Micropigmentation-sometimes referred to as “permanent make-up”- is a technique in which minute, metabolically inert pigment granules are implanted below the epidermis for cosmetic and/or corrective enhancement. This ancient Asian beautification practice has gained popularity around the world. Micropigmentation is used to enhance facial features like eyebrows, lashes and lips; to improve conditions like scarring and vitiligo (uneven pigmentation); or to reconstruct the nipple/areola breast area.
Typically, two treatments are needed and the standard is four to six weeks apart but is contingent upon the health profile and age of the client and the procedure conducted.. Needles penetrate the skin a few millimeters, in what is basically a tattooing process.
*No downtime and resumption of most normal activities within 24 hours for majority of patients.
*Many pigment formulators use color additives that are on the FDA’s approved Food, Drug, and Cosmetic listings (as do SPCP supplier members,) however, the FDA does not approve the final product – the pigment used for tattooing – at this time.
*The process is relatively quick. The process typically takes one and one half to two hours, although not all that time is afforded to tattooing; there are administrative and pre-procedure prep tasks associated with the service