Reconstructive tattoo expert from Lancaster offering free treatments for people affected by breast cancer

A semi-permanent make-up artist from Lancaster is using her talents as a tattooist to help people coping with the after-effects of breast cancer surgery.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Friday, 5th March 2021, 3:40 pm
Jodie Hegarty.
Jodie Hegarty.

Jodie Hegarty is one of the area’s few trained 3D nipple reconstruction tattooists and she is offering four free specialist treatments to anyone who would benefit from the treatment and encouraging the recipient to make a donation to CancerCare

She has been a supporter of CancerCare - which has centres in Lancaster, Kendal and Barrow and provides free professional therapy for people affected by cancer and bereavement - for a number of years after seeing several friends and members of her family benefit from the charity’s services.

“CancerCare is very close to my heart and I wanted to do something that would not only raise money for them but also help anyone affected by breast cancer," Jodie said.

"Many of the clients who come in for eyebrow treatments do so due to the side effects of chemotherapy and speaking to them brings it home how important the work of the charity is."

Jodie qualified as a semi-permanent make-up artist six years ago and is based at Victoria Anne Beauty in Kirkby Lonsdale and Hairport 49 on Scotforth Road in Lancaster, and she is now branching out from traditional beauty therapies by specialising in 3D nipple tattoos for women who have undergone mastectomy surgery after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

The process involves creating a hyper-realistic 3D areola on flat skin using artistic techniques to provide the effect of a raised nipple and using pigments to give it a natural appearance.

The final design is permanent and is not prone to fading unlike those produced using older, quicker techniques.

Jodie said: “Each piece takes around two hours. I am very aware that it is an emotional process and I try and ensure I make it as comfortable as possible by having an initial in-depth consultation with the client, talking to them and finding out exactly what they want.”

3D nipple tattooing can have a number of benefits including providing symmetry and making the recipient feel more comfortable with their post-surgery body shape. Men can also benefit from the procedure.

CancerCare development and engagement officer Sarah Drake received a similar treatment herself after mastectomy surgery several years ago.

Sarah said: “For me the tattooing symbolised the end of a long and painful process of treatment and many surgeries. I had avoided looking in the mirror as all I saw were reminders of what my body had gone through and dealt with.

"The tattoos detracted from the scarring and give the illusion of what used to be there naturally. I looked like how I felt I should look and that finally all the pieces were back together which allowed me to once again look in the mirror and feel like a woman in every sense.”

As well providing four free tattoo clinics, Jodie has also joined CancerCare's Profit Pledge scheme and will donate 20 per cent of the proceeds of all 3D nipple tattoos she does over the next 12 months.

To find out more about Jodie's work, go online here.

To find out more about CancerCare’s Profit Pledge fundraising scheme, email [email protected] or go online here.