3-D Areola Tattoo: Everything You Need to Know

Updated: Feb 21

By Liana Reznik


Everyone’s journey to a nipple tattoo is different. While some feel comfortable without having the areola and nipple present, others feel more complete to have that area back. It is a decision that is a personal one, and one that should be taken seriously. Nowadays,

many women opt for breast reconstruction surgery when they are fully healed. However, surgery of any kind can still add additional pain, stress, and medical bills. There is a much less invasive alternative, known as a 3-D areola tattoo.

Liana Reznik is the owner and the executive creator behind Fancy Shmancy PMU in Highland Park, IL. The studio specializes in paramedical areola 3-D tattoo, breast scar treatment, nipple & areola correction, radiation mark care, and many other permanent makeup services and financial aid and insurance coverage are offered to all clients.


What is 3-D Nipple Tattoo?

While a tattoo cannot produce the projection required to be truly “3-D”, a high quality detailed tattoo can appear to have dimension much like a real nipple/areola.

The 3-D nipple or areola tattoo is a work of art that looks like an authentic nipple. Shading, shadows and other artistic skills make the tattoos look just like real nipples, and helps patients feel confident in their breasts once again. The inks used for nipple tattooing are mixed to create the most realistic appearance possible for each patient.

The tattoo artist strives to create a shade that resembles the patient’s original nipple and complements her natural skin tone. This is one of the reasons it is important to have a tattoo artist perform the procedure – there is an art to making each nipple unique to each patient.


Do you know the difference between 3D tattoos and 4D nipple reconstruction?

3D nipple tattoos refer to tattoos created in the traditional sense with tattoo ink using the colors of nipple pigment. They are designed using realistic markings to give the illusion of a realistic nipple. 4D nipple reconstruction is one step up from 3D tattoos.

These are hyperrealist tattoos that are created using a surgical procedure. They add a “fourth” dimension in the form of depth to the nipple so that it not only looks like a real nipple – but it feels like one too. While working on helping women through my PMU art, I realize the importance of hope. Hope is something we give to each other. Especially for those whom may be less fortunate. As an Areola Tattoo Artist, I am happy to support and to be of genuine use to other females to make them feel "whole" again, to make you - feel "you".


What is Nipple Tattooing vs Nipple Pigmentation?

Areola re-pigmentation and 3D nippletattoos are a specialty area of medical tattooing, it is an art form. Nippletattoos can help improve the appearance of both women and men who have undergone breast surgery. 3D nippletattooing techniques “create” a natural looking breast after reconstruction surgery. It is a special technique of a semi-permanent makeup that creates a realistic image of an areola and a nipple for breast cancer survivors. 3D nipple and areola tattoos are often used instead of nipple reconstruction surgery. As a tattoo artist I will design and perform this semi-permanent technique to recreate a nipple.

Is Scar Camouflage with Permanent Makeup Possible?

Scar micropigmentation is an effective way to cover up or at least minimize the visibility of scars of different origins. By injecting pigments into the tissue, the scar or discolored patch of skin is matched to the skin surrounding it. This treatment is also possibly the best way to cover up scalp scars, and has become an integral part of breast reconstruction. For a custom permanent makeup solution that looks natural and gives you the confidence.

Questions to Ask your nipple tattoo artist


How soon can I get my Areola Tattoo?

It is safe to receive this treatment once you get a "green light" from your doctor and with at least 6 months of healing time to pass after the date of your final surgery.

Scar Camouflage 12-18 months.


How long will the procedure take?

Typically there is a one hour consultation and the tattoo artist will usually do a patch test, discuss all of the options and get answers to any question or concern you may have. The procedure itself takes up to three hours (depends if you do 1 or 2 nipples).


Is it painful?

You may experience slight swelling and redness following the procedure and the skin may feel tight. This should get better within the first week depending on how sensitive your skin is.


Will there be any downtime following the procedure?

You should be able to resume normal activities immediately following the procedure.

However, avoid swimming and using a sauna or jacuzzi for two weeks after the procedure as chlorine can act as a bleach which will change the appearance of the tattoo. If using the gym within the first two weeks following your tattoo, please cover the treated area with a small amount of after cream that was provided by your artist beforehand to limit friction. Please ensure the area is cleaned afterwards.


What should I do if I have a problem?

Infection is very rare. If you experience any of the following symptoms, please contact your permanent makeup artist if some of these systems will occur:

- Swelling and/or heat that doesn’t resolve in the first two days.

- Redness spreading from the tattoo that gets worse over a few days. - A fever (temperature higher than 37.5C / 99.5 F).

Will I have a follow-up appointment?

You will typically have a follow-up appointment six to eight weeks after the initial treatment. Following an assessment, the permanent make-up artist will discuss if further pigment is necessary. It is common to need two treatments as the color will fade over time and a further procedure may be required to achieve and maintain the desired color.

Why should I go to an Areola and Nipple Tattoo Specialist (vs the regular tattoo master)?

It can be difficult to ensure the ideal color match, shape, size, etc. Nipple Tattoo Specialists have studied the skillful art of recreating a real, lifelike areola and 3D nipple down to the finest details. Now women can have breasts that appear normal and the most realistic-looking nipples possible.

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