20 December 2008

Treatment and Procedure of Microdermabrasion

A variety of microdermabraders are available on the market. Several components are common to all systems and include a pump that generates a high-pressure stream of aluminum oxide or salt crystals, a connecting tube that delivers the crystals to the handpiece, a handpiece, and a vacuum to remove the crystals and exfoliated skin. The crystals are then discarded. Handpieces are available in disposable and reusable types. The reusable handpieces must be resterilized after each use. Microdermabrasion can be performed by a physician, nurse, or licensed aesthetician.

Treatment & Procedure
In patients being treated for hyperpigmentation, the application of hydroquinone between treatments can be useful. Liberal use of sunscreen and moisturizers is also beneficial. Postoperatively, these products serve to address exfoliation and photosensitization. Long-term benefits include reduction of sun damage and photoaging and improved skin moisture.

Before Microdermabrasion Treatment
  • No topical or laocal anesthetic and premedication is necessary, unless desired.
  • First, the skin is cleaned of all makeup and oil.
  • Contact lenses are removed, and eye protection is placed to prevent injury from stray particles.
During Microdermabrasion Treatment
  • Microdermabrasion technique is placing the skin under tension so that an effective vacuum is achieved.
  • Stretching the treatment area with the nondominant hand and using the dominant hand to guide the handpiece, moved over the treatment area in a single, smooth stroke (can be repeated).
  • The pressure of the crystal stream is controlled with a foot pedal. Thicker skin (forehead, chin, and nose) can be treated more aggressively. Decrease the pressure when treating the thinner skin of the lower eyelids and upper cheek. Vertically orient all strokes when treating the neck.
  • Between treatments, the face is cleaned of any residual crystals. Usually, 2 treatments per session are sufficient for the face. The desired endpoint of treatment is erythema.
  • Specific areas, such as acne scars or age spots, can be focally treated more aggressively with additional passes.
  • The treatments typically last 20 to 30 minutes for the face, if your treatment includes the neck and upper chest area, it may last up to an hour.
  • A normal course of microdermabrasion treatments varies between 4 to 8 at approximately 2 week intervals.
  • It is recommended that you schedule an additional treatment every 1 to 3 months to maintain your skin in excellent condition.
  • Most patients actually feel and see a difference just after one or two treatments but schedule additional treatments to increase this improvement.
After Microdermabrasion Treatment
  • The treated area is cleaned with a wet cloth to remove any residual crystals.
  • After drying, rehydrating toner and moisturizer or ointment is applied.
  • Continue the application of moisturizer or ointment postoperatively because exfoliation may occur.
  • Erythema generally resolves within hours after treatment, but the patient may experience a mild sunburnlike sensation for a couple of days. The sensation of having a mild windburn or sunburn will also pass after a few hours.
  • Sunscreen should be used liberally because photosensitivity may be increased.
  • Avoid direct sun exposure for 7 days after a treatment. Exposure to UV radiation is one of the key factors in speeding the skin aging process.
  • Avoid Alpha-Hydroxy Acid, Glycolic Acid products and skin exfoliation scrubs for 72 hours both before and after a treatment.
  • Avoid full face make-up, i.e. liquid foundations or pressed powder foundations for 24 hours after a treatment. Eye make-up, lipstick etc. may be applied immediately after a treatment.
Effective microdermabrasion usually requires a series of 6-12 treatments. The series can be significantly longer, particularly with acne scarring. Initially, treatments are weekly or biweekly for several treatments, followed by monthly to biannually for maintenance treatments, depending on the patient.

How Much Does Microdermabrasion Cost?

The price listed below very varied, influenced by several factors:
  • The city or country where you have it done.
  • The exact location (surgery, clinic, spa, a beauty salon or at home).
  • The body area you want treated (face or body).
  • How serious your skin condition is (tells you how many microdermabrasions you need before you see results).
Prices for Home MicroDermabrasion Systems
  • The cost of microdermabrasion home systems is the cheapest of the three levels.
  • Home Mcirodermabrasion cost between $15 and $200, depending on kit contents and brand.
  • Kits that include a rotating hand-held device designed to massage the crystal cream into the skin are the most expensive.
  • This is more like traditional exfoliating regimens, but with the added bonus of the micro-crystal technology.
Prices for Salon & Spa Microderm Abrasion
The price of a single microdermabrasion varies between $75 and $200 in beauty salons or spas. Sometimes spas and salons use the cheaper microdermabarasion machines but charge you much more than they should.

Prices for Medical Microdermabrasion
  • Microdermabrasion performed in medical offices or clinics by specialized dermatologists or surgeons has the most expensive treatment.
  • A single facial microdermabrasion costs somewhere between $100 and $300.
  • Include 9 treatment + 4maintenance sessions (9x 150 = $ 900-2700).
  • For the initial consultation cost an additional $150.
  • Cost of professional microderm abrasion is heavily influenced by the cost of the machines used.
You may want to reconsider having microdermabrasion at a spa, salon or doctor's clinic that uses a cheap microderm machine but still charges regular prices. Make sure to ask about their equipment before you pay them.

Machines for Microdermabrasion

If you went to a clinic or salon to get microdermabrasion done, the technician or dermatologist would use a specialized tool for the procedure. The tool shoots a stream of tiny crystals, like aluminum oxide, sodium chloride or sodium bicarbonate, and collects the leftover dead skin cells and used crystals.

