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What is Medical Tattooing?

Medical tattooing is a type of tattooing performed in aesthetic medicine. Also known as micro-pigmentation, this type of tattooing is different from typical cosmetic tattooing, as it is not performed to add a design to the skin but rather to make the skin look more natural by concealing flaws or trauma. Medical tattooing is a more advanced procedure that is performed with a different type of detailed, specific technique, achieving a natural-looking result that looks like your skin. Medical tattooing is performed with the purpose of correcting discolorations due to scars and stretch marks, and other physical trauma, such as the loss of a nipple after breast cancer. In the case of the latter, the nipple is recreated with 3D tattooing techniques.

How Does Medical Tattooing Work?

During medical tattooing, tiny particles of sterile pigments are deposited into the skin. This is a similar process to the standard tattooing process, but it has differences. Medical tattooing is performed with different pigments that are applied to the skin with a specialized medical tattoo machine. Smaller needles are used to achieve more precise, finite results.

Medical tattooing is commonly performed after a topical anesthetic is applied, making the process virtually painless. However, anesthesia is not a required part of the treatment. 

Medical Tattoo Options at Beck Aesthetic Surgery

Beck Aesthetic Surgery provides several options for medical tattooing, including stretch mark camouflage, scar camouflage, and 3D areola reconstruction.

Stretch Mark Camouflage

Stretch mark camouflage conceals the appearance of stretch marks, making them less apparent and blending the marks into your natural skin tone.

Can Stretch Mark Camouflage Remove Stretch Marks?

Stretch mark camouflage will not remove the texture of the stretch mark, and it will not remove the stretch mark itself. Instead, the stretch mark camouflage treatment deposits pigment into your stretch marks that match your skin tone. This creates a camouflaging effect, fading the stretch marks so that they are far less visible and become almost unnoticeable.

Can All Stretch Marks Be Treated?

Medical tattooing cannot treat all stretch marks, but it can treat many. The most responsible stretch marks to this procedure are older and have healed more. These types of stretch marks are typically white or silver and have somewhat faded. We recommend that you wait until your stretch marks have aged at least two years to achieve the best results with medical tattooing.

Why Do You Need to Complete a Consultation Before Medical Tattooing for Stretch Marks?

Like any treatment, medical tattooing requires a consultation ahead of time. Your medical esthetician will determine whether you're a good candidate for stretch mark camouflage treatment, assess your stretch marks, and help answer any questions you have. They will walk you through the treatment process for medical tattooing and explain what you can expect during the procedure. As a part of your consultation, you will get a personalized price quote for your medical tattooing.

How Many Sessions Will You Need?

Required session treatments vary based on a number of factors. The number of session treatments will depend on your family history, ethnicity, skin type, and the severity of your stretch marks.

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How Long Does a Medical Tattooing Treatment Take to Complete?

Medical tattooing will take between 2 to 3 hours, depending on the size of the area that requires treatment. The most important part of the appointment is ensuring the color matching of the pigments is as exact as possible with your natural skin tone. It is vital to get this correct the first time, which is why the process is not rushed. Timing will be discussed more during your consultation.

Can Every Skin Tone Be Treated for Stretch Marks?

Yes, every skin color and skin tone can be treated with medical tattooing for stretch marks. It is important to note that while all skin tones can be worked on, people with darker skin tones are more prone to hyperpigmentation.

How Long Do the Results of Stretch Mark Camouflage Last?

Most treatments last for about 3-5 years. The longevity of results depends on individual lifestyle and consistency of sun protection. In general, most treatments will last up to 3-5 years.

What is the Healing Time and Recovery Process After Stretch Mark Camouflage?

The healing process after medical tattooing takes different stages. It will take 30-60 days for the treated area to be completely healed. During the initial healing phase, the area will scab over, and the pigment color will change. There will be some swelling and redness, which will fade over time. To help ensure the healing process goes smoothly, we will provide detailed aftercare instructions.

Scar Camouflage

Scar camouflage with medical tattooing is performed to smooth and conceal the appearance of visible scars.

Does Scar Camouflage Remove Scars?

Medical tattooing is not a scar removal procedure. Scar camouflage does not remove scars, and it also does not address the texture of a scar. This procedure uses a unique tattoo device to deposit colored pigments into your skin. The pigment is carefully selected to match your skin tone and cover over the scar. As a result, the camouflage effect causes the scar to appear far less noticeable to the naked eye.

Can All Scars Be Treated With Medical Tattooing?

Not all scars can be treated successfully. The most suitable scars for this treatment are older, healed scars. These scars are typically white or silver in color and have faded. To achieve the best results, we recommend that the scars are at least 12-18 months old before you have them treated.

Why Do You Need to Have a Consultation Before Medical Tattooing?

Before any aesthetic treatment, a consultation is required. During your consultation, we will thoroughly assess your scar and ensure you’re a good candidate for scar camouflage treatment. If medical tattooing isn’t the right choice for you, we will discuss other options to treat your scar. For example, some patients require a microneedling treatment before they can have scar camouflage with medical tattooing.

