How realistic is an areola reconstruction tattoo?

I've lost one of my nipples due to necrosis, and I got it reconstructed last year. I'm happy with the results, but I miss the areola pigmentation, and I was considering getting my areola tattooed. If I had both of my areolas tattooed, it would've been different, because they would certainly look alike. In my case, I'm afraid it will look ridiculous. What do you think?


F, 50, New York

Tags:woman age 45-54 nipples areola tattoo

My best friend lost one of her breasts to breast cancer a few years ago. She got an implant and an artificial nipple sculpted on top of it. She told me that she felt like her new boob still didn’t match the other boob, so she got work done on the other one to make it as similar to the new boob as possible. Afterwards, we agreed that both of her breasts had a very similar shape to each other, but there was still something off about them. So she went to a nearby tattoo parlor and talked with the tattoo artists about etching her a new areola. They ended up studying her other breast and tried to replicate the appearance of nipple as closely as possible. I am not able to tell which one went through the reconstruction job when I look at them.

I had a breast reconstructive surgery two years ago and weighed my options too. I didn’t like seeing myself in the mirror with just one tattoo. I ended up getting a 3D tattoo for my missing nipple and it looks great! I do know that if you’re going for areola tattooing the doctor can match the pigment with your existing nipple, so it won’t look strange. You can also pick a different color that goes with your skin tone and have both of them done. I have heard that it looks very natural.

If you want your nipple to look real, I strongly suggest you think about getting a 3D nipple tattoo. Three years ago, I had breast reconstruction, and I was determined to have my breasts and nipples look as beautiful as they did before my bilateral mastectomy. I had initially considered just wearing prosthetic nipples because I was worried that tattooed nipples might not look natural enough. But after viewing before and after pictures of patients who opted for 3D nipple tattoos, I decided to get the procedure. I am so happy with the results. I can change my clothes in the locker room at my gym without worrying that someone will see my breasts. My husband is still shocked at how realistic my nipple tattooing looks, and our intimacy has improved now that I feel feminine and have regained my self-confidence. Check out some of the before and after photos online, and you will be amazed by how realistic the 3D effect is.

I was actually really impressed by how realistic the tattooing looked on my areolas. There's plenty of shading and color variations, so they don't just look like circles drawn around my nipples. The artist managed to use old pictures I had to create something fairly similar to my originals, so you might be able to find someone who can match your existing areola. I'd definitely recommend shopping around until you find a plastic surgeon who has had good reviews and a gallery filled with past examples of their work. The level of realism you end up with will depend on the skill and experience of the person you select.