The outcomes of breast cancer have caused a lot of women to undergo breast conservation therapy, and nipple reconstruction is usually performed as the final step for breast reconstruction. At Beauty Techniques, we offer cosmetic services like areola and nipple restoration as a way to help breast cancer patients. In this article, we will be sharing with you everything you need to know about areola and nipple restoration. 

Areola and nipple restoration services are performed after a few months of breast reconstruction. The reconstruction of the breast is typically performed 4 months after the surgery. If a woman wants to match the color and nipple of her other breast, she can choose to go for a nipple and areola restoration. A skilled cosmetics technician will use pigment in different shades that make a 3D Nipple and areola look real. 

What is Areola Restoration?

Areola restoration is a 3D tattoo cosmetic procedure performed to replicate a normal look of the areola and nipple. It is a cosmetic procedure for clients who have undergone breast reconstructive surgery that caused the loss or affected the appearance of their areola and nipple. Areola restoration is a non-invasive cosmetic technique that will help restore the appearance of the areola. The process starts by taking measurements and checking the ideal position of the nipple and areola. The client usually chooses the correct positioning, but the specific measurements are taken during the start. A pen triangle measurement determines the natural position of the areola. 

After taking the correct measurement, the sizes of the areola and nipple will be selected and drawn onto the skin of the client, then the tattoo procedure will begin. The tattoo portion of the restoration is usually pain-free as some clients do not have sensation in the affected area. This is due to previous surgeries such as breast reconstruction surgery and mastectomy, where the nerve endings were cut. Topical anesthesia is available in case it will be needed during the session. The cosmetic technician will then outline the areola and nipple before the tattoo session will begin. Vibrations may be felt as the needle transfers the pigment onto the skin. 

When the tattoo session is completed, the client will allow the tattoo to heal and may return for retouching appointments. All clients have different skin types, so the procedure may differ from one person to another. When the client returns for a checkup, an assessment will be performed by the cosmetic technician to establish additional touch-ups that will be necessary to finish the cosmetic procedure. 

What is Nipple Restoration?

Nipple restoration, or a 3D nipple tattoo, is a cosmetic procedure performed that uses needles that insert the pigment into the skin. A cosmetic technician will create a hyper-realistic nipple image that may look like it has different dimensions, but in reality, is flat to touch. Most people choose 3D nipple tattoos instead of going for nipple reconstruction surgery as it is a non-invasive surgery. Nipple tattooing is usually the last step of nipple reconstruction surgery as it enhances its results. 

What Are the Advantages of Nipple Tattoos?

  • Helps to avoid surgery and prevent the creation of new scars. 
  • Easy to heal and the recovery process is quick.
  • Coloring and fine details can be added by the cosmetic technician, which reconstructive surgery cannot do.
  • Does not have a physical dimension which makes it easier not to wear a bra and their nipples will not show through their clothes.

Clients who have undergone breast reconstruction surgery that involves tissue flap or implant can be allowed to undergo nipple reconstruction or nipple tattooing except the following:

  • Clients undergoing radiation treatments as the tattoo can damage your breast skin.
  • If the client’s skin has become extremely thin when breast tissue has been removed during the mastectomy or breast reconstruction surgery.
  • A client who has lymphedema that involved their chest area.
  • A client who has medical problems like infection in the breast area.

Areola and Nipple Restoration 

It is a tattoo of the nipple and areola on the breast. While it doesn’t have a 3D dimension, it is flat to touch but it looks real. Most clients that opt for a nipple tattoo prefer cosmetic results. It has fine details, coloring, and shading that make it appear to be more realistic than a reconstruction surgery. A nipple tattoo can create the illusion of Montgomery glands, which are small bumps that appear around the areola.  Tattooing can make the areola and nipple look realistic after a reconstruction surgery has been done. This procedure should be performed at least 4 months after the last breast or nipple reconstruction surgery. 

