Corey MeGee, a permanent makeup artist at The Village Salon and Spa in Lewes, has followed her dream to become one of the few certified medical tattoo artists along the East Coast offering 3D nipple and areola tattoos to women and men who have battled breast cancer.
While working at The Village Salon and Spa and being in the industry for almost 10 years, the Georgetown resident began creating permanent makeup tattoos which opened the doors for her to become certified in medical tattoos given the small number of people who offer the service.
“Once I began tattooing, I researched more and more into alternative options for how I can use my new skill to help others. I came across Mandy Sauler of Penn Medicine in Philadelphia and the amazing work she has done for survivors of such a devastating and unfortunately common diagnosis of breast cancer. I signed up for the certification in May of this year and took the intense course to receive training from one of the best in the business. Upon completion, I realized how this was the best experience I have ever had, and I was excited to be able to bring this new knowledge back to Delaware,” said MeGee.
“Not many people know this is an option, and it is important to me to spread the word to those who have fought so hard to overcome their diagnosis.”
While undergoing the training, MeGee was required to tattoo five survivors. Although she knew this would be a rewarding and emotional experience, the results yielded true happiness and a whirlwind of emotions for those being tattooed. Most to all patients undergo surgery in order to remove cancerous tissue which can cause the loss of nipples or areolas.
“When I work with the clients, hearing their stories and feeding off of the strength is something that is truly amazing and I am so thankful to be involved in. I want the men and women who have experienced this to feel complete when it comes to their bodies. Once the tattoo is completed, the room fills with emotion. With the pure happiness and tears of joy, it is hard for me not to get emotional as well; it is such a rewarding experience to contribute a positive service to someone,” she said.
Medical tattooing usually calls for the use of the same style tattoo machines and techniques in a tattoo parlor, but the inks are different to match the pigment of the skin and tones which unfortunately fade over time. MeGee, who works in her private tattoo room licensed through the state health department, uses traditional tattooing to offer a unique and one-time application to avoid requiring more visits as the tattoo fades. Her traditional approach also only requires typical healing instructions and methods. It is important that no tattoos are done for at least six months after any surgery to the breast.
MeGee makes it easy to set up an appointment, offering a free consultation where she will answer any questions or concerns. She prides herself on making this a very personal and unique experience and an appointment can be set up following the consultation. MeGee can perform the 3D nipple tattooing, areola tattooing, also offering cover ups from previous tattoos that were done if a client is not happy with the results. This can be both unilateral (matching of the other nipple) or bilateral where both are done (where client has input on shape, color, etc.). The tattoo or tattoos also undergo the same healing process as a tattoo anywhere on the body, with the same basic treatment and monitoring.
“This whole experience from the excitement of just researching this art form to completing a tattoo has been worthwhile. I am very lucky to have the support of my manager at the salon and spa, who has encouraged me throughout the process as well as getting me any necessary materials I needed. I have seen people come from different states to me to receive a tattoo and the pure joy I have seen on my clients’ faces only make me want to continue to grow this offering, continue to attend conferences on the subject and local events, and most importantly help spread the word that this is something available to those who have fought through breast cancer.”
All parties interested can contact The Village Salon and Spa in Lewes seven days a week at 302-644-4247. She currently works Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. MeGee has made it clear that both men and women are encouraged, and the website will have examples of before and after photos soon. She will also be holding a raffle in October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month) for a tattoo session.