Inside: Areola Tattoo definition & Inspiration.
Areola tattoos can be extremely helpful for breast cancer survivors or people who have undergone breast surgery. However, just like any other tattoo, it is important to gain as much knowledge about the subject if you are considering getting the tattoo. Read on to find out everything you need to know about areola tattoos.
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What are Areola Tattoos?
The cosmetic procedure in which the chest or breast area – where the areola is found – is inked is known as an areola tattoo. The basic idea behind this type of tattoo is to alter the appearance or shape of the nipple. If a person has lost a nipple due to an accident or surgery, an areola tattoo can be used to create an illusion of a nipple as well.
The method used for areola tattoos is the same as any other tattoo, as the ink is deposited under the skin to create a permanent image. However, in most cases, these tattoos are more detailed when it comes to blending and feathering to maintain a natural look.
You can also opt to get a regular, non-realistic tattoo on your breast if you don’t want to maintain a natural look. However, there are rare cases of people opting for more elaborate tattoos around this area. Ultimately, it all comes down to personal preference.
The Meaning Behind Areola Tattoos
The reason for getting any tattoo can be very personal and unique to each person. Even if someone is getting a rather common tattoo, such as a symbol demonstrating their loyalty to a group, the popular semicolon on the wrist, or even a Deathly Hallows tattoo, it would ultimately hold a special meaning to the person under the needle.
That being said, there are certain tattoos that are given for a particular reason, and areola tattoos are one such case.
Breast cancer survivors who have undergone a mastectomy or breast reconstruction surgery might find the lack of nipple uncomfortable or even triggering. An areola tattoo that restores the look of the nipple with the use of pigment can help bring a sense of normalcy. This is why areola tattoos are more popular among breast cancer survivors. Some survivors also choose to get more detailed tattoos around their nipple area to create something more magical after undergoing such a traumatic procedure.
How Painful are Areola Tattoos
Any tattoo you get will be at least mildly uncomfortable. Having a needle inserted in the skin would certainly get a reaction from even the toughest of people. However, certain parts of the body have a higher threshold of pain when it comes to getting tattoos. And while the breast is a particularly sensitive area, an areola tattoo is far from being the most painful tattoo you can get.
You may experience some discomfort while getting an areola tattoo, but it isn’t something to be scared of. If you visit a good tattoo artist, they will go the extra mile to ensure that the procedure is as comfortable as possible.
It is important to factor in any pain that you already have in the area due to the surgery. If you’ve recently undergone a breast procedure, it is best to wait until it completely heals before getting an areola tattoo.
Areola Tattoo Examples
Aftercare of an Areola Tattoo
Areola tattoos are more sensitive as compared to regular tattoos. Therefore, you will have to take some extra steps during the aftercare. Following are some steps you can take to ensure that your areola tattoo remains in the best condition.
- After the tattoo procedure, a plastic dressing will be wrapped around your chest. Do not take it off for the next three days.
- The dressing is waterproof, so you may wash and shower as usual, as long as you don’t mess with the dressing.
- You may notice fluid buildup under the plastic. This is normal and nothing to worry about. If it starts dripping out of the plastic, put another layer of plastic over the previous one. Your physician will provide you with extra sheets.
- Remove the dressing in the 4th day and take a warm shower. Use a mild, unscented soap and don’t rub the breast area.
- If you notice any scabs, don’t do anything about it. It will heal by itself.
- Gently dry the area and apply a non-scented white lotion.
- Continue applying the lotion at least once a day for about two weeks. If the area looks very dry, you may have to apply the lotion multiple times a day.
- Avoid soaking the tattoo in a bath, hot tub, or pool until it is completely healed. This may take around 2 to 3 weeks.
- Do not pull away any scabs or crusts that appear on the tattoo and give it time to heal.
- Avoid exercising or lifting heavy weights for at least one week after the procedure. However, you may continue any physical therapy without a break.
Call Your Healthcare Provider If:
- You experience any pain and severe discomfort around your chest area.
- The treated area becomes red or warm.
- You notice any thick drainage around the areola tattoo.
- You experience a high fever.
Areola tattoos can be intimidating, but they can also change the way you look at yourself. So if you feel getting an areola tattoo will make you feel better about your breast, talk to your healthcare provider about it.