be performed once your surgeon has approved it. Scar camouflage can usually be performed as soon as 6 months after surgery, but you should ask your physician. Once you have been cleared for areola tattooing, you can schedule your consultation. During your consultation I will be happy to discuss  your concerns and recommend a treatment plan with you that will achieve optimum results.

After your procedure
You will need to follow specific steps for one week after each areola tattooing session. You will be given an after care kit and detailed instructions. Although you will not need to take time off from work, you should keep your  recovery period and after care in mind when scheduling your procedure appointments around work, social and travel plans.