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3D Areola & Nipple

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Feeling incomplete can be emotional and traumatizing for any individual. The experience of a breast cancer survivor male or female, is a long and difficult one; every patient has a different experience.

As the Only Deltona/Volusia County based Permanent Makeup/Cosmetic Tattoo Artist who specializes in

3D Areola Restorative Tattoos as well as other forms of paramedical Tattoos, Dr. Yolanda M. Carrillo, AP, DOM, is able to assist clients in the completion of their healing journey in restoring their breasts back to completion with a Restorative Tattoo.

Once the nipple/areola is removed in a mastectomy, it cannot be reattached. If it is removed in plastic surgery, even if it is not entirely elective such as with a breast reduction, while the nipple can be re-attached, it is often misshapen, lighter than it was previously, or has scarring that changes the appearance. In other situations, someone may want to undergo areola tattooing to enhance or enlarge an areola they aren’t pleased with.

Whether from a minor treatment like a lumpectomy, a cosmetic procedure, or ultimately the loss of one or both breasts from mastectomy, I can produce a hyper-realistic, three-dimensional areola using tattooing to restore all or part of what has been lost.

Creating a new areola isn't as simple as drawing a circle of color on a breast, it entails careful consideration of areola positioning in relation to the breast shape and contour, picking the right colors to complement the patient's skin tone and realizing the illusion of nipple protrusion to add realism.

Areola Nipple Tattooing is a safe procedure with a high satisfaction rate.  It can be a single session procedure however multiple sessions may be required, and this varies by patient.  As with all tattooing procedures, a follow up visit is mandatory 6 weeks post procedure. Color retention can be affected by radiotherapy, existing scar tissue, medications and other existing medical issues. It is important to discuss the possibility of additional sessions so that patient's expectations can be managed accordingly.


The Procedure

Prior to commencing, we will go over your medical history in detail. We will discuss surgery and treatments you have had or have planned for the future. During the design phase we take photographs, go over any requests you may have and proceed to draw your new areola/nipple onto your skin.  We want the results to be to your satisfaction and want you to be fully involved in the process. We then proceed to work on color selection.

For bilateral breast reconstruction cases, we can use a custom blend of pigments to create a color that nicely complements your skin tone or we recreate the color based on your pre-mastectomy photos

For unilateral breast reconstruction cases, we can use a custom blend of pigments to recreate a color that closely matches your existing nipple areola color. 

The treatment itself involves the implantation of small particles of pigment into the reticular layer of the skin and typically takes 2 to 3 hours to complete. It is virtually painless but in some cases if needed, a topical anesthetic is applied if the client experiences sensitivity.

Why Areola Tattooing? 

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Each visit is about 1.5- 2 hours.  The position & placement choice of the new areola nipple, size, shape, and color will be a mutual choice. One that is esthetically pleasing to the client and also appropriate for the body. This will provide a realistic outcome for the design choice. 


The client should always consult with their doctor first. But tattooing is usually done 3-4 months after a woman’s final in-hospital surgery. This is normally when the skin has healed enough from any reconstruction surgeries.


It is not uncommon for breast numbness to linger after a mastectomy due to the cutting of nerve endings. Although topical anesthetics are available, most clients have no to little sensation during the procedure. After drawing the outline of the areola and nipple the tattoo process begins. You may feel a vibrating sensation while needles transfer pigment into your skin. If anesthetic is needed, one will be applied. All clients are requested to consult with their doctors to request prescription strength dermal pain patches to aid in management of any discomfort post tattooing. 


The tattoo can last up to several years and gradually fades as all tattoos eventually do.


Dr. Carrillo uses permanent tattoo inks specifically for Areola & Nipple Restorations,  whereas a lot of artists use pigment that requires additional pigmentation every year to maintain color.  Dr. C's areola and nipple tattoos are created for each client to last a lifetime, with minimal refreshing sessions. 

Areola tattoos are a beautiful solution to create natural-looking nipples and the illusion of protrusion. A 3D Areola tattoo offers the breast cancer survivor a fresh start and is the finishing touch to breast reconstruction. 

  • Closes the circle of recovery and restores a sense of wholeness

  • No additional surgery is needed

  • Tattooing can camouflage scars on the breasts

  • Can correct faded or irregular areola pigmentation

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Your procedure may qualify to be covered by your health insurance. Find out more information about your rights for coverage and to select your tattooing provider under the Federal Women's Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998



When you come into AHPAC, it doesn’t matter if you have old work that needs a color boost, color correction or you are a fresh canvas ready for color. You and Dr. Carrillo will decide the best options together.


During color choice, you will also discuss areola size & shape. Dr. Carrillo always uses more than one color and layer different colors to create a realistic result. Reconstructed nipples or not, we will focus on shape, highlights and shadows. You may choose the addition of Montgomery bumps. If you have a pre-mastectomy photo, you may bring it to help recreate your original look, if you want. This is a time you can have it the way you want. If you want brown areolas, light pink areolas, smaller, larger, this is the optimal time to asks questions to understand your desired look.


Make sure you have had a good breakfast or lunch. It’s important for you to be comfortable and relaxed. Wear a loose sports bra and a 2 piece outfit. Dr. Carrillo will provide a disposable paper drape and use both Heated Table warmer and Infrared Heat Lamps for your legs, but you might be more comfortable with your jeans or slacks on to keep you warm. Although there usually is no pain, Dr. Carrillo will provide a topical anesthetic. She wants you to be comfortable. If you have a list of prescription medications, please be ready to provide the list for your consent paperwork.  Dr. Carrillo will provide you with your post procedure care and a few non-stick gauze pads to get started.


If we choose to follow up and do a little perfecting, there is no charge for that. We suggest waiting 8 weeks for the skin to recover from the original procedure.


If you want to speak with Dr. Carrillo, call or contact us online. We would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have. 

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