Nipple tattoos are usually performed in one session at a cosmetic shop. The color of the tattoo may fade over time, so you may want to schedule a touch-up session in the future. If you are wondering if you are qualified to undergo a nipple and areola restoration, you need to consult a cosmetic technician about your situation. Oftentimes, you will be advised to wait for a while so that you can allow your breast skin to heal completely before you can get a nipple tattoo. 

What Are the Things to Expect Before, During, and After a Nipple Tattoo Session?

You must undergo a consultation with a cosmetic technician to determine if you can go with a nipple and areola restoration. An appointment for nipple tattooing will usually take around 1-2 hours. During the appointment, the tattoo artist will assess and discuss with you your preferences for the nipple and areola color, as well as its placement, shape, and size. If you still have one of your original nipples, the cosmetic technician will match the tattoo’s nipple color and size to it. If both of the breasts have been removed during mastectomy, you can provide a photo of your preferred areola and nipple; you can also use a photo of your breasts pre-surgery as a reference for the cosmetic technician. 

The cosmetic technician may use silicone prosthetic nipples on your breasts to check the best position for the nipple tattoos. They will also check the available pigments that will suit your skin color so that the areola and nipple tattoo will look realistic and will suit your skin tone. After choosing the pigment to use for the tattoo, the cosmetic technician may check the color of your skin to see how it will look like in different lighting as well as how it looks when you move around to assure that you are getting the right pigment to match your skin tone. The cosmetic technician will draw markings on your breast skin to make sure to get the correct location, shape, and size of the nipple and areola tattoo. 

The tattoo session may run for about half an hour or more per nipple. Most of the time, the reconstructed breast does not have the same sensation as it used to before surgery, and tattooing the breast skin may not be too painful. However, some women have reported that they have experienced mild pain or discomfort during the tattoo session. 

After the tattoo session for the nipple and areola, it will be covered with a protective dressing. It may take up to 14 days for it to completely heal. You must avoid swimming in pools, hot tubs, and bathtubs for a few weeks after the tattoo session to allow the tattoo to heal properly. If a scab or crust appears on the tattoo, you should make sure to avoid peeling it off as it can remove the ink on your tattoo. Avoid hard exercise as too much sweat can also affect the nipple tattoo. Do not lift anything heavier than 20 pounds during the 1st week of the tattoo session or while there is scabbing on the nipple tattoo. The nipple and areola tattoo can last up to several years, but may fade over time. If it does fade, you can easily schedule a touch-up session with your cosmetic technician. 

Medical permanent makeup like 3D nipple and areola tattoo allows women to have natural-looking areola and nipples after they have had breast reconstruction surgery, which can do wonders for their emotional recovery and confidence. It can also be used to correct fading and irregular-looking areolas for women to have realistic-looking breasts. Clients who have undergone mastectomies may undergo 3D nipple and areola restoration to create a hyper-realistic nipple and areola. 

How to Find a Reliable Nipple and Areola Tattoo Artist

A qualified cosmetic technician can perform 3D nipple and areola tattoos. You can ask your doctor if they know a nipple tattoo artist who has the experience and skills to help women who have undergone breast reconstruction surgery. The cosmetic technician that you must work with must be qualified. You can ask for samples of their work with their previous clients. If you are based in Houston, Texas, you must check out Beauty Techniques. You can schedule an appointment with us by clicking this link. If you have any questions or inquiries you can fill up this contact form


Beauty Techniques is a cosmetic services business based in Houston, Texas that is worth checking out. We are located in Friendswood Area near the Baybrook Mall. Our owner/ master technician Linda DeLeon has 18 years of training and experience in cosmetic services. Make sure to choose a qualified and certified cosmetics shop like Beauty Techniques. We have been licensed by the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. If you want to inquire or schedule an appointment, you can call us at 832-654-4595 or send an email at [email protected] Our shop is located at 2990 Richmond Avenue, Suite 370 Houston TX 77098. We do not accept walk-in clients. so do not forget to schedule an appointment first! We look forward to hearing from you!