Nipple Tattoos Redefine Body Art

Published on July 8, 2014 by Jodie Michalak

Nipple tattoos are an artful approach to the healing process after a mastectomy.


Renormalizing the appearance of the breast can provide a survivor comfort and confidence whenever she looks in the mirror. Here’s how many tattoo artists are using their gift to help people recovering from breast cancer or any other breast surgery.


Breast Cancer Statistics

There are over 527 confirmed cases of breast cancer every single day and that’s just in the United States. Chances are high you know someone who has endured the battle. Statistics state 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer within their lifetime.


Radical approaches for treatment include a mastectomy, which removes the breast. After treatment and healing, many women choose to reconstruct their breasts, while some simply seek other options such as body tattoos to cover the scarring. For those that decide to reconstruct, there will still be no nipple. This is where a professional tattoo artist can perform miracles.


What Are Nipple Tattoos?

Nipple tattoos create the illusion of an intact nipple. With dimension obtained from the use of varied colors and techniques, a professional and skilled tattoo artist can transform the breast to recapture its former appearance. The process generally takes several sessions and the artist will watch for changes in the pigment overtime, ensuring the final nipple tattoo closely resembles a real one.


Nipple Tattoo Considerations

Before you can opt for a nipple tattoo you may want to ask your doctor if your body is ready for a new tattoo.


A nipple tattoo can be quite an emotional experience. Many women ask their significant others or support team to go along to the initial tattoo consultation.

Once your artist has gone over the basic procedure, you can ask any questions that may be of concern.


Some women worry that the nipple tattoo won’t be the right color or size. Most artists providing nipple tattoos are diligent in addressing these concerns and will mix many inks to provide variation in the color of the nipple tattoo, helping to achieve a realistic effect.


The Cost of a Nipple Tattoo

Because professional artist rates fluctuate based upon skill set and experience, the cost of nipple tattoos is sure to vary. The best thing to do is find a reputable tattoo shop that offers nipple tattoo services and then set up the initial consultation, where you will learn more about the cost of nipple tattooing, the amount of projected sessions, and the availability of the artist’s services.


Fortunately some professional tattoo artists are working hard and offering their nipple tattoo services for free to clients recovering from breast cancer or other surgeries. This is not the industry norm, but does help bring to light the many unexpected uses and advantages of body art.


What Are the Benefits of Nipple Tattoos?

There are no medical benefits in having a nipple tattoo. The choice is purely physical and can help survivors cope with the loss of one, if not both breasts. A nipple tattoo can do the following:

  1. Make breasts more attractive
  2. Increase confidence
  3. Promote self-acceptance
  4. Provide a positive outlook after the emotional trauma of a mastectomy
  5. Provide meaningful and rewarding opportunities for tattoo artists who want to make a difference


If you know someone opting for breast reconstruction after a mastectomy, you may want to suggest a nipple tattoo.


For many women or men, this could be her first and most meaningful tattoo. shops that provide nipple tattoo services:

Moth and Dagger/Mario Delgado

Raw Ink Tattoo Studio/Bobby Weschler

Do you know any artists who are providing nipple tattoos? Please leave a comment below and help others on their road to recovery.


Images courtesy Bridgette Gale and Chicago Tattoo Co.


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