Worksop tattooist offers free 3D nipples for breast cancer survivors
A worksop tattoo artist is offering free 3D nipples to breast cancer survivors after watching her mum go through the illness during lockdown.
Jessica June Ward’s mum Claire Ward, 56, was diagnosed with breast cancer during the pandemic – going through weeks of painful radiotherapy treatment.
Daughter Jessica, 29, told how while attending treatment appointments with Claire - realising how traumatic it was for women with the disease - she decided to use her skills to help other women.
She said: “Luckily mum didn’t have to have a mastectomy and she’s now completely cancer free - but it was so upsetting.
“I know that for me personally this would make a massive difference in that situation.”
The diagnosis came just a year after the mum-of-one was treated for skin cancer – which Claire thankfully flagged up early after Jessica noticed an odd-looking mole on her leg while on holiday in Benidorm.
Jessica, a tattoo artist of over nine years, is now fully-licensed to tattoo over scar tissue for women who have had a mastectomy and reconstructive surgery.
The 29-year-old opened a new shop called The Rabbit Hole – on Gateford Road – this week after suffering a year of setbacks caused by rotting floors and crumbling walls at the premises.
Jessica, who ran a shop in Sheffield before moving back to Worksop, described the cosmetic procedure - which takes about an hour per nipple - as ‘just like a normal tattoo’.
However because she does not recommend anaesthetic - which can affect how the skin heals - she warns ‘it could be a little painful’.
Tattooists work to get just the right pigment colour for their clients - in Jessica’s case by matching the colour with their lips.
During a consultation Jessica assesses how well scar tissue on the breast will retain the ink and agrees the best position for the new nipple and how it should look.
When the tattoo is applied she draws an outline - preferring not to use a symmetrical stencil for a natural look - filing it in with the right pigment colour using flat and round shader needles.
Jessica’s mum Claire told how when she was first diagnosed her daughter ‘joked that she would tattoo me some nipples on if necessary’.
However speaking about the importance of having lumps checked for cancer she added: “Luckily for me I was very lucky and had a small operation and radiotherapy but sadly I know that lots of ladies aren't so lucky.
"I'm so proud of Jess for offering this service and hopefully making ladies feel better about themselves.”
“It was also Jessica who spotted the change in the mole on my leg that was malignant – I'm very proud of what she's achieved through these difficult times and her support for me has been very special.”
Since launching the service on Facebook, Jessica said she had been flooded with supportive comments and has already had four bookings.
Jessica, who specialises in colour realism tattoos, said: “I don’t know why I never thought of it before - I’ve had a lot of women getting in touch.”
She will be consulting with and working on women taking up the new service on Tuesdays, fortnightly.
To make an appointment message her on Facebook HERE.