We will answer any questions or address any concerns you may have during this time. We will walk you through the medical tattooing process and help you understand what to expect so that you’re confident going into the procedure. Once your consultation is complete, you will receive a personalized price quote for your personalized treatment.

How Many Sessions Will You Need?

Each person has different needs depending on the magnitude of their scar, their ethnicity, family history, and skin type.

After one treatment session, most patients typically notice a 30-60% improvement. Some people take to the pigments and heal faster, and as a result, require fewer sessions, generally 1-2.

Most patients usually require more treatment sessions for best results, about 2-4. After 6-8 weeks, we recommend follow-up sessions to touch up the results of your session treatments.

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Can Every Skin Tone Be Treated for Scars?

Yes, every skin tone can be treated with medical tattooing to conceal scars. However, patients who have darker skin tones may experience hyperpigmentation after treatment.

How Long Do the Results of Scar Camouflage Last?

Your results will last for 3-5 years. The length of time results last depends on your consistency with sun protection and your lifestyle. 

What is the Healing Time After Scar Camouflage Treatment?

Your initial healing phase is relatively short, involving some scabbing, swelling, and redness in the treatment area. There will be some changes in pigment color as well during this time.

In total, your healing process will take between 1-3 months. Once the healing period has been completed, the area can be treated again. Closely follow the aftercare instructions we provide to ensure the healing process goes well and the results are as optimal as possible.

3D Areola Restoration

3D areola restoration is a treatment that achieves the visual appearance of a real areola with medical tattooing. This type of medical tattoo is performed with artistry and precision that results in the appearance of nipple protrusion. 

Who gets 3D Areola Restoration? 

Generally, women who have experienced breast cancer and had tissue removal resulting in nipple loss have 3D areola restoration. However, it is also performed for individuals who have a variety of nipple restoration needs. Every patient's decision-making process is different. We provide a warm, understanding atmosphere at Beck Aesthetic Surgery to ensure our patients feel confident and supported during their medical tattoo treatment. 

The reasons people have 3D Areola Restoration include the following:

  • Loss of the areola and nipple 

    Women who lose all or part of the areola and nipple after breast cancer and reconstruction after mastectomy may choose to have medical tattooing. This includes “pre-vivors,” women who carry the breast cancer gene and have their breasts removed before a cancer diagnosis.

  • Cosmetic breast surgery

    Aesthetic breast surgery, such as breast reduction, breast lift, or breast augmentation, may affect the color of the nipple and areola. Medical tattooing can address these changes and enhance the color of the areolae and nipples.

  • Other cosmetic choices

    The desire for nipple enhancement, shape change, and other cosmetic changes is one of the reasons patients have medical tattooing.

  • Change in color or shape

    Over time or due to pregnancy and nursing, nipples may change shape or color. 3D areola tattooing can adjust the color and shape more aesthetically.

  • Gynecomastia 

    Men who develop breasts and require surgery to remove them may have changes in their nipples, requiring medical tattooing to improve and enhance their shape.
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Why is a Complete Consultation a Prerequisite to Having 3D Areola Restoration?

Any aesthetic treatment requires a consultation beforehand. During the consultation, your medical esthetician will determine whether you are a candidate for 3D areola restoration with medical tattooing. You will have an examination, and we will discuss the details of your treatment to help prepare you for what to expect. We will answer your questions and address any concerns you have. We will provide a custom price quote for your treatment.

How Soon Can I Have 3D Areola Reconstruction Performed?

Wait for 12 weeks after breast or chest surgery before you have this treatment, or wait to have the procedure once your physician gives approval.

Will 3D Areola Reconstruction Hurt?

Typically, there is less sensation in the breast mound after surgery. However, because each person experiences discomfort differently and has different sensitivity levels, we provide numbing agents to make the tattooing procedure more comfortable.

How Long Will 3D Areola Reconstruction Last?

Many people will not require a retouching treatment for ten years or more, as most patients rarely expose their nipples to UV exposure.

Results with Medical Tattoos

Many patients will require more than one treatment to achieve optimal results. Treatments will be performed once the area is completely healed. Repeat medical tattoo sessions are performed until the full results are achieved. 

You may need touchups from time to time to maintain ideal results, depending on the treatment area and your personal aesthetic goals.

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Medical Tattooing at Beck Aesthetic Surgery 

Dr. Joel Beck is a board-certified plastic surgeon who is known for excellence in both surgical and non-surgical procedures. His focus is on beautiful, natural-looking results achieved with minimal trauma and reduced scarring and downtime.

At his practice, Beck Aesthetic Surgery, patients experience a caring, compassionate, and welcoming environment where their needs and aesthetic goals come first. Dr. Beck and his team make it their top priority to ensure you are very happy with your results and experience better confidence and a greater quality of life moving forward.

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