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Topic: Do nipple tatts usually fade much??

Forum: Breast Reconstruction — Is it right for you? Discuss timing and various procedures and techniques.

Posted on: Apr 24, 2009 01:19AM

Farrah wrote:

Hi Everyone, I had my areola tatts done 3 days ago and they look okay but the color looks a bit too dark and 'fake' looking. It's a browny,beige color, ( because I didn't want them too pink ) but at the moment they look a bit 'bandaid' beige to me. If they fade by around 50% they'll probably look okay but what do you guys think. Has anyone had tattoos that didn't fade? 

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Apr 24, 2009 03:44AM Deirdre1 wrote:

Farrah:  My exerience was that within 2 weeks you will see a fading out to almost a brownish pink and that of course depends on if the skin under the tattoo took it well..  I am about 1 year out of the tattoo process and it has faded almost completely.. I believe that the medical tattoo artist I used didn't have much experience so the next time I plan on getting it done by someone who has specialized in it..  But I need my implants swapped out before I do that again...  Good luck!

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Apr 24, 2009 04:27AM Farrah wrote:

thanks for your reply Dierdre. That's given me some encouragement. I think I'd rather them go too pale and have to have them re-touched than to have them too dark and not correctable. Best of luck with your implants and your tattoo re-do!

PS; now that I think about it, it might be my whole tattoo phobia reacting. I have never wanted a tattoo - always fearing that I wouldn't like it and would be stuck with it forever. I've always tried to talk my sons out of getting a tattoo - now ironically it's ME that's got 2. I was walking along the street after I had my tatts done and saw a punky looking young man with a huge colorful tatt down his leg. I thought to myself 'why would you do that??' Then it suddenly dawned on me that I I am an inked woman now!! All of a sudden I felt a sense of kinship with the punk boy :-)

bilateral mastectomy May 08. Silicon implants July 08 Dx 5/8/2008, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-
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Apr 24, 2009 05:51AM lvtwoqlt wrote:

My tattoos did fade to a more realistic color. And you should have seen the looks on my nephew's faces (Both with multiple tattoos - one with a wooden leg tattoo) when I told them in 2007 I was getting tattoos but they couldn't see them! I personally didn't like the ones from my ps office, just used one color and filled in the circle. So I found an artist who started posting on this site about 80 miles from me and she touched up what the ps office did and I am very happy with the results.

Sheila

Women are like tea bags, we don't know how strong we are until we were thrown into hot water. Eleanore Roosevelt Diagnosed ADH Feb 2005, ADH Sept 2006 Dx 4/27/2007, DCIS, Stage 0, Grade 1, 0/7 nodes Hormonal Therapy 10/12/2006 Surgery 06/01/2007 Mastectomy of one or both breasts: Mastectomy of my left breast, Mastectomy of my right breast Surgery 09/10/2006 Lumpectomy in one or both breasts: Lumpectomy in my right breast Surgery 02/12/2005 Lumpectomy in one or both breasts: Lumpectomy in my left breast
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Apr 24, 2009 06:03AM Deirdre1 wrote:

Your welcome Farrah, and we never know if a kid we see on the street has a tattoo to cover a scar!  It's amazing how we can change our attitude after our own experiences.. I remember telling my kids "over my dead body will you ever get a tat"  well...  <smile> <wink>

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Apr 24, 2009 06:03AM Minnesota wrote:

Farrah,

LOL! I have totally shared your experience! A few months ago, I got my ears pierced for the first time. My daughter suggested we do it together, and I figured it would be a good bonding experience... She's 25. In addition to our not letting her get a tattoo when she was younger, we wouldn't even let the poor girl get her ears pierced! Anyway, we went to the local tattoo parlor to get it done, as we'd heard that the holes are less likely to close than when you get it done at the mall, where they just kind of mash the earring through your ear lobe with a gun. I had absolutely no issue with going into a tattoo parlor, because my nipple was done by a tattoo artist, altho one brought into the clinic where I had my breast reconstruction. We walked into the place here, and there were a whole host of tattooed and pierced people lolling around on a couple of couches, including one fellow who actually has horns that protrude from his head! I'm sure I wasn't the typical client at this place! So we have our ears pierced. The tattoo guy asks me if I have any exciting plans for the weekend. I try to think what else I have planned, and he responds with something like, "Probably nothing more exciting than coming into a tattoo parlor, right?" I thought to myself, I should respond to this with something like, "Why, do you think that just because I never had my ears pierced before, that I've also never had a tattoo?" And then he would respond, "Yeah, I assumed you don't have any tattoos. Do you?" Me: "Yah-aa!" (in that kind of sassy way that our kids talk, like 'duh-uh!)" Then, in my continued imagined conversation, he says, "Where is it?"  And then I say, "My nipple." And he kind of cowers back and says, "Euw, dude! That must have hurt!"  And then I say, "I hardly even felt it. It was no big deal..." And then, after I leave, all those other inked people talk about how much they misjudged that really tough broad who had her nipple tattooed!

P.S. My nipple faded a lot. I had it redone a year out, and I think it's holding its color better the second time, tho I'm very careful of it, apply lotion religiously, and try to keep it above water if I lay in the bathtub for any length of time! Also, if I'm going to swim in chlorinated water, I make sure to reapply the lotion ahead of time. 

(Pleomorphic LCIS) Dx 5/2006, LCIS, 4cm, Stage 0, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 24, 2009 06:41AM gbusse wrote:

Hi Farrah I jsut sent you a pm

Gbusse Dx 4/14/2007, IDC, 2cm, Stage II, Grade 2, 0/5 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 24, 2009 07:27AM sorchaj wrote:

I haven't got mine yet, but my PS did tell me to expect that they will fade.

Slightly amusing Cancer/Tattoo story:

I used to teach at what they euphemistically call an "Alternative Education Site." We called it Continuation School when I was a kid, but it boils down to when you take roll, anyone who's not there, you call their parole officer.

These kids took me for a real sap, until I let slip that I had seven tattoos, none of which I could show them. I never did tell them that they were my radiation markers and none was bigger than  the head of a pin!

Dochas i gconai (Hope always) Dx 12/5/2008, ILC, 3cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 24, 2009 11:52AM Farrah wrote:

Thanks Sheila, Dierdre and Gbusse.

Minnesota and sorchaj.....LOLOLOLOL ! I cracked up laughing at your stories! Thanks for starting my day with a laugh!   Farrah

bilateral mastectomy May 08. Silicon implants July 08 Dx 5/8/2008, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-
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Apr 24, 2009 03:19PM MakeupchickNC wrote:

They are gonna fade, all of them in time.....even the ones I do and I have a lot of experience , they do fade. I had a client back just yesterday who was a year out and we had to redo it but she started with a VERY light color. The problem is getting pigments that look like natural areola colors means they don't have the lasting INK type color that traditional tattoo inks have. I am still searching for the perfect pigments that will last for years but havn't found any yet that I really love the colors of. I met a woman not long ago that had hers for 15 years and they were still there but they were VERY pink, almost like a lipstick type color, not very natural looking, but she was happy with it. When I come up with the magic formula that will last forever I'll let ya all know..... :)

Earleen Bennett, Asheville Permanent Makeup Clinic
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Apr 24, 2009 07:04PM SandyinSoCal wrote:

Minnesota, do you think that swimming in a salt water pool would cause fading?  Our tattoo artist mentioned that exposure to the sun will fade tattoos, so I guess that rules out topless sunbathing, right? Cool
I am wonderfully made to do ExtraOrdinary things! (www.girleo.com) Dx 5/22/2007, IDC, <1cm, Stage I, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 24, 2009 09:59PM Farrah wrote:

Earleen,

I have a question for you. If you use a beige color like I had (mixed with a tiny bit of brown , the cosmetic tattooist said) would they go orangey if you mixed in a tiny bit of pink? I didn't want mine too pink but ideally I wanted them a natural looking beigy, browny pink, if that makes sense. The tattooist didn't add any pink at all because I was adamant that I didn't want them orangey or as you said 'lipstick pink'. I'm not sure what would happen if you mixed beige, brown and pink - would it have a hint of orange, or be more like the color I wanted. Sorry if I sound waaay pedantic. I'm not usually like that! :-)

bilateral mastectomy May 08. Silicon implants July 08 Dx 5/8/2008, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-
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Apr 25, 2009 04:52AM MakeupchickNC wrote:

Farrah,

it's really hard to say, it just depends on the type of pigment they used, some have an orange in them that kind of stays dominant, but if you stayed with a beige I think you'll be pretty safe. Patience my dear!!!!!!