The vacuum action of the machine has four main functions :
  • It pulls and raises a small section of skin to work on
  • It creates mild swelling and brings some of the impurities to the surface
  • It shoots a stream of crystals across the targeted skin patch
  • It collects the used crystals and dead skin for disposal
Some tools perform all of these functions with one circuit. The suction process in these devices is called Venturi suction. More powerful versions use two circuits, one to shoot the crystals out and another to collect them.

There are also newer tools that use a single, diamond-tipped wand on the skin instead of a stream of particles.

The technician steadily moves the tool over the target area, applying even and steady pressure to remove the stratum corneum without affecting the lower skin layers. A standard session usually consists of one to three passes with the tool. In most cases, the patient is then asked to apply specialized lotions and creams to the affected area between sessions. This rehydrates the area and assists in promoting healthier new skin.

Their machines, however, cost as much as $30,000. to as little as $2000. It is a shame because the average consumer does not know this and in a nut shell could be paying as high as $200. a treatment by a $2000. machine. The aluminum oxide (Al2O3) crystals (Corundum) cost anywhere from $5. a lb. to $45. for 15 lbs. So I bet, you’re paying for the machine not the crystals.

Below are some typical machines which is best and beneficial. Also, all of these machines utilize aluminum oxide (al2O3) crystals, aka Corundum as their abrasive unless otherwise noted.

Power Peel® Microdermabrasion Systems :
  • ALI-1500A for superficial peels (salon version)
  • ALI-1500M for deeper peels (medical grade, requires physician's lic.)
  • ALI-2000M for deepest peels (medical grade, requires physician's lic.)
Derma Genesis Particle Skin Resurfacing™ :
  • Derma Care™ (salon -typeersion)
  • PSS™ (aestheticians, dermatologists and physicians)
  • PSR™ (physicians, medical grade)
  • Master Millenium™ (sic) deepest penetration (medical grade)
SmartPeel® by Sound Skin :
  • SmartPeel System (salon version)
  • SmartPeel Physician System (medical grade)
Dermaglide Systems : (*uses non-aluminum oxide abrading crystals)
  • Microglide (salon version)
  • Dermaglide ES (medical grade)
  • Dermaglide 2000 system (medical grade)
  • Dermaglide uses Baking Soda as an abrasive. Dermaglide also offers salt systems as well. This is more common than baking soda, but less common than aluminum oxide.
Mega-Peel™ Systems :
  • Mega-Peel™ Gold(salon version)
  • Mega-Peel™ Platinum (medical grade)
  • Easy to change and environmentally safe disposable cartridge
  • Easy to screw on disposable tips
Directional separator tip - maximum density to tissue
MegaPower tip - Blue tip (use for scars and very aggressive peel)

Ultrapeel™ by Mattioli Engineering :
  • Pepita Ultrapeel™ (salon version) $11,250
  • Crystal Ultrapeel™ (medical grade) $12,600
Pelle Peel Microdermabrader :
  • (salon and medical version in one - setting locked by key) $11,900
Parisian Peel® Medical Microdermabrasion Treatment :
  • Parisian Peel Classique (standard)
  • Parisian Peel Premier (deeper)
· Dermaglow™ Particle Skin Exfoliation: (salon version) $12,500
· GentlePeel™: by Candela Corp. (salon version)
· Reviva Microbrade Duo: (medical grade)
· Diamond Dermabrasion®: no information available
· Crystal Peel: no information available
· Derma Peel: (mediocre grade machine) no further information available
· EuroPeel: (spa and some physician's) no further information available
· MD Peel™: (medical grade) closed, sterile, non-refillable crystal containers
· Pro Peel™: (salon version) closed, sterile, non-refillable crystal containers
· Smart Peel: (copy cat) no information available
· MSI: no information available
· Skin System: no information available
· Oxy-Brasion: by Trend Manufacturing Corp

I wouldn't abrade my floor with this one; It looks like a home-made science project at the bargain price of $5,990.

Bella Products® Particle Abrasion Systems :
Bella systems is a very good machine. If you are lucky to get this machine you are paying for quality.
  • BellaMed™ (medical grade)
  • Belladerma™ (salon grade - 3 models)
You may not be able to pick and choose your choice of machines, but you can make sure that whatever machines they do have are sterile. Ask how they crystals are replenished. The best machines have closed systems that the crystal containers are never refilled, only changed out. You see, the better machines offer their crystals or are compatible with companies who sell crystals that are sold in the containers that you see on the side of the machine so that the old, used crystals are thrown away in its own container and a new, empty sterile container replaces the old one for easy clean up and the new filled container replaces the empty, spent one.

Who is the Candidates for Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion works especially well as a way to clean out clogged pores. It's a useful alternative for patients whose skin is too sensitive to use anti-acne drugs. Microdermabrasion is best for individuals with acne prone and blotchy skin, small scars, rhytides, keratoses, large pores, milia, or sebaceous hyperplasia. If you have sun damage or uneven texture and would like to improve the condition of your skin, you may be a good candidate for Microdermabrasion.

