Local Artist Talks Beauty Techniques for Breast Cancer Survivors

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FOX 5 continues to recognize October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

For many women, the discovery of cancer can lead not only to harsh treatments, but also to the loss of one or both breasts.

Our very own Ayesha Khan shared her personal experience with the disease and openly spoke about her changing appearance after 16 rounds of chemotherapy and a single right breast mastectomy.

Ayesha is due to undergo breast reconstruction in December, followed by a nipple tattoo which she plans to get a few months after her recovery.

READ MORE: Walking the track for a cure

On Saturday morning, she was joined by lead artist, educator, and owner of Epic Beauty, Lizeth Alvarado of Northern Virginia, to talk about the process of tattooing nipples in addition to the various techniques available to women seeking care. beauty after breast cancer.

Alvarado explained why nipple tattooing is an attractive procedure for women who have had a mastectomy.

“Nipple tattooing has a lot to do with restoring the breast after mastectomy or other reconstructive breast surgeries. A lot of times, you know, women will lose the areola and the nipple area. And they’ll actually have like virgin breasts when the doctor can’t save the nipple and areola,” Alvarado explained. “So when they come to get their nipples tattooed, I’m basically doing mapping, which recreates the areola and repigments the skin.”

Alvarado says a woman typically undergoes the procedure six months after a mastectomy and a doctor’s approval is required.

Once the procedure begins, Alvarado says it’s relatively painless.

“Generally, women don’t feel anything because there has been so much reconstruction, and it depends on the type of reconstructive surgery they’ve had, that they may not feel any sensation in the area. However, if they make sense, I use numbing cream.”

READ MORE: ‘Never give up’: Virginia, 12, spreads joy to cancer patients, one stuffed jar at a time

In addition to nipple tattooing, Alvarado also offers other cosmetic procedures for cancer survivors. They include offering eyelash extensions that can be kept longer and micro scalp pigmentation, a procedure that recreates the follicles on the scalp and helps fill in the gaps left in the hair after chemotherapy.

To learn more about Alvarado’s work, visit the Epic Beauty Rx website.

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