Medical tattooing is a growing trend and one that can conceal scars and wounds. Some of which can run deep emotionally.
For women with breast cancer, the tattoos can restore a woman's confidence and self-image. Medical tattooing is not only covering the surgical scars of cancer survivors but changing their lives.
“I'm singing and I'm dancing through it. I look down, I was like ‘Oh my God, how did she do this?’ It was so fast and it looks so real and it's just amazing,” Jenna Einhorn, of Florida, said.
Einhorn was diagnosed with cancer in 2019, she had a double mastectomy and then her plastic surgeon recommended Stacie Becker, a medical tattoo artist in Longwood, Florida, and a University of Central Florida studio art student.
"I get to give many breast cancer survivors realistic nipple-areola tattoos,” Becker said.
In cases where women lose their nipples because of breast cancer, Becker is able to recreate a nipple and the area around the nipple known as the areola.
It's about restoring their natural appearance and Einhorn says it's so realistic.
“I looked down and I felt like me again,” Einhorn said.
At age 46, Brandi Rice of Altamonte Springs, Florida, says she was diagnosed with the most aggressive type of cancer.
"It was so severe that they brought it to the medical boards around the world to find out what they were going to do with me,” Rice said.
She too had a double mastectomy with reconstruction. Her doctor suggested the nipple tattoos, but Rice went all out, using her chest as a canvas for butterflies complete with decorative swirls.
It's changed her life.
“It's OK. It takes so much out of you. It makes you feel so defeated. Through it all, you feel so defeated, and this actually brings fun back into your life,” Rice said.
Becker is adamant about making medical tattooing a more mainstream professional practice and one, hopefully, paid for by insurance.
She says it makes a difference in the lives of so many.
"I feel like I am now complete. I feel like this was the end of that chapter, like I slammed the book shut, once I got these tattoos,” Einhorn said.