It's not recommended for those who have active oral herpes. You should not have a microdermabrasion treatment on the affected area if you have the following :
  • Active rosacea and active keloids
  • Active, weeping acne (stages 3-4)
  • Fragile capillaries
  • Vascular lesions, Skin lesions or undiagnosaed lesions
  • Widespread acne
  • Herpetic lesions (herpes)
  • Warts
  • Open sores
  • Anyone who takes anti-coagulants
  • Eczema
  • Dermatitis
  • Psoriasis
  • Lupus (Auto-immune system disorders)
  • Erythematosus
  • Unstable Diabetes mellitus
  • Some patients hyperpigment post-treatment
  • Using Retin A religiously or just had a chemical peel
  • Recently had laser surgery

Microdermabrasion Methods

In the past, microdermabrasion was carried out using abrasive crystals. However, in the last decade, it has become more common to use a wand with a roughened surface. This procedure requires no medical oversight and is commonly used in conjunction with facial spa treatments. These days there are a multiplicity of machines available for microdermabrasion. See Machine for Microdermabrasion for more information.

There are few different microdermabrasion methods available.

Crystal microdermabrasion
It is a traditional treatment of choice and rely on tiny crystals that are blasted onto the skin to perform the exfoliating process. Although the crystal microdermabrasion system is still widely used, the introduction of alternatives has led to a trend away from this treatment system.

Diamond microdermabrasion
Diamond microdermabrasion doesn’t require crystals.
The exfoliation process occurs when a diamond tipped head makes contact with the skin and abrades against it. Dead skin cells are sucked away from the face whether using crystals or diamond microdermabrasion systems.

Home Microdermabrasion
This was a great innovations Ireally love this, you don’t have to go to the beatu clinics for this kind of treatment. It’s cheap and very easy to perform, and although not as powerful as professional systems, can produce good results over time. There is a great deal of competition in the home microdermabrasion systems market with most of the big cosmetics and skin care brands launching their own home systems.

When you use a home microdermbrasion system the surface skin cell turnover will be enhanced and the skin will be visibly fresher. Home microdermabrasion creams with active ingredients, are focused on skin renewal and accelerate rebuilding of healthy collagen skin cells after microdermabrasion, laser resurfacing or harsh peels. For depressed scars, such as pitted acne scars, subcision with needles is often used by estheticians to break up the deeply buried scar tissue, and a home microdermabrision system then speeds up new healthy skin remodeling: the orderly process of laying out new collagen and elastin fibers.

What is Microdermabrasion Result?

In appropriately selected patients, microdermabrasion can be a very effective technique. Patients with photodamage, fine rhytides, age spots, acne, and enlarged pores can experience significant improvement in the quality and uniformity of the appearance of their skin. This improvement is accomplished with little risk and essentially no downtime, excluding the treatments themselves. Therefore, microdermabrasion is well suited to the patient with a busy lifestyle and superficial skin conditions. The number and frequency of treatments can be tailored to the individual patient, depending on the condition and desired result.

Whether done with a product at home or in a professional setting with a specialized tool, the principle of microdermabrasion is the same. The idea is that if you remove or break up the stratum corneum, the body interprets that as a mild injury and rushes to replace the lost skin cells with new and healthy ones. In the first hour after treatment, this causes mild edema (swelling) and erythema (redness). Depending on the individual, these side effects can last anywhere from an hour to two days.

Microdermabrasion is not effective for deep wrinkles and scars or ice-pick acne scars because these lesions extend into the deeper layers of the dermis. Similarly, microdermabrasion is not effective for pigmentary problems, such as melasma or postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, because this treatment does not effectively address the dermis where these problems arise. Patients with these problems are best treated with more traditional resurfacing modalities, such as chemical peeling, dermabrasion, and Your skin will feel vibrant and healthy and you will notice an immediate difference in your softer, smoother skin. There is virtually no recovery time, no discomfort and you can return to work immediately.

A series of microdermabrasion treatments can help reduce the look of fine lines and superficial wrinkles, remove thickened skin areas due to the impact of environmental factors and reduce the appearance of blemishes caused by sun damage. Additionally, microdermabrasion can reduce the appearance of open pores by unclogging sebum build-up and eliminate white and black heads.

Does Micro Dermabration Make Tattoos Less Noticeable?
You can safely have microdermabasion on skin with tattoos with no risk or side effects. This skin rejuvenation procedure is too mild to affect tattoos.

Does Micro Dermabrasion Help Eliminate Blackheads?
By exfoliating the top layer of the skin, microderma system cleans deep into the pore and removes excess oil and dirt that clog pores - which causes blackheads. Most blackheads are removed while more stubborn blackheads are reduced.

Does Microderma Make Hyperpigmentation Less Noticeable?
Microdermal abrasion tool works on hyperpigmentation. The micro-crystal flow abrades the top layer of the skin where unevenly pigmented skin cells are stuck. Several doctor-performed microdermabrasia sessions are required to even out skin tone and get rid of hyperpigmentation.

Does Microderma Make Blotchy Skin Fade?
This procedure exfoliates the top layer of skin which consists of dead skin cells. Microderma tool stimulates collagen production, essential to healthy skin and also removes blotchy skin texture and tone.

Can Micro Abrasion Age Your Face?
No, if performed right, micro derma abrasion does not age your face.

