19 December 2008

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
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.


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