“Necessity is the mother of invention.”
Temporary Nipple Tattoos for Post-Mastectomy Empowerment
…meet Elizabeth Vivenzio, a self-proclaimed “Mother of Invention”
The “Mother of Invention” idiom refers to those whose difficult situations inspire ingenious solutions. So, when Elizabeth Vivenzio’s mastectomy left her with bare mounds during a long period of breast reconstruction, she invented a solution to her problem…temporary 3-D areola tattoos. Her creation, Rub-On Nipples®, has been hailed by post-mastectomy users as life-changing, and the product is now patent-approved.
The product discovery process for Elizabeth began as she parlayed her 30+ years as a medical writer into the creation of two educational web sites for post-mastectomy women. EmbracingMastectomy.com provides essential post-op information about healing and self-care. TattooedNipples.com celebrates women who are moving forward and living life fully and joyfully after mastectomy. The site promotes emotional well-being and healing during the final stages of breast reconstruction and beyond.
“Defining a visual focus on bare mounds elicits a soothing sight as you bathe or dress,” said Elizabeth. “No matter how positive women are about their mastectomies, there are times when they describe feeling as I did — deflated when they see the blank canvas in the mirror. The visual of finally seeing an areola boosts your self-esteem and self-image tremendously.”
Rub-On Nipples® can last one to two weeks and are easily removed with rubbing alcohol. The temporary tattoos fill the void for women going through the breast reconstruction process. Although post-mastectomy women have the option of permanent areola pigmentation (commonly called nipple tattoos), years can pass before they are candidates for this last, defining step. That is because the placement of the nipple tattoo cannot be accurately determined until the size and shape of the breast mound is finalized.
“Completion of breast reconstruction can take years for many women, especially when additional breast surgeries are needed to correct or improve cosmetic results,” said Elizabeth. “I am having my third and, hopefully, last revision surgery this winter, which will be more than two and a half years since my mastectomy. It would be months beyond that (for swelling to subside) before a permanent procedure could be considered — all toll three years after my mastectomy.”
The temporary nipple tattoos also serve as a practice tool for those considering or planning permanent areola pigmentation. Many are nervous about getting a permanent tattoo—concerned that they will dislike the end result. Rub-On Nipples® make the decision for permanent tattooing easier by enabling women to visualize placement and different colors.
Rub-On Nipples® also encourage women to complete the breast reconstruction process. It is not uncommon that some women stop short of fully completing the process because they are weary of procedures, leery of the tattoo process or just so exhausted from their journey. The temporary tattoos help women explore and consider moving forward with permanent inking.
A small subset of women has extenuating medical circumstances that prevent them from even considering permanent tattoos. For these women and for others who remain leery of permanent tattooing or do not want to commit to the upkeep (permanent tattoos often fade need to be re-inked every few years) Rub-On Nipples® offer a permanent solution.
The tattoos average five dollars a pair or less depending on the quantity purchased. Women can initially order a 4-color variety pack to ascertain which one of the twelve colors they prefer.
Elizabeth’s greatest satisfaction comes from the feedback from users, comments that she proudly lists on her web site, RubOnNipples.com. “My core objective from the start has been empowerment for post-mastectomy women. I consider myself to be in the field of “mastectomy empowerment.” I thank God every day for my journey, which has led to this purpose—empowering other women to thrive after mastectomy.”
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