Earleen Bennett, Asheville Permanent Makeup Clinic
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Apr 25, 2009 10:43AM Minnesota wrote:

MomsDaughter,

Good question about salt water. For some reason I'm thinking that maybe it wouldn't. I think chlorine is the big culprit in my bathtub - tho I'm not certain that had anything to do with my fading. Seems logical, tho. I've heard that, too, about sun fading tattoos. So when you go topless on the beach, you have to be sure to generously apply the suntan lotion. Also, limit your exposure!  

(Pleomorphic LCIS) Dx 5/2006, LCIS, 4cm, Stage 0, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 25, 2009 12:12PM PT63 wrote:

Hi Farrah

I had my tatts done 2 weeks ago.  I thought they looked very fake and I was very unhappy for the first 5 days.  Then I found out that the excess color flakes off after about the 6th day.  I was told to keep A & D ointment on them after the initial bandages came off to keep them moist and not let them scab.  Eventually the excess color just flakes off.  Although I still think they look too dark compared to my original ones they are much better than what the initial tatts looked like.

Dx: 11/2006, IDC, 1 cm, stage 1, grade 2, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+ Her2-, Bilat Mx, Tamox since 2/2007 - 2/2012
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Apr 26, 2009 04:06AM MakeupchickNC wrote:

PT63

They will probably look even better in about 4 weeks. It is a healing process!

Once a tattoo is healed chlorine in small doses should not effect it because it is UNDER your skin. Stay away from baths, chlorine, salt water and dirty lake water for about 4 weeks after you are tattooed, but after that it is just like the rest of your skin unless you had healing problems.Sunshine on the other hand penetrated deeper in your skin and can cause cellular changes just like with skin cancer, so it can change the color in the tattoo molecule and make it fade faster, sunscreen is a must if y'all are topless sunbathing!!!!

Earleen Bennett, Asheville Permanent Makeup Clinic
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Apr 26, 2009 08:35AM PT63 wrote:

Thanks Makeupchick...thats nice to know.

Dx: 11/2006, IDC, 1 cm, stage 1, grade 2, 0/6 nodes, ER+/PR+ Her2-, Bilat Mx, Tamox since 2/2007 - 2/2012
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Apr 27, 2009 05:23AM Minnesota wrote:

Makeupchick,

Yeah, thanks for the info! So all this time I could have just been relaxing in my bath tub and not trying to keep one nipple above water?! Boy, I feel dumb... So how deep under the skin are the tattoos? Does lotion penetrate that deep? Is there even a point to putting lotion on them?

(Pleomorphic LCIS) Dx 5/2006, LCIS, 4cm, Stage 0, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 27, 2009 07:15AM sbmolee wrote:

I had my tatts about 5 weeks ago and they do look better with time.  I am now scab free!  Probably need a few spots touched up but am taking a break from the bc stuff.  I have my "final" visit with the PS on Wed and for now want to give my boobs a break. 

Live life to the fullest - it is not a spectator sport. Dx 3/27/2008, DCIS, 2cm, Stage IA, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 28, 2009 03:50PM MakeupchickNC wrote:

Minnesota

The lotion will moisurize the skin on top of the tattoo and make the color stand out since it is UNDER the epidermal layer of your skin. If the skin is dry on top of the tattoo it's like looking through dirty glass, it's still there, just muted. The tattoo is in the dermal layer of your skin. This is the same layer where your hair follicles, glands and nerves are. Everything above that, in the epidermis is what continually flakes off, your skin rejuvenates itself very quickly so the flaking of the tattoo pigment that is on the surface comes off fairly quickly as it heals. Everything below the dermal layer is in the subcutaneous layer and that is mostly fatty tissue and your body will absorb it. So the only color in a tattoo that stays for any length of time has to be in the dermal layer. This is why sometimes the rads side will be different than a side without rads because the treatments can actually change the structure of the skin.

