Medical Tattoo Providers

Whether to treat hyper visible scars, correct the appearance of areola tissue death, create a hyper-realistic, 3D nipple tattoo or add pigmentation to a phalloplasty, medical tattooing and microneedling scar therapy are sometimes a patient’s final step in their surgical journey. These services are often sought out to revise surgical complications or, in the case of an areola and nipple tattoo, can be an alternative to nipple grafting. For many patients, interventions like scar tattooing and areola tattooing are necessary to help them feel more comfortable in their bodies and to finally reach their surgical goals. For something as serious and permanent as a medical or restorative tattoo, we want to make sure that our GCC patients are in trusted hands. That is why we have recommended three trans-affirming, expert tattoo artists in California and Canada. Candice Falcon, Shane Wallin and Jen Lee have all worked with GCC patients in the past. They each have a demonstrated commitment to a client-centered approach and have incredible success and patient satisfaction rates. You can read more about these providers’ location, experience, values, services and how to book an appointment with them below.

Candice Falcon of Falcon Artistry Tattoo in Canada:

Candice (she/her) is without a doubt a leader in the field of restorative tattooing. As a life-long painter and color-theory expert, she is sought out as an artist because of her unique tattooing methodology, and also as an esteemed teacher of restorative tattooing techniques. Candice’s main location is in Vancouver, Canada and she travels to promote accessibility with her services. Candice Falcon’s Falcon Artistry Specialty Tattoo studio has seen several Gender Confirmation Center patients since its founding in 2016.

From her academy to her private tattooing practice, Candice places her clients’ humanity front and center. Experience has shown her that the restorative tattooing process can be a particularly vulnerable one. Part of the reason Falcon’s services are highly recommended by the GCC is because of her ability to hold delicate conversations with clients during consultations. Her unique style of educating clients about their options demonstrates her understanding of the importance of normalizing and validating their experiences and desires. No one should be made to feel ashamed of themselves in their journey to self-acceptance.

When it comes to gender affirming care, Candice’s work helps bridge the gap between a patient’s surgical results and what they were hoping surgery would have accomplished in the first place. “You’re justified in wanting an appearance that you were expecting with your surgery, you’re allowed to want to have your nipples back, to want them to be symmetrical, and to want to return the pieces missing because of scarring.” For many of Falcon’s clients, the results of a restorative intervention provide them with the comfort needed to resume daily activities without shame, fear, or stress and to regain a sense of familiarity with their bodies.

Candice’s services:

  • For top surgery and breast cancer patients, areola restoration can help those interested in correcting surgical complications or creating new, hyper-real, 3D nipple tattoos on chest breast tissue without nipples. 
  • Candice is able to create a perfect match to her clients’ skin or hair follicle tones with custom-based inks. This allows her to masterfully camouflage stretch marks, hypo- or hyperpigmented scars, as well as retexture scars so that they blend into the surrounding skin.
  • She offers scalp micropigmentation (SMP) for those interested in gender-affirming hairline alterations, creating the appearance of greater hair density, or concealing scars on the scalp.
  • Candice has experience tattooing phalloplasty results to add realistic pigmentation, dimensions, shadowing, and veins. Viewer discretion is advised for these phalloplasty before and after pictures.

Book an appointment with Candice:

Falcon Artistry Tattoo has a streamlined booking process. It starts with a potential client’s first contact: sending pictures of the area they would like to get altered, providing a description of their desired results, asking questions and receiving a custom quote. From there, Candice will respond to initiate the screening process, which involves turning in a confidential medical history. Please note that for areola restoration, clients must have waited at least a year since any mastectomy or chest reduction; additionally, a free, in-person consultation is often required to determine if the skin is ready to be tattooed. Once cleared, an appointment will be booked.

The appointment itself begins with a client welcome, where Candice lays out everything that will occur. She first applies a topical anesthetic to the area and draws out the shape of the tattoo to confirm client approval. Candice encourages her clients to flex and observe the drawing from multiple positions to ensure their satisfaction. Then, she shows a visual rendering of the tattoo with its colors to the client for the final stamp of approval. The appointment concludes with the tattooing itself as well as aftercare education.

Shane and Toni Wallin of Garnett Tattoo in San Diego, CA:

Shane Wallis - San Diego Tattoo ArtistAreola tattoo before and after - Shane Wallis
Shane (he/him) and Toni (she/her) Wallin are a power couple and loving parents of a trans kid who run a successful tattoo studio in San Diego, CA. Shane has been tattooing since 1994. He entered into medical tattooing in 2012, like most providers, after seeing the profound need for those services especially for breast cancer survivors and the trans community. In 2014, a group of trans masculine clients came to his practice, seeking aesthetic restorations to their top surgery nipple grafts. By 2015, with more training and experience under his belt, he began publicizing his specialty in tattooing scars and nipples. Shane has seen several GCC patients since.

Shane works out of a studio called Garnett Tattoo, a tight ship run by his wife, Toni. Toni’s handling of the business side involves an unwavering commitment to supporting clients in all aspects of their medical tattooing or microneedling therapy process. You can find her at the front desk, giving a warm welcome to clients who come in to get tattooed by Shane in their closed off, one room studio. Toni and Shane understand how vulnerable and intimate a process medical tattooing can be, which is why honoring client privacy is one of their biggest priorities. She also provides medical receipts for insurance reimbursement and can guide clients through filing for insurance coverage pre-approval. Toni often discusses travel accommodations, books appointments and follow ups, discusses precautions and care instructions, and answers any questions a client might have about tattooing or microneedling.

Garnett Tattoo’s services:

  • Nipple and areola tattoo services include areola enlargement, adding detail and coloring to the bump and areola, and creating a nipple as an alternative to grafting.
  • Phalloplasty coloring is a service that generally requires two sessions with a 6-8 week gap in between. 
  • Shane also offers microneedling to relax scars and allow for collagen reintroduction into the tissue. Microneedling involves running water through a 1” tattoo needle to cross hatch the scar tissue to correct bumps, discoloration and allow for tattoo ink to be better accepted into the tissue being treated. Microneedling requires multiple sessions. 
  • As a seasoned tattoo artist, Shane offers decorative tattooing to conceal scars. As a rule of thumb, Shane only tattoos over a scar once it is fully healed: after a year has passed since your operation.

Book an appointment with Shane:

The process starts with a client texting, calling or emailing Toni at +1.619.942.9737, or through their website. Shane and Toni recommend that clients reach out with 1-2 months of advanced notice to book an appointment. About a week before a client’s first session, Shane will have a scheduled call with the client to work out the design. All tattoo designs are first drafted onto photos of the client so they can give approval of the final look before they are tattooed.

Jen Lee of Ed Hardy’s Tattoo City in San Francisco, CA:

Jen Lee - San Fransico Tattoo ArtistAreola tattoo before and after - Jen Lee

Jen (she/her) is a highly sought after tattoo artist who works in a private room out of Ed Hardy’s Tattoo City on Lombard Street in North Beach, San Francisco. She is renowned for her unique, vintage style that she’s developed since starting her career in 1995. Jen broke into medical tattooing and microchanneling during the pandemic out of a desire to use her advanced skill set for greater good. Since undergoing intensive training and expanding the medical side of her business, the vast majority of her clients seeking restorative services have been trans. Her work with the trans community has led her to realize how much of a need there is to provide quality, gender-affirming services in a safe, welcoming and comfortable environment.

Jen describes the shop and her relationship with the other artists there as friendly, supportive and overwhelmingly positive. Given the warm atmosphere and the privacy she is able to provide clients by working with them in a closed-off room, she knew that Ed Hardy’s Tattoo City was a safe place to begin medical tattooing for trans folks and breast cancer survivors. Her greatest motives as an artist are to make her clients, especially women and LGBTQ+ folks, feel welcome and comfortable in the studio, and for them to gain a sense of happiness, confidence and comfort in their skin. One of the things she loves most about medical tattooing and microchanneling is the enthusiasm of her clients once they are able to finally realize their surgical goals and feel more confident in their bodies. Jen has consulted with several GCC surgeons about how to best support patients post-op.

Jen’s services:

  • Like the other providers listed, Jen offers both areola restoration and 3D areola and nipple tattoos. Restoration services are often sought out by top surgery patients who have experienced necrosis or have other reasons for wanting to even out areola pigmentation, shape and size. Hyper-realistic nipples are an option for patients who had their nipples removed during a mastectomy, but would still like to have the appearance of nipples on their chest. Jen also has experience with areola enhancement, tattooing them in the shape of hearts and stars.
  • Phalloplasty pigmentation services are used to match the results of bottom surgery to the surrounding skin, to give realistic coloring and veins if desired. Phalloplasty patients can also have the donor area treated with microchanneling and/or concealed with a tattoo: either a design or through repigmentation. 
  • Scar concealing is possible for patients whose scars are fully healed, meaning 12 months has passed since surgery, and lighter than the surrounding skin’s pigmentation. Scars that are darker than the surrounding skin tone cannot be camouflaged, though there exists the possibility of covering them up with a traditional tattoo. Most of Jen’s experience with covering surgical scars has involved top surgery, facial surgery and breast augmentation patients. 
  • Jen offers microchanneling, which is an advanced microneedling therapy that stamps pharmaceutical-grade stem cell serum into scar tissue to stimulate collagen production. Microchanneling is a highly effective therapy for hypo and hypertrophic scarring: it can flatten and restore the color of scar tissue and stretch marks. Treatment involves 3-6 sessions spaced 4-6 weeks apart and can begin as soon as 6 weeks post-op, pending surgeon approval. Alternatively, Jen also offers a microchanneling therapy that utilizes a hair growth serum, which can help with regrowth of a receding hairline caused by testosterone or to fill in a client’s facial hair more.

Book an appointment with Jen:

Jen’s clients most often contact her through her instagram, @jenleetattoo, via email at, or through her website. Jen is committed to having a personalized, custom approach with every client, which is why she doesn’t take walk-ins. Before the appointment, Jen requires clients to have a consultation with her to decide on the tattoo design, provide them with a quote and solicit a deposit that serves as the first payment of the service’s total price. Any microchanneling therapy conducted on scars before the 12 month post-op mark requires written approval from the client’s surgeon.