The Danger, Side Effect and Risk of Microdermabrasion

There are not many risks associated with microdermabrasion if you are a healthy adult . Professional microdermabrasion can bruise or discolor the skin if done incorrectly. The vacuum action tends to cause blemishes if the skin tension is let up or uneven. The lip area is particularly susceptible to bruising, and the eyelids should never be treated with microdermabrasion. Treatment that is too deep or intense can cause permanent discoloration to the skin.

If the medical grade machines are used at high power it carries potential risks of hyperpigmentation, perforation, bleeding, and infection. Infection can also be a risk if the machines are not sterile. Many components of these machines are meant to be sterilized, autoclaved or changed out with a new disposable piece. Any and all pieces that come into contact with your skin should be able to be sterilized or changed out. Furthermore, it was brought up by a doctor in an article on Medscape, that there could be possible harm from the inhalation of the aluminum in the Al2O3 crystals, also known as Corundum.

What is Microdermabrasion?

Microdermabrasion is a general term for the application of tiny rough grains (aluminum oxide crystals, baking soda, salt or corn cob granules) to buff away the surface layer of skin. Many different products and treatments use this method, including medical procedures, salon treatments and creams and scrubs that you apply yourself at home. It's usually done to the face, chest, neck, arms or hands.

This procedure may not give everyone the same results but if you have the money it is a nice treat and requires no down time. It can clean your pores incredibly and hinder any future breaks outs if used on a regular basis. Microdermabrasion also stimulates collagen net working to further even out skin texture and appearance.

Microdermabrasion was developed in Italy in 1985; its use was widespread in European countries prior to its introduction and popularity in the United States. This technology offers the advantages of low risk and rapid recovery compared with more traditional resurfacing modalities and can be effective in the appropriate patient population.

Why it Called Microdermabration?
All of the action in microdermabrasion takes place at the level of the stratum corneum. Stratum corneum is a barrier between the outside world and the lower skin layers. It keeps all but the smallest molecules from getting through.

Our skin is made up of two main layers, the epidermis and the dermis. The epidermis is the layer closest to the outside world. It's a set of dead skin cells on top of another layer of cells that are in the process of maturing. When you put lotions or creams on your skin, some of the moisture passes through the stratum corneum, but not all of it. This layer is home to many minor skin imperfections like fine wrinkle lines and blemishes.

What Is The Difference Between Microdermabrasion And Dermabrasion?
Dermabrasion is a mechanical procedure that uses a power driver hand-held device to remove the top layers of the skin. It may need general or a local anesthetic, depending on the treated area. Derma abrasion lasts between a few minutes and two hours, depending on the depth and area of the skin resurfacing. After dermabrasion treatment, the skin is red, swollen and extremely sensitive for about 10 days. Dermabrasion can offer visible improvement by treating deep wrinkles, scars, and hyperpigmentation.

Microabrasion is much less invasive. It can be performed in an beauty center, doctor's office or at home, using a personal home micro dermabrasion kit. A doctor uses a sandblaster-like hand-held device to spray and circulate high pressure flow of aluminum oxide crystals onto the skin. Used crystals and dead skin cells are then vacuumed back into the microdermabrasion machine, leaving the skin clean and smooth.

Microdermabrasion Mechanism of Action
The idea microdermabrasion wheter done by yourself at home or by professional in beuty clinins, is to remove or break up the stratum corneum, the body interprets that as a mild injury and rushes to replace the lost skin cells with new and healthy ones. In the first hour after treatment, this causes mild edema (swelling) and erythema (redness) - depending on the individual.

Skin's surface will improve if stratum corneum gone. The healing process brings with it newer skin cells that look and feel smoother. Some of the skin's visible imperfections, like sun damage, blemishes and fine lines, are removed. Medicinal creams and lotions are more effective because more of their active ingredients and moisture can find their way down to the lower layers of skin because no barrier. As microdermabrasion temporarily removes some moisture from the skin, it is always followed by the application of moisturizing creams.

Early studies suggest that repeated microdermabrasion treatment at regular intervals may influence the way the lower layers of skin grow, as well, removing deeper blemishes over time. Some evidence seems to indicate that the rapid loss of skin moisture may be what triggers the lower skin layers to work overtime in speeding healthy cells up to the surface.
Microdermabrasion does is not the cure all for heavily damaged skin, it is a non invasive technique for those of you who do not need a serious laser or chemical peel treatment. Microdermabrasion also can not be expected to remove tattoos. It takes a bunch of sessions just for mild acne scarring to be removed much less ink buried deep into your skin.

Microdermabration Technique
The microdermabrasion technique abrades the skin with a high-pressure flow of crystals.
All resurfacing procedures exert their effects through different degrees of epidermal and dermal ablation. The results and the indications for each modality depend on the depth of ablation.

Is Aluminum Oxide Safe?
Aluminum oxide crystals are perfectly safe and non-toxic if ingested. They don't cause adverse skin reactions and they are not carcinogen. During microderm abrasion, your eyes are protected by special glasses, to prevent micro crystals from getting in your eyes. The special wands in microdermabrasion machines used in cosmetic saloons are designed to vacuum back all micro crystals released during micro dermabrasion. That way, chances of inhaling the aluminum oxide are fairly slim.

Does Microdermabrasion Hurt?
Microdermabrasion does not hurt although it may sting a little around the eye area. The patient normally works up to a level as they go to increase the penetration to the skin. Your skin may feel a little hot and appear a little pink for the first day.

