How Medical Tattooing Helps Scars and Heals Lives

Medical tattooing is a specialised technique and treatment that can help restore confidence and improve quality of life for people who have scars as a result of accidents and trauma, health challenges and surgical procedures.

“It’s as much about the psychological benefits as improving the physical appearance of scarring,” says Rita Porreca, medical tattooing expert and director of Sydney Permanent Make-up Centre. “Our treatments can help someone move on from a difficult time in their lives.”

The Centre offers a variety of medical tattoo treatments and techniques, depending on your concern. 

Some of our available treatments:

Areola Re-Pigmentation Tattooing

Areola re-pigmentation tattooing is effective in restoring natural-looking areola and nipples for people after mastectomy and breast reconstruction. In cases where someone doesn’t have a nipple reconstruction following mastectomy, Rita can create the illusion of an areola.

“We use a paintbrush/waterwash technique to blend into the skin so it looks realistic and natural, not like a round shape that’s been tattooed on,” Rita explains. “We can create a 3D areola, making it look like a nipple when it’s not, using a blend of colour. It’s quite a specialised art and you need someone who knows what they’re doing. It’s not a standard paint-on tattoo that can look like eyeballs.”

And for people who have had a breast reduction, with scarring around the areola, Rita can tattoo a larger areola to cover those scars so it’s less obvious.

Areola tattooing generally takes around 90 minutes. The colour is darker at first, then after five days fades about 40% into a soft, natural shade. Unlike regular tattoos, medical and cosmetic tattoo colour is semi-permanent because it needs to look natural. So it needs to be touched up every couple of years.

Where only one breast is affected, Rita can match the colour of the other areola and can match most skin tones. As a result of her expertise in areola tattooing, many plastic surgeons refer their patients to Rita to help them heal psychologically as well as physically.

“We’re usually the final step on their long, difficult journey. It’s like closing the door on that time,”

“Areola tattooing helps give a woman more normality, so when they see themselves in the mirror, they don’t have a constant reminder of their journey. They feel like a woman again. It’s not about vanity, it’s more about restoring their confidence.” 

Cosmetic Tattooing

Alopecia is an autoimmune condition that causes unpredictable hair loss on the body, including eyebrows and eyelashes. With medical cosmetic tattooing, Rita can create eyebrows for men and women that suit their facial features and look as natural as possible. She can also create eyelash liner for the appearance of eyelashes and a subtle definition around the eyes.

Corrective Camouflage

Corrective camouflage is an incredibly effective medical tattooing option to treat white, flat scarring from surgical procedures such as facelifts and hair transplants. It also helps disguise hypo-pigmentation, cold sore scarring and white spots from sun damage. Even old scars can be treated if it’s white. The technique is most effective on medium to dark skin tones. 

However, corrective camouflage tattooing is not suitable to treat dark circles under eyes. Some tattooists offer this, but it can make the area look worse.

Corrective camouflage colour will also look darker for five days then settle by 40%. You may need a ‘perfection visit’ touch up after four weeks for a small fee.


Multitrepannic Collagen Activation (MCA) produces amazing, natural-looking results. It involves dry needling the scar with a tattoo pen in a way that stimulates your skin to produce its own melanin to colour the scar, when combined with controlled sun exposure. MCA works best on white scars and medium to dark skin, because they produce more melanin.

Rita has achieved wonderful, natural-looking results for many people, but as with all scar treatments, an exact match via tattoo is not always possible. However, it will definitely decrease the whiteness of a scar. And for many people, the less noticeable their scar, the better they feel about themselves. Which, for Rita, is the most rewarding part.

“With corrective camouflaging and areola re-pigmentation tattooing especially, we’re helping people improve their mental health as well as their appearance.”

If you’d like to discuss how medical tattooing can help reduce the appearance of your scar,


Talk to a caring practitioner today!