Also sun can get down into those dermal layers with repeated exposure and and "bleach out" a tattoo. but it has to be serious sunburn or repeated exposure, much like skin cancer, the uv rays have to be attacking that skin long enough to change the cellular structure.

Water itself from bathing will not fade a tattoo,.... now if you sit in a hot tub every night with a lot of chlorine in it, it can soak in and bleach it out over time. Just like chlorine will change your hair. Remeber your hair, skin and nails are all made of basically the same keratin proteins so what is good for one is good for the other and the same with what's bad. If something damages your hair or nails it can damage your skin and vise versa.

OK it's late and that's way too much information for a simple question!!!

Earleen Bennett, Asheville Permanent Makeup Clinic
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Apr 28, 2009 04:30PM Minnesota wrote:

Chick,

Thanks so much for your very thorough response. Never too much information for me!

(Pleomorphic LCIS) Dx 5/2006, LCIS, 4cm, Stage 0, 0/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Apr 29, 2009 05:04AM , edited Apr 29, 2009 05:07AM by OnEaglesWings

I had my tattoos done about 2 weeks ago.  They've faded by about 40% and look very natural.

We mixed beige, a deep mauve color, and a few drops of brown.  I like my color. It's very natural looking.  I like a touch of warm rose/pink/mauve.  I think it looks good against my skin.

I appreciated my tattoo artist.  She really let me "participate" in the color process.  We kept working together, with her mixing in a drop here of mauve, an extra drop of light brown, etc. (blending it in the little paint holder she used)  until we got it to just the color I desired, before she applied it to my skin.

She went slightly lighter for the nipple part, and then created a semicircle of brown shading on the bottomside of the "nipple" to create a 3 D effect.  I like it, alot, and feel that I am now back to a realistic looking breast.  Yay!

May God bless you "immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within you." Ephesians 3:20 Dx 7/25/2008, DCIS, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/3 nodes, ER+/PR+
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Apr 29, 2009 07:18AM BarbaraInIN wrote:

My ps told me that if I thought my tatts did not fade enough, I should go to a tanning bed to lighten them.  I don't think they are AMAZING, but they will do.  I'd like to get them touched up in time.  But for now they are 'okay'.

Dx 5/19/2005, IDC, 4cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 3, 6/22 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 29, 2009 03:27PM MakeupchickNC wrote:

BarabaraInIN..

I wouldn't suggest a tanning bed for lightening, time itself will lighten them...they are going to fade some so it's better to have a little too much color than not enough.

On Eagle'sWings, sounds like you had a great artist to work on you!!!!  Lucky Girl. PM me with who she is , I am always looking for people I can refer to in other states!

Earleen Bennett, Asheville Permanent Makeup Clinic
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Jun 20, 2009 02:54PM ree wrote:

Does anyone know of a good tattoo artist in Minnesota that accepts Health Partners insurance?  I would really hate to get bad tattoos.  I imagine there's lots of variations in quality.

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Jun 20, 2009 03:04PM Debbi5108 wrote:

How about one in Indiana??? Make up Chick I wish I lived closer to you as I wish you could do mine when the time comes due to the fact that you take the time to come on here and give advice and you truly seem to care and in todays world thats a rarity.  Does insurance pay for that part I mean the tats and all???? They have paid for my mastectomy on the one side I had to pay for the non cancer side even though they had said it would probably end up in that one eventually, but oh well, I did it anyway wasn't going through this crap again. LOL

Hugs and Laughs

Deb

Debbi5108 Dx 5/1/2008, IDC, 1cm, Stage IIIA, Grade 2, 7/12 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2-
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Jun 20, 2009 03:50PM Farrah wrote:

Just a quick update since my original post came up again. It's now 2 months since I had the tatts done and they definitely faded to a natural looking color. I'm very happy with them now but may have a 'touch up' later to add some pinkish shades just to make them look even more natural. 