You should be perfectly fine that night. Although really intense micro- dermabrasion treatments may leave you pink for several days. The technician can turn down the controls if the suction or level of the blast is too strong for you.

Problem
Skin resurfacing techniques, such as dermabrasion, chemical peeling, and the more recent technique of laser resurfacing, have a history of efficacy but also the potential for significant complications.

Microdermabrasion produces a superficial ablation, primarily in the epidermis; therefore, this procedure is ineffective for deeper wrinkles or scars. However, for fine lines and more superficial scars, microdermabrasion can be an effective treatment with minimal risk and rapid recovery.

Advantages
Monteleone describes the advantages of microdermabrasion, including that it
  1. It is the It is more affordable than cosmetic surgery
  2. Does not require anesthesia if performed at a spa, beauty salon or physician's office
  3. Painless
  4. Least invasive dermatological procedure (compared to dermabrasion and laser resurfacing)
  5. Can be repeated at short intervals
  6. Simple and quick to perform
  7. Does not significantly interrupt the patient's life
  8. It is available as home microdermabrasion systems and kits
  9. It has the fewest side effects and it is effective on all skin types and colors
  10. It helps your skin look younger, healthy, glowing and for some people, close to perfect
Contraindications for Microdermabrasion
The contraindications for microdermabrasion are similar to those for other resurfacing procedures. These contraindications include the current or recent use

Who Can Perform Microderm Abrasion?
Microabrasion used to be performed only by trained plastic surgeons. Many dermatologists and beauty specialists, however, are now specially trained to perform microderm abrasion. A home microdermabrasion kit allows even yourself to perform micro dermabrasion treatment on yourself. Simply follow the instructions that come with the abrasion kit.

What Should I Ask At The First Microdermabrasion Consultation?
A first microderm abrasion consultation doesn't take more than a few minutes. Discuss your medical history with the doctor and help him decide whether microdemabrasion is right for you. He will establish your skin type, explain what's involved and help you set reasonable goals and expectations. Ask about any contraindications and involved risks. Also ask to see other patients' 'before and after' photos and his qualifications to perform microdermabrasion. You should also let him know that you feel strongly about him using sterile equipment. Ask the doctor to tell you any pre-treatment needments and after treatments

19 December 2008

Top 10 Reasons for Micropigmentation

Here are 10 reasons to get micropigmentation, according to the American Academy of Micropigmentation :
  1. Convenience : Saving up to 100 hours a year in makeup application.
  2. Non-Allergic : Certain skin types are easily irritated by traditional makeup.
  3. Application Ease : People with medical conditions such as arthritis have difficulty applying makeup.
  4. No More Smears : Micropigmentation resolves the smear problem.
  5. Aging Changes : Micropigmentation can enhance the positives and mask the negatives. It is commonly used for uneven lip lines and discoloration areas of the skin.
  6. Tearing Eyes or Irritated Eyes : LASIK surgery, contact lenses, and excessive time spent in front of a computer
  7. The Outdoors : It can be tough to manage makeup application if you spend much time outdoors, whether you're an athlete or simply have an active lifestyle.
  8. The Natural Look : Micropigmentation offers the "natural woman" look.
  9. Hair Loss : People who have suffered from hair loss have benefited from micropigmentation for eyebrows, sideburns, and the hair line.
  10. Skin Discoloration : Certain skin disorders, genetic traits, and deformities can alter skin color. Micropigmentation may improve an unevenly lightened breast nipple, cleft lip, or scars.

How Do I Find A Qualified Treatment Provider Who Performs This Procedure?

A board-certified doctor is the best person to help you decide if micropigmentation is right for your condition and whether it fits into your overall treatment plan. You should make sure to find a doctor or specialist who has experience in this procedure.

Be warned. There are a lot of people out there performing these services who do not have your best interests in mind. Licensing requirements for micropigmentation treatment providers varies among states. In California, no licensing is required to perform micropigmentation. Other states require that the treatment provider be a professional of some sort who has undergone some training, ranging from the small amount of training required of a licensed tattoo professional to the vast amount of education required of a licensed medical practitioner. Some providers may receive a certificate after a weekend course in micropigmentation. Others may purchase equipment that offers a home video training course.

When you visit the office, you should examine the area for cleanliness and professionalism.
In certain cases, micropigmentation treatment providers require that candidates under medical care secure permission from a physician before undergoing a permanent makeup procedure.
A dedicated, involved specialist should be able to answer any and all of your questions. Make sure you feel comfortable communicating with your doctor or specialist and that you feel open to ask anything that's on your mind.

You should have a consultation with your chosen doctor before the procedure, during which time you discuss your expectations with the doctor or specialist. At this time, he or she also will determine if you should receive anesthesia (usually local). See Topical Anesthetics Used for Micropigmentation for more information.

During the consultation, he or she may take a medical history. It's important that you are completely honest. Additionally, you should be honest for why you want micropigmentation so your doctor or specialist understands all of your concerns. He or she will evaluate your skin for tone, texture and complexion in order to best match your natural colors with the proper pigment. He or she also may take photos.

