* Sasha is now offering training for medical professionals. If you are interested in learning this procedure, please call 415-550-1445. *
3D Nipple Tattoos as Fine Art
3D nipple tattoo and Areola Restoration should be natural and realistic, perhaps even lovely. It can help return a feeling of normalcy after mastectomy surgery. Just catching a glimpse in the mirror and seeing her whole, familiar body can make a significant difference for women after breast reconstruction. Often women do not want to deal with any more surgeries, or maybe nipple reconstruction didn’t work; so 3D nipple tattoos can be a successful option to create a finished breast after cancer.
Tattoo artist Sasha Merritt brings a fine art background to her cosmetic tattooing. With the highly specialized skills used in painting the human body on canvas, she uses body proportion, light and shadow, as well as color theory to create realistic 3D nipple tattoo work. Working in collaboration with the client to choose the best color, size and shape, each woman leaves the studio with a work of art that looks beautiful and natural, her reconstruction finally complete.
-> Sasha is happy to announce a partnership with SF General Hospital and the Plastic Surgery Foundation to offer FREE 3d tattoos for SF General Hospital breast reconstruction patients. Please contact for more info about this unique opportunity.
Areola and 3D Nipple Tattoos
Following mastectomy and breast reconstruction, many breast cancer survivors choose to undergo a non-invasive procedure called 3d nipple tattoo and areola repigmentation/restoration instead. This is a process in which the areola, and sometimes a even 3-dimensional looking nipple, is tattooed onto the breast. This procedure can be performed either by a doctor or by a professional tattoo artist.
Tattoo artist Sasha Merritt has witnessed first hand how 3D nipple tattoos can be a powerful and triumphant reclaiming of wholeness for women who have survived breast cancer. Areola restoration and 3D nipple tattooing is delicate, specialized work, requiring artistic as well as technical skill.
3D nipple tattoos can be a great option, often referred to as the “cherry on top”. It is a final step in a long journey and often helps clients move from survival to a feeling of normalcy. As an artist, with a skill in creating a 3-dimensional illusion, Sasha can create realistic, natural looking nipple tattoos.
With either a bi-lateral or uni-lateral (one side) breast reconstruction, Sasha will work closely with each client to find the best color, shape and size of the npple for each client’s body and personal choices. The process includes a color and shape consultation and design as well as a follow up appointment to ensure the most natural results.
“Now when I see myself, my first thought isn’t to feel sorry I had breast cancer, but ‘Gee! I have good looking breasts!’ ”
- Wendy, client and breast cancer survivor
One of Dragonfly Ink’s clients, Wendy, slowly and methodically went through each step of breast reconstruction after her mastectomy. Wendy decided to get her areola tattooed as the final step of that process. Although she was nervous going in, Wendy experienced a feeling of wholeness after repigmentation. Plus, she had the chance to choose the areolas she always wanted.
Sasha has worked with many survivors and she is pleased to honor their journeys and to create the most realistic, natural areolas and 3 dimensional nipples as possible.
The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act (WHCRA) of 1998 requires insurance to cover the cost of mastectomies and all breast reconstruction, generally areola and 3D tattoo is covered when done in doctor’s offices, but more clients are requesting their insurance cover the procedure done by a tattoo artist. However, insurance companies are a bit behind the times on this. Start by ask your insurance company to cover areola and 3d nipple tattooing, feel free to contact the studio with any questions.
Here is a link to the US Department of Labor’s details on insurance coverage for women post breast cancer. http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/Publications/whcra.html
Call 415-550-1445 to learn more or to make an appointment.
Sasha has specialized training and certificates in areola repigmentation/restoration, cosmetic tattooing, body art, and fine art. Her training includes:
International Institute of Permanent Cosmetics: Areola repgimentation, skin needling/ scar reduction
SoftTaps: hand tattooing, cosmetic tattooing, permanent makekup
Beau Institute, Advanced Areola Complex and Camouflage: tattooing training
Natural Look Institute: Areola Repigmentation
Certified Member Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals
Member American Academy of Micropigmentation
Blood Borne Pathogens Certification
SF City College, fine arts and painting
Colorado State University, San Francisco City College, fine arts/painting