Here's a happy story... I had my 1 year 'breast check' where the doctor checks the skin around the breast for any recurrence. It was a new doctor because the surgeon I had is now retired. When she saw my breasts she said... "Oh, I see you had the nipple sparing mastectomy" I said no, these are reconstructed. I was rapted to think that a doctor could mistake them for real ones! Either that or most of her patients aren't going for the nipple recon at all! I guess that's a possibility. But I'm going for the 'they looked so real' spin :-) 

Anyway, good luck ree and Deb, try to wait until you get the best tattooist possible. After all we've been through, it's worth researching and waiting until you're sure. Look at their work and chat to them first to make sure you are 'on the same wavelength' with the results you are looking for. All the best - Farrah 

bilateral mastectomy May 08. Silicon implants July 08 Dx 5/8/2008, DCIS, 6cm+, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-
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Jun 22, 2009 02:14AM MakeupchickNC wrote:

Deb,

The insurance usually pays if you have itdone in the doc's office, maybe a co pay for you. I battled with insurance for years and finally gave up, it was one thing after another and I probably had 6 payments out of 100 procedures. I onctinue to donate my time through my non profit, they cover the supplies and I donate my time, it works out well.

It's tough to find the right person for the tats depending on the area you are in. If your doc doesn't do it or doesn't do it well search the internet, call around to permanent makeup artists and tattoo parlors, look at lots of pics and get personal testimonials if possible.

I do travel to docs offices and train  but that is something I don't promote here, it's not what this is about, they would have to contact me. If you want to PM me about it I will give you more info.

Good luck, let me know how everything turns out!!

Earleen

Earleen Bennett, Asheville Permanent Makeup Clinic
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Jun 22, 2009 03:37AM , edited Jun 22, 2009 03:40AM by FACECRAFTER

Hi,   I'm FACECRAFTER, Judy, and I tattoo areolas and nipples too.  And I do it for no charge.  I cover the cost of supplies, do not charge for my time,  and so you do not have to worry about insurance.   Earleen and I are happy to do this work.  We get more out of it, in terms of gratefulness and satisfaction, than money can provide.

I wanted to add that tattoo color should not fade to an undesireable color such as orange, no matter what you do to it.  If it is good color.  there is a lot of color out there that is NOT good color, and will fade over tiem to an undesireable color.  

The color that you see in the 'pot' is not what the color will be when it is settled in.  The permanent makeup artist? that you refer to letting you the color together, may be making you feel good, but that is not the color you will see when you are done...  Close, but not exactly, because the skin is a filter for the color, and will modify the color, sometimes greatly if the skin is scarred.  The artist knows and adjusts for this modification.  I am not slamming the artist who did this, I am just making others aware that this is not something that should be done, other than to check perhaps that you are in the right color family. 

In my case, I use about 5 colors in doing an areola and nipple.  I am an fine artist first, than a permanent makeup artist. the colors gradually go from darker to lighter, and so there is no color coaching that would be meaningful.  Hope this helps.   Good luck with all your treatments, I myself am not up to nipple tatts yet, I am a year away from that in my reconstruction journey.  But I wish you all the luck with yours!!  I am so glad you are at the end !!  

JUDY 

P.S.  Feel free to PM me anytime to discuss your situation. 

Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There's a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. JUDY Dx 8/18/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 5/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-
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Apr 4, 2010 03:02PM , edited Apr 4, 2010 03:03PM by FACECRAFTER

I should mention that is it possible to get areola tattoos in one sitting.  This is if it id done with tattoo ink.  Tattoo ink can be used on the skin, since it is not on the face, and several artists- Vinnie myers for one uses tattoo ink in his designs. Some of us are trained in it and so we can do tattoos that last a lifetime.   and we'll also use it if the client is in from out of town, etc.  Just a thought.  JUDY. 

Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There's a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in. JUDY Dx 8/18/2008, IDC, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 3, 5/21 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2-