A Nipple For Everyone


I’m always on the lookout for helpful tips and tricks to get through this breast cancer journey with a little more grace and dignity. And since we’re all in this leaky boat together, I’m happy to share my discoveries with you.

I’m a few months out from any talk of breast reconstruction, but I’m still curious about the process. I don’t yet know whether I’ll be able to have implants. If I go ahead with radiation, the skin may be too badly damaged for a traditional “boob job”. I might have to have a DIEP procedure, where they would take excess skin from my abdomen and create-a-boob. Having a free tummy tuck wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world!

English: Skin sparing mastectomy and implant r...

English: Skin sparing mastectomy and implant reconstruction. Right skin sparing mastectomy and implant reconstruction. 

The problem with reconstruction is that it must be done in stages, which can take months. Once the actual breast is rebuilt, women often go “nippleless” for a while. Then they can opt for 3D nipple tattoos or have an actual raised nipple created with skin.

I’ve seen some pictures of the nipple-free mounds, and I must admit that they look a little “unfinished”. I’m sure it’s a great relief to look normal under clothes after being flat-chested for so long, but wouldn’t it be nice to have an option for at least creating the illusion of a complete breast while you wait?

No worries! Apparently there is a solution for everything if you just know where to look. Enter the “rub on nipple”. There is a company dedicated to making these for women undergoing breast reconstruction. They come in a variety of shades and last 1-2 weeks. Check out the “areola pallette” from the company website:



I can’t vouch for the company since I’ve never ordered from them, but they have testimonials on their website. If any of you are farther along on your cancer adventure than I am and decide to give these nipples a try, I’d love to hear what you think. What will they think of next? 3D penis-enhancing tattoos, perhaps. 🙂


11 thoughts on “A Nipple For Everyone

  1. Thanks for sharing this! I am in the same boat as you. I say, order a few different colors of rub on nipples now to get a good match while you still have nipples. I am so curious now to see how well these work.

  2. My Mum had the DIEP procedure. It is quite invasive and takes a long time to heal from but does give you a more natural shape compared to the usual boob job. She was a lot older than you when she had hers done so you’ll probably bounce back much quicker than she did!

    • Hi Lucie! How’s everything going? Have you started radiation yet? I’ve got 3 chemos left. I took a week off for a much needed vacation in the sun. I’ll be anxious to find out how your rads go.

      • Hi! Radio doesn’t start till next week. I’ve had my CT scan and my tatoos done but waiting to start the actual process. Only three more weeks for you then! I’m glad you got a break from it though. Have you made your decision about radiotherapy yet?

      • I haven’t met with the radiation doc yet. I imagine that will be coming up very soon. I want to ask him if it would be possible to keep the radiation as a possibility for later if cancer shows up again in the chest area. I’d like to get MRI’s every so often to monitor it. Once you have the radiation, you can never have it again. I’ll listen to what he has to say.

  3. While I was recovering from bilateral mastectomy (skin & nipple sparing), with immediate reconstruction using tissue expanders, I thought I’d done the wrong thing once I’d felt the reality of it and then went and looked again at the DIEP flap results. Although I’m far more content with my choice now that pain from the infusion ports has settled with use of gabapentin, I’d encourage you to consider DIEP procedures if you’re told tissue expander may be difficult. They have an awfully natural look that I’m not completely convinced I’ll get with the procedures I’ve chosen.

    • Thanks for your advice. I’ve heard that the DIEP procedure is a much longer, more complex surgery with increased recovery time. On the other hand, people who’ve had the expanders say the pain is awful. I guess nothing about this odyssey is going to be simple!

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