Here are some tips for when you consult a micropigmentation treatment provider :
  • Check references, which may be obtained through friends, your doctor, the treatment provider, the American Academy of Micropigmentation, and the Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals. Online chat rooms may be another source of references.
  • Review the treatment provider's credentials and make certain that they are current. Ask about the type and length of training. Also, ask how many times the provider has performed the micropigmentation treatment you are considering.
  • View the provider's portfolio of before-and-after photos of micropigmentation patients, in order to help set reasonable expectations. Bring a photo of the result you would like to have.
  • Inquire about the type of equipment used, where the procedure will be performed, and the extent of the procedure.
  • Ask about possible side effects.
Cleanliness Standards for Micropigmentation
Once you are referred a few technicians' names, visit their place of business to inspect its cleanliness. There are standards for which physical cleanliness and a sanitary working environment must adhere to. These standards were set by the Center for Disease Control (CDC). Check for outward cleanliness as well as not so visible.
  1. There should be hot and cold running water on the premises where your application would take place, in addition to a public or private restroom.
  2. Contaminants such as acrylic dust (from nail application) and fumes or other such products, including hairspray and even tiny bits of someone else's hair, should not be circulating in the air around you.
  3. This is an invasive procedure and there will be blood and bodily fluids that are exposed to the open air.
  4. Contaminants can increase your chances of infection.
  5. A technician should use a new pair of gloves for every client and yet another if they leave the room for any reason. the technician should change the sheet(s) on the procedure bed or chair after each client and use clean paper towels, or clean, bleached and sterile (if possible) cloth towels.
  6. Notice the technician's hands and nails; are they clean?
  7. An Autoclave is a device that looks like a microwave or a pressure cooker that is used to sterilize instruments and towels. Salons normally do not have these, but every tattoo shop should.
  8. Make sue that they use new sterile needles with every client. Or sealed, non-disposable needles that have been autoclaved.
  9. They should be disposed of in the proper biological waste containers. These are normally red plastic bin with swinging doors or a small hole in the top with "caution biological waste" sign.

Micropigmentation Cost

The education level of the treatment provider can impact cost. The average pen machines are only $250.00 US, the better ones, $1,200 US and the pigments are about $18.50 US for a bottle, which gets many uses. However, people typically want permanent makeup in several areas. The average cost of these multiple procedures can range from $300 to $1,500.

Estimate Costs for Micropigmentation standard procedure :
Eyeliner : $300 to $1000
Eyebrows : $400 to $1500
Lip liner : $400 to $600
Full Lip Color : $700 to $1600
Beauty Mark : $50 to $150
Scar re-pigmentation or camouflaging : $50 to $100 per 15 minutes
Areola Pigmentation : $50 to $100 per 15 minutes

If the cost of micropigmentation is difficult for you, ask the facility about payment plans and medical finance options.

Does Insurance Cover It?
No. This is an elective, cosmetic procedure that you will have to pay for on your own.

Topical Anesthetics Used For Micropigmentation

Blue Ice Gel
Used : during a procedure
Contains : Lidocaine, Tetracaine and Epinephrine

Numb-All Liquid
Used : before and during a procedure
Contains : Lidocaine and Benzocaine

X-It Gel
Used : before and during a procedure
Contains : Lidocaine and Tetracaine

X-Tend Liquid
Used : during a procedure
Contains Lidocaine

Ak-Trol Ointment
This is an Ophthalmic (for the eyes) Ointment
Contains : Dexamethasone 0.1% Neomycin Sulfate and Polymyxin B sulfate (prescription only)

Ak-T-Caine Solution
This is a sterile Ophthalmic (for the eyes) solution
USP (0.5%) (prescription only)

Ak-Rinse
This is a buffered eye rinse
Used : for cleansing the eye during and after a procedure to rid the eye area of stray pigment
Contains : mainly buffered saline (similar to contact cleansing solution)

Topicaine Gel
This is a non-oily 4% Lidocaine gel
It is to be applied 30 minutes before a procedure
Contains : glycerin, jojoba oil, and aloe vera oil

EMLA Cream
  1. This product takes forever to work. 2 whole hours
  2. It should be applied to the skin, 1/4 of an inch thick layer and a 1/2 an inch beyond the treatment site, and covered with saran wrap
  3. The edges will be secured with medical tape to prohibit leakage
  4. The skin only remains numb for about an hour after removal of the saran wrap and product.
Ela-Max
Similar like EMLA Cream but cheaper, faster, better and available over the counter. It doesn't have to be covered (occluded)

Prepcaine Cream
Used : before a procedure
It is very powerful and it widely used for the dermagraphics industry.
Contains : 2% lidocaine, 1.5% tetracaine in a cream base.
Make sure the technician doesn't get it in your eyes or mouth.

Sustaine Gel
  1. Sustaine is not used prior to a procedure
  2. It is ineffective on unbroken skin. It is used after outlining a tattooing, or during a permanent cosmetics procedure to aid in numbing the area
  3. Contains : epinephrine to reduce bruising and swelling swelling, 4% lidocaine, 2% tetracaine and 0.2% epinephrine
Liquidcaine liquid
  1. This is an odorless, non-stinging liquid
  2. Used : during a procedure.
  3. It "numbs" the area within 90 seconds of application.
  4. It can be used for sunburn and laser surgery as well. It is used to irrigate areas of implantation except for eyeliner.
  5. It is NOT SAFE FOR EYE AREA.
Some technicians are adding Liquidcaine to the pigments for added anesthetic properties. (Except for the eye area) The manufacturer even advises it. The FDA advises against it:

"One of the sites on the internet suggests the use of mixing Liquidcaine 4% with pigment during application of Permanent Cosmetics procedure. This procedure is DANGEROUS. Liquidcaine is a 4% topical anesthetic. Studies have shown that concentrations used for injection greater than 2% actually cause cell necrosis." (kills cells)

If you are receiving anesthesia, you will be required to arrive earlier in order to let the anesthesia take effect. After the procedure, your specialist or doctor will provide you with an antiseptic to cleanse the treated region.

