POMPTON PLAINS, New Jersey (WABC) -- "Knowing that you're helping somebody at the end of their journey and the trials they go through after having breast cancer is an amazing feeling," said Kris Fernicola, Paramedical tattoo artist at Restoration Body Art in Pompton Plains, New Jersey.
Following her mother's second breast cancer diagnosis in 2009, Fernicola was inspired and decided to pursue medical tattooing as a career.
"This is a very important part of the reconstruction process. This finishes off the great work doctors do and covers up the scarring with well defined, realistic looking nipples and areolas," said Fernicola.
Claudine Ware, a breast cancer survivor and client at Restoration Body Art, underwent a double mastectomy after being diagnosed in February 2018.
"The tattoos make me feel more normal. Before I would glance in the mirror and the scars were blatantly there, this has added some normalcy back into my life," said Ware.
Fernicola's shading techniques give the illusion that the areola and nipple are three-dimensional and can take approximately 2 hours to complete.
The price for medical tattoos vary. Bilateral areola tattoos can range from $600 to $1,000 and it is included in two sessions to ensure a perfect and realistic result.
"I've met amazing women and men on this journey. They inspire me and are more of an inspiration and have touched my life more than I'm touching theirs. They are survivors and thrivers," said Fernicola.
Tattoo artist designs medical tattoos for breast cancer survivors after mastectomies