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This App Helps Breast Cancer Survivors Visualize Putting Tattoos Over Their Scars

Personal Ink’s app reveals what breast tattoos will look like before you commit to getting the tattoo.

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Many breast cancer survivors live with scars from mastectomy surgery. Sometimes surgeons have to remove nipples, or even whole breasts, leaving women with a permanent physical reminder of what they went through.

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As we wrote last year, Personal Ink (P.INK) is a project that puts cancer survivors in touch with tattoo artists, who create designs to hide the marks or, perhaps, draw attention to them. Tattooing helps women reclaim their bodies and get over the disfigurement of the surgery, it says.

Following an initial media campaign, the group is now back with an app that lets women visualize designs on their bodies, so they can see what the tattoo might look like for real. See more in the video here:

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“Tattoos and tattoo shops can be intimidating,” says Sesh Moodley at the ad agency CP+B, which created the campaign. “They have a bit of a stigma attached to them, and for most breast cancer survivors, the idea of tattoos just isn’t on their radar. The Inkspiration app provides them with a creative form of healing.”

It also connects users with artists who already worked with cancer survivors and know the territory. “A tattoo gives the survivor some control over what breast cancer has taken from them,” adds Moodley. “It’s beautiful and helps with the rehabilitation process.”

About the author

Ben Schiller is a New York staff writer for Fast Company. Previously, he edited a European management magazine and was a reporter in San Francisco, Prague, and Brussels.

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