Beauty through tattoo artistry

Provider Training

Improve outcomes for your patients with 3D Nipple Tattoos

Our Provider Training teaches medical professionals the fundamentals of 3D nipple tattooing, and areola repigmentation, a technique that uses specialized pigments and artistic rendering to create the visual illusion of a 3 dimensional nipple. this technique can also be used to alter or even out the coloring of the areola around the nipple post surgery.

Sasha has trained nurse practitioners from Stanford, Kaiser Permanente, and private practices.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is 3D nipple and areola tattooing/regimentation?

This procedure is a highly specialized practice of tattooing that restores the natural looking color and shape of a nipple and areola after breast reconstruction. This can be done in conjunction with surgical nipple reconstruction. If there is no nipple, a 3 dimensional nipple can be created with light and shadow, to give the “illusion of protrusion”.

What is the Process?

Pigment is implanted into the skin between the epidermis and the dermis, generally using the same equipment used for body art tattoos. The skin heals over the pigment and a soft natural areola/nipple is created.

Why areola or 3D nipple tattooing?

Most women who chose to areola restoration or nipple tattooing do so because they do not want anymore surgeries. Other find the nipple reconstruction they had done, has flattened out and is no longer dimensional. Many find it helps to return a sense of normalcy and femininity to her body and sense of self.

Does it hurt?

Most clients are surprised to find tattooing quite tolerable. It is a superficial process, and afterward it is just a bit sore, like a minor sunburn for 2-3 days. Ask about easy ways to minimize discomfort.

Is 3D nipple tattooing safe?

Yes, 3d nipple/areola tattooing is very safe. Single-use disposable needles and pigments, along with regular hand washing and glove changing are part of high standards of clean protocols. Post procedural instructions, if followed carefully, also ensure a safe procedure.

An experienced artist will understand the special considerations of skin that has been radiated and/or stretched and will be able to safely tattoo this skin.

Can I get an MRI after this procedure?

Yes, even people with large body tattoos have little to no problems from MRIs. In the very rare instance where MRI discomfort resulted, it was localized and very temporary.

How do I take care of my new nipple tattoo?

There is very little down time for tattoo healing. Aftercare is primarily a matter of keeping the area clean, avoiding direct sun, and not letting it soak or dry out. There will be some itching and flaking of the skin for the first week or two. It takes about 3-4 weeks to really see the soft, natural results of your areola and nipple tattoo.

Why have a tattoo artist create the areola/3D nipple rather than my doctor?

Some doctors do fine tattoo work. However, while surgeons are specially trained to surgically create breasts, most are not trained in tattoo procedures, color theory, and how to create a 3 dimensional illusion on a 2 dimensional surface. A tattoo artist generally has an art back round and training, as well as experience in 3D work.

Does health insurance cover areola and nipple tattoo?

The Women’s Health and Cancer Rights Act of 1998 requires insurance to cover post mastectomy reconstruction, including areola/nipple tattooing. Insurance will often reimburse some of the cost of procedures done by a tattoo artist. Dragonfly Ink will provide a receipt to assist in applying to your insurance company for reimbursement for your out of pocket expenses.

Can I bring my friends or significant other to the appointment?

Definitely. Friends and family are welcome to come to the studio.

How do I choose the right artist or doctor to do this work?

• Always look at healed pictures of the areola and 3D tattoos (photos taken directly after will be a bit bright and darker then healed).
• Make sure the areola color looks natural and that it isn’t perfectly round with hard edges
• Does the nipple appear dimensional?
• The artist should have good experience and specialized training, particularly in color theory and areola/3D nipple tattooing. An arts background is especially helpful
• Ask all your questions, and be sure you are comfortable with the artist’s ability to answer your questions
• Of course, be sure anyone tattooing follows all protocols and safety standards for a clean and safe procedure

Is there anything I need to do before my appointment?

• Avoid alcohol for at least 2 days before your appointment
• Have a good breakfast and minimize the caffeine the day of procedure
• Wear a comfortable clothing including a shirt, sweater, or hoodie that opens in the front and that is ok if pigment gets on it
• Do not stop regular meds without consulting your doc, but avoid any aspirin or other blood thinning meds
• If your doc will prescribe, you can use a topical anesthetic before you come in (let your artist know for direction in using or the name of an over the counter cream) There is topical for use during the procedure so this isn’t necessary

How do I make an appointment at Dragonfly Ink?

The best way to schedule a consultation or areola/3D tattoo appointment is to call the studio at 415.550.1445. Please review Rates & Scheduling

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What Is Skin Needling for Scars, Wrinkles, and Stretch Marks?

Dragonfly Ink is one of the few tattoo studios in San Francisco to offer Skin Needling as an effective, natural, gentler alternative to laser resurfacing. Skin Needling goes by a number of names including “needle abrasion,” “intradermabrasion,” and “percutaneous collagen induction.”

Needling is used for:
• Evening out stretch marks from pregnancy or weight loss
• Smoothing acne and pock scars on the face and body
• Smoothing scars from chicken pox or picked scab
• Plumping up wrinkles on the face, neck, and hands
• Reducing large pores on the face

A sophisticated technique, Skin Needling promotes the body’s natural production of collagen plumping up wrinkles and scars and increasing the skins overall elasticity for smoother, more youthful skin. Needling can also increase pigment-producing cells called melanocytes to even skin tones, especially for stretch marks.. Skin Needling an all-natural, non-evasive process that rejuvenates the skin – similar to laser resurfacing but without the harsh damage to the epidermis.

Skin Needling works by making microscopic punctures in the epidermis. This stimulates the body’s natural wound-healing process, breaks up old collagen strands in scars and wrinkles, produces natural collagen and melanocytes, and results in smoother skin.

Note: Skin Needling is not a suitable solution for dark or red scars.

The Next Step

Ready to schedule your consultation? Contact Sasha and get the process started. Have questions specific to you, or questions that were not answered here? Contact Sasha for more information.

Pricing & Scheduling

This is where we’ll put Pricing & Scheduling information.



490 Post Street Suite 1701
Phone: 415.550.1445


Dragonfly Ink is committed to providing excellent quality 3D Nipple Tattoo and Areola Restoration that is natural and realistic. 3D nipple tattoos can be a successful option to create the experience of a finished breast after cancer.