The Procedure of Micropigmentation

Micropigmentation can be performed in an office setting. Your doctor or specialist will wear medical gloves when performing the procedure. Through small needles (pen-like instrument or standard tattoo gun), differing colors of iron oxide pigments are placed into the deeper portion of the skin, known as the dermis. Precise placement of needle sticks creates many tunnels into the skin which then carry the colored pigments along with each needle stick. Once the tiny pinholes heal over, the pigments are forever trapped in the deeper layers of the skin, creating a permanent color effect.

Permanent makeup persists because the pigment particles that are implanted in the skin are too large to be absorbed by the body. Occasional touch ups may be needed as some fading occurs due to smaller tattoo particles of the permanent makeup being absorbed.

You can discuss the lightness and darkness options with your doctor. Typically, patients use a lighter color and return for additional treatment to darken the color if needed.

When the technician has completed your design the tattoo is sprayed with water and antiseptic and wiped off. A layer of Bacitracin, A&D or 'Tattoo Goo' ointment is applied over the tattoo and you are instructed to wash it no more than twice a day with mild soap and water and apply hand cream or Bacitracin or A&D ointment as needed (no Vaseline!) If it is a normal tattoo they wash and apply the Basictracin or A&D ointment the same as permanent cosmetics but place a non-stick gauze pad over the site and instruct you to remove it that night (no more than 12 hours!). Sometimes they don't even cover it although this depends upon how deep, which area and if you are weeping significantly. You will wash it gently with mild soap and apply hand cream or Bacitracin or A&D ointment as needed. Do not apply more gauze to the area, leave it exposed to the air so that it can begin to heal but keep the area moist with ointment until the healing is almost complete. It takes about a week (usually seven to ten days) for a tattoo to heal. Until then, you should not apply cosmetics over the area and NO PEROXIDE!!! You'll bubble the healing skin and ink away. No peeling of the area either! If it flakes, let it flake.
See What Micropigmentation Procedures Are Available? for more information.

After The Procedure
You will be sent home the same day. You should expect swelling in the treated region. Cool ice packs can be applied to reduce discomfort. Sun protection is important after treatment. If you have a history of cold sores, your doctor can prescribe medication to prevent a reaction. Your doctor or specialist will instruct you on how often you should ice the area and what type of ointment you can apply to the area.

If you are having the procedure performed in your eye region, you should plan to have someone drive you to the office and home again. You may experience tearing, which is normal.
After the procedure, always remember to advise any doctor throughout your lifetime that you have had the micropigmentation procedure. There are precautions and possible restrictions if you are considering cosmetic surgery or laser skin resurfacing. Precautions also must be taken when you have an MRI.

Contact Your Doctor Immediately If :
  • You experience excessive swelling
  • You develop a fever or rash
  • The area feels excessively hot or burns
Result
The end results of micropigmentation will be evident in just three weeks, however patients will be able to resume regular activities within a day of the procedure. The micropigmentation uses pigments that have been FDA approved and can greatly benefit individuals that have allergic reactions to cosmetics or that wish to enhance features. Most desire micropigmentation for convenience reasons so that the amount of time and effort to achieve the appearance they would like is reduced or who have physical conditions that make applying makeup difficult.

Other Considerations :
  • Permanent procedure. Laser surgery is required to remove pigment.
  • Patients must avoid direct sunlight, refrain from applying make-up, and wearing contact lenses for a few days, and avoid swimming for several weeks.
  • A small number of patients may experience allergic reaction or infection.
  • Scarring is possible due to practitioner error. ASAPS recommends this procedure be performed under medical supervision.
  • Pigments may cause interference with cranial MRI scans.
  • Needles inserted too deeply in the skin can cause bleeding, spreading of pigments, and damage to hair follicles.

What is Micropigmentation?

Micropigmentation is the procedure that allows the appearance of permanent makeup. The process of applying metabolically inert pigment just under the skin is similar to traditional tattooing and is typically performed on men and women wishing. An Asian beautification practice, micropigmentation allows for a permanent enhancement option, used on eyebrows, lashes or lips, as well as to cover small scars even on nipple/areola breast are now has gained popularity around the world. The micropigmentation candidate should be completely confident with the decision to move forward.

Depending on the area receiving micropigmentation will determine how much it may affect that individual. Micropigmentation around the eye area is more sensitive than eyebrows and an individual may experience swelling and excessive eye watering temporarily. This will normally occur for just a couple days before the patient begins to feel better. Some patients will need a couple treatments of micropigmentation before it appears the way they desire and may even choose to have it touched up over the years as it fades with time.

Who’s The Candidate for Micropigmentation?
People (male or female) typically choose micropigmentation either because they have physical limitations that make applying makeup difficult on a regular basis, or simply as a way to save time. People with Areata universalis, Vitiligo, persons with cosmetics allergies or chemotherapy, alopecia (a form of hair loss) may choose micropigmentation to create an appearance of eyebrows where the hair has been lost.

Do you have an uneven hairline or allergies to make-up that create a problem? Micropigmentation may be a viable solution. It's not going to provide a perfect world, but it can help enhance certain features.

A micropigmentation candidate will visit a cosmetic surgery doctor in order to be evaluated for the procedure. It is important to have a qualified doctor perform the micropigmentation, especially since the procedure is often given in sensitive eye areas. The doctor is able to customize the color that the micropigmentation will appear as depending on individual features and characteristics.
See Top 10 Reasons for Micropigmentation for more information.

It is not convenient to perform micropigmentation in patients with the following characteristics :
  • Active herpes near the area to be treated
  • Infections, dental abscesses, conjunctivitis or acne
  • Tendency to have cheloid scars
  • Warts, moles and angiomas
  • Diabetes
  • Pregnant women
  • People with psychiatric disorders
  • With blood dyscrasias
How Long Does The procedure Takes?
The procedure itself will take a short amount of time, perhaps 20 minutes to a half hour at most.
See The Procedure of Micropigmentation for more information.
See What Micropigmentation Procedures Are Available? For more information.

Does Micropigmentation Hurt?
Regular tattoos are NOT usually gotten with anesthetic but micropigmentation most certainly can be. Different areas are more sensitive and I am sure that the eyes, being the most sensitive area, and the lip area, will definitely feel somewhat uncomfortable.

Many technicians offer some type of anesthetic. Be it topical or for those technicians in a medical profession as well, like a certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, you will have access to injectable anesthetic strengths. Like Lidocaine which some of you receive at the dentist. Although there is a lower version of anesthetic called Marcaine available and just as effective, only for a shorter period, which is fine for this type of thing. Normally, just a topical gel or cream is sufficient to numb the implantation site.

There are some Topical Anesthetics used during micropigmentation procedure. See Topical Anesthetics Used for Micropigmentation for more information.

After The Procedure
You will be sent home the same day. You should expect swelling in the treated region. Cool ice packs can be applied to reduce discomfort. Sun protection is important after treatment. If you have a history of cold sores, your doctor can prescribe medication to prevent a reaction. Your doctor or specialist will instruct you on how often you should ice the area and what type of ointment you can apply to the area.

If you are having the procedure performed in your eye region, you should plan to have someone drive you to the office and home again. You may experience tearing, which is normal.
After the procedure, always remember to advise any doctor throughout your lifetime that you have had the micropigmentation procedure. There are precautions and possible restrictions if you are considering cosmetic surgery or laser skin resurfacing. Precautions also must be taken when you have an MRI.

Contact Your Doctor Immediately If :
  • You experience excessive swelling
  • You develop a fever or rash
  • The area feels excessively hot or burns
Result
The end results of micropigmentation will be evident in just three weeks, however patients will be able to resume regular activities within a day of the procedure. The micropigmentation uses pigments that have been FDA approved and can greatly benefit individuals that have allergic reactions to cosmetics or that wish to enhance features. Most desire micropigmentation for convenience reasons so that the amount of time and effort to achieve the appearance they would like is reduced or who have physical conditions that make applying makeup difficult.

Other Considerations
  • Permanent procedure. Laser surgery is required to remove pigment.
  • Patients must avoid direct sunlight, refrain from applying make-up, and wearing contact lenses for a few days, and avoid swimming for several weeks.
  • A small number of patients may experience allergic reaction or infection.
  • Scarring is possible due to practitioner error. ASAPS recommends this procedure be performed under medical supervision.
  • Pigments may cause interference with cranial MRI scans.
  • Needles inserted too deeply in the skin can cause bleeding, spreading of pigments, and damage to hair follicles.
Benefits of Micropigmentation
  • No downtime and resumption of most normal activities within 24 hours for majority of patients.
  • The pigments used are made from safe, non-reactive compounds approved by the FDA.
  • The process is relatively quick (It takes 30 to 40 minutes for an upper and lower lash line takes about).
  • Skin returns to normal by the next day. Swelling or redness is generally mild.
  • Mild discomfort during procedure is avoided using topical and/or local anesthesia.
  • Good alternative for women with make-up allergies.
  • Pigments are individually mixed for customized results, and designed to look natural. Results can be seen immediately (three weeks for full micropigmentation).
Risk of Micropigmentation
Risks of micropigmentation include :
  • Infection
  • Removal problems
  • Allergic reactions
  • Granulomas
  • Keloid formation
  • MRI complication
However, it is not permanent, for two reasons :
  • Aging can create discoloration.
  • Sunlight can reduce the strength of the color.
You should also be aware that 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 use of the micropigmentation inks and pigments and does not control the actual practice of it.
All micropigmentation candidates should weigh the risks versus the benefits before deciding to undergo micropigmentation, as with any cosmetic procedure.

Can Permanent Cosmetics Be Removed?
How about with a laser or chemicals? Unfortunately in some cases, permanent cosmetics can not be removed with a laser. The laser removal procedure isn't cheap. Believe it or not, glycolic acid is showing some removal properties. You'd think if a laser wouldn't do it, glycolic acid surely won't. But these days and with the newer pigments it is getting pretty easy. Just be careful. Older pigments can just turn a different and very odd color.