Do Areola Tattoos Hurt?

September 8, 2021




Getting any form of tattoo is going to cause some discomfort, and as many people discover with traditional tattoos, different areas of the body hurt more than others. The chest is known for being somewhat uncomfortable. So, do areola tattoos hurt?

What is an areola tattoo?

An areola tattoo is a cosmetic procedure performed on the chest or breast area where the areola is usually found; they alter the appearance of the nipple in some way or another, either giving someone a nipple or changing the shape and color. Areola tattoos are performed the same way traditional tattooing is. Pigment is implanted under the skin into the papillary layer, then creating a permanent image. This form of tattooing is incredibly intricate and should only be performed by someone extraordinarily talented and highly trained. When done correctly, the blending and feathering of the tattoo can create an extremely natural look. 

Who can areola tattoos benefit?

One fantastic benefit of areola tattooing is that it helps those who have suffered breast cancer and undergone a mastectomy or double mastectomy. This form of treatment for cancer survivors can help them become comfortable in their bodies post-surgery and really boost their confidence, making them feel their usual selves again after going through so much trauma to their body and mind. Areola tattooing is quicker, easier, and much less invasive than nipple restorative surgery and, for that reason, is growing in popularity. 

Areola tattooing is not only for cancer survivors; many people get surgery on their chest. This surgery may cause the areola to become misshapen or have scarring across the areola that is obvious. Areola tattooing is also really helpful if your areolas are not symmetrical. We can edit the shape, size, and color to each client’s preference by tattooing over them.

Another excellent use for areola tattooing is for those who are transgender or non-binary. The surgeries they receive regularly cause scarring or complete loss of the areola. With areola tattooing, we can restore you a nipple and help you feel like you.

The final reason someone may want to receive an areola tattoo is due to the fact they just are not happy with the way their nipple is. Some people find they do not like the shape of their areola. They could be too big for their preference or too small, but either way, we can help you achieve your desired look. Many clients see natural changes in their nipples and breasts as their bodies develop and age, and we can help you get them back to their youthful selves.

Does areola tattooing hurt?

The majority of the time, areola tattooing is performed on clients who have suffered from breast cancer, had a mastectomy, and then received breast restoration surgery. In this case, the client will usually have suffered some form of nerve damage, making them lose all sensations in the area. This is common in around 95% of clients who have had breast cancer. If these clients feel anything, it is only ever a very minor shooting-like pain.

Although the discomfort of cosmetic tattooing is nothing compared to that of traditional tattooing, it is still mildly uncomfortable. Discomfort levels vary from client to client. For those who are more likely to experience some discomfort, numbing cream will be added to ensure it is a minimal as possible.

Aftercare, healing time, and pain

 Over the three weeks post-treatment, your tattooed area will go through three stages of healing:

  1. Healing: The areas in which the skin was penetrated will scab over to protect the area from infection while healing.
  2. Peeling: After a few days, the scabs will fall off when the tattooed area is healed. Do Not Pick off the scabs from the treated area as this will result in pigment loss.
  3. Fading: Once the scabs have finely healed and fallen off the tattooed area, you will see a lighter shade of the implanted color. After 4 to 6 weeks, the pigment in the tattoo will have settled, and this will be the color of your areola.

After your treatment, you may experience slight swelling and redness, and your skin may feel ‘tight.’ There are ways to ease discomfort, which may include taking over-the-counter paracetamol (However, do not exceed the maximum dosage of 8 tablets in 24 hours).

Aftercare instruction must be followed carefully following your procedure for at least 14 days to ensure a successful result and reduce infection risk. The next day, you can shower or bath; however, do not use soap or soak the pigmented area with water. Keep the pigmented area clean and dry. Apply our recommended ointment over the nipple and areola area and place gauzes in your bra to help reduce discomfort. Avoid sleeping on your stomach as much as possible. Try not to touch the pigmented area with your fingers until it is completely healed to prevent infection.

Post by Anna Burns

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