Areola re-pigmentation is a specialized form of medical tattooing offered at Compassionate Beauty that can enhance or create a natural looking areola or minimize the appearance of scars following breast reconstruction surgery. Medical or cosmetic tattooing, which also includes eyebrow enhancement and other procedures, dates back to the start of the 20th century when salons would inject vegetable dyes under the top layer of skin as a complexion treatment. Since, this field has grown tremendously to help clients improve their physical appearance and body-image, most notably with cancer patients.
Cancer interventions, specifically pertaining to breast cancer, can have significant effects on sexuality and body-image. Some women may experience poor self-image, loss of libido, and relationship problems—all issues relating to their psychosocial adjustment. Psychosocial behaviour relates to individual thoughts and behaviours in a social environment. In other words, cancer treatment can have significant negative impacts on a woman and her relationships, especially for a woman who considers body-image to be a major contributing factor to her “wholeness” and “worth”.
A new trend in cancer research has lead to the emergence of many studies pertaining to the idea of body-image and its many affects on the quality of life for cancer patients and survivors. As a result, a variety of services have recently become available that acknowledge this relationship and help women regain confidence in their femininity during and after treatment—among these services is Areola Re-pigmentation.
For centuries, breasts have been regarded as cultural symbols of femininity and fertility. For example, historical artwork depicts women with exaggerated hips and breasts, and throughout the world, there are a number of mountains and ranges named after breasts (the USA Teton Mountain Range gets its name from the French word for breast). In a physical sense, the breast is a conical structure made up of layers of different tissues. In all cases, the breast’s apex is the nipple-areola complex, which serves as the focal point of the anatomical breast.
For women who have opted for breast reconstruction surgery – implants or TRAM flap procedure – the results can help some reclaim womanhood and wholeness after such a difficult journey. However, the finished product often lacks that final touch: a natural looking nipple-areola complex. Our highly sought after Micro pigmentation technician, Jody Stoski, likes to refer to this procedure as “the cherry on top of the sundae”. The nipple-areola complex is “critical for providing an aesthetically pleasing breast”, and the re-pigmentation service has a “high correlation with overall satisfaction [of the reconstructive surgery] and acceptance of body image” moving forward.
We are fortunate to have Jody as a member of the Compassionate Beauty team who has been specially trained in the area of medical tattooing. The first step is to come in for a consultation with Jody to discuss the perfect shape, size, location, and colour for your ideal areola. The next stage consists of three 45 minute appointments, at which she will use the custom combination of pigments to tattoo the area. The first appointment will lay the foundation of the areola. The subsequent two appointments will define the nipple-areola complex to give a three-dimensional appearance by layering the custom pigments. The procedure requires no down-time and includes an easy-to-follow after-care procedure and medical-grade products for the healing process.
There are three techniques utilized for an areola regimentation procedure, any or a combination of the following may be used:
- Areola-nipple complex simulation: the technician simulates an areola-nipple complex, which may or may not overlay the tattoo “button” created by a surgeon.
- Scar Camouflage: to soften, blend, and reduce scar appearance on the breast or through the nipple.
- Size or Colour Adjustment: to enhance the areola-nipple complex following an areola graft surgery.
The appropriate time to undergo this procedure is when the scar tissue from the surgery is mature and healed. This is generally seven to twelve months following the reconstruction surgery. However, everyone has a different healing process, and the initial consultation will help clarify the right timeframe for each individual.
It is time to women know that they have options when it comes to post breast surgery . This service can help make the transition into survivorship following reconstruction as easy as possible. After navigating this difficult journey, enjoy your cherry-topped sundae!
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