Micropigmentation is sometimes referred to as "permanent make-up", or cosmetic tattooing. The process of applying pigment just under the skin is similar to traditional tattooing and is typically performed on men and women wishing to enhance facial features, such as the eyebrows, lashes and lips, as well as to cover small scars. Micropigmentation is also used to help reconstruct the nipple/areola breast area.
Is micropigmentation right for me?
Individuals that choose to undergo micropigmentation may have physical limitations that make applying temporary makeup difficult on a regular basis while other people may choose to undergo micropigmentation simply as a way to save time. People suffering from alopecia, a form of hair loss may choose to use the procedure to create an appearance of eyebrows where the hair has been lost.
Everyone gets micropigmentation for different reasons, but some of the more common reasons include:
- Allergies to traditional makeup
- To hide scarring
- To pencil in eyebrows after severe hair loss due to chemotherapy, genetics, or an illness
- For those with a movement disorder or blindness, applying traditional makeup is sometimes difficult
How is the procedure performed?
The procedures used in permanent makeup are non-surgical, so this practice is relatively unregulated. This makes finding a qualified permanent makeup practitioner more difficult, but choosing a board certified cosmetic surgeon to perform your micropigmentation permanent makeup procedure greatly reduces the number of risks.
The delicate nature of many places where permanent makeup is applied require an understanding of facial structures and anatomy, and visualizing the outcome of a micropigmentation permanent makeup procedure may be easier for individuals with extensive experience in cosmetic methods.
In many cases, permanent makeup does not require any type of anesthetic, but topical creams are available for use during micropigmentation application, and injectable anesthetics may also be used, although only a medical professional should administer them.
The procedure normally takes under an hour to apply, and patients can return to work that day. Micropigmentation permanent makeup may require two procedures to ensure longevity, although most patients find that the initial session produces the desired results. There is rarely any swelling or bruising and final effects are visible 3-5 days after the procedure.
Permanent makeup is removable, but only through high tech surgical methods. There is also a new cutting edge camouflage technique that many plastic surgeons are using to help cover up permanent makeup.
Am I facing any risks?
Inks and pigments used in micropigmentation are subject to FDA regulation as cosmetic and color additives, but the FDA has not attempted to regulate the actual practice of it. As with any cosmetic procedure, micropigmentation carries risks.
Although the risks are minimal and rare with permanent makeup, it is always good to be cautious and understand the potential risks, including:
- Allergic reaction- All patients' skin is different and sometimes reactions can occur, causing inflaming and irritation
- Problems removing- Permanent makeup can be difficult to remove, even with high tech surgeries that have been developed
- MRI complications- When going to have an MRI, people with permanent makeup have noticed redness and irritation
- Infection- Infection can occur if the makeup is not applied with sterile instruments and done by a board certified surgeon
The FDA has enacted strict guidelines for all inks used in cosmetic tattooing, though the laws regarding their uses differ from state to state. Only an experienced board-certified cosmetic surgeon can recommend a safe cosmetic tattooing establishment.