Cosmetic Tattoo – Areola Tattooing

Areola Tattooing

Areola Tattooing: A restorative, cosmetic tattoo service.
Cosmetic Tattoo – Areola Tattooing


Hours of Operation

Make an appointment with our Certified Cosmetic Tattoo Artist:

Sheila Mattingly, Registered Nurse

Tattooing adds natural nipple areola color to the final breast reconstruction. In some cases, tattooing alone can create the appearance of a three dimensional areola nipple.

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?

A nipple and areola tattoo is a real, permanent tattoo of a nipple and areola on your breast. The tattoo will help recreate your nipple and areola and complete your breast reconstruction.

What is the difference between a areola tattoo and a 3D tattoo?

A nipple reconstruction is a procedure to rebuild and raise your nipple. If you have this procedure, skin and tissue from the breast are used to form a new, raised nipple. Later on, the reconstructed nipple is tattooed with color and an areola is tattooed around it.

If you don’t have a nipple reconstruction procedure, you can get a 3D tattoo. A 3D tattoo adds color and shading to the breast to make the nipple look like it’s raised. The tattooed nipple is flat to the touch, like a normal tattoo, but looks like a natural nipple.

Who will perform my procedure?

All tattoos are done by a specially trained registered nurse, a breast cancer survivor, and a certified cosmetic tattoo artist. She uses a handheld tattoo machine like the one used for other tattoos. (more)

Other Uses

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.

Risks & Benefits

Nipple areola tattooing is an office procedure with minimal risk and minimal downtime for recovery. After tattooing, we recommend that patients apply a topical ointment and protective dressing once or twice a day to help with healing and to avoid infection. Over the course of several weeks, the tattoo will heal completely, revealing the true color. Overall, nipple areola tattooing is a simple and effective procedure that can help get you over the final hurdle of your breast reconstruction.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the nipple areola tattoo procedure painful?

A local anesthetic can be provided prior to the nipple areola tattooing session if desired, however many patients proceed without any local anesthesia. The overall effect is a sensation of pushing and vibration against the reconstructed breast.

Procedure Details

  • This is an office procedure.
  • Markings are made on the reconstructed breast.
  • If needed, local anesthetic can be applied.
  • When tattooing is needed only on one side, we can mix pigments so that the tattoo closely matches your existing areola color.
  • For bilateral tattooing, we can create the appropriate natural color based on your pre-mastectomy photos, or we can mix pigments to create a color that nicely complements your skin tone.
  • Additional tattooing sessions can be used to achieve the desired color.


Free for members.


Free for members.


Free for members.


Free for members.


Free for members.


Free for members.

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Suite 190
Lexington, KY 40515
(859) 403-3385

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