LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - When Tammy King was diagnosed with breast cancer almost eight years ago, she decided to have a double mastectomy rather than undergoing radiation.
She says after the surgery, it was hard to look at herself at times with those scars on her breasts.
“Every time I got out I saw the scars. I knew they were scars of a good thing and good things to come, but they were still there every time I got out of the shower, the bath, trying on clothes or swimsuits.”
King is now a breast cancer survivor, but her breasts were reconstructed without the nipples.
“I just felt like they were something I saw all the time and I was self-conscious about them even though I was the only one who felt that way.”
Tammy believed she would struggle with this issue for the rest of her life. Then stumbled across the idea of tattooing nipples and nipple reconstruction, which led her to the work of local tattoo artist, Mike Diaz.
“I’ve got clients come in all the time and whatever they want, I don’t mind doing it. I had a client that wanted to get some areolas reconstruction. It wasn’t really restoration because she didn’t have anything there. Then, when we did it and posted it, it went viral,” Diaz said.
Diaz says the tattoo process is the same as any other tattoo, but with a lot more measurements and playing with colors and skin tones. King says it was a life-changing experience.
“I cried when I saw them. It was like the scars are still there, but you don’t see the scars. You see just normal breasts.”
“Ink makes people feel better in all kinds of ways, whether its a heart on the wrist or someone’s name on the chest. The ink makes them feel good and we are doing the same thing with the areolas except we are giving them something back that they had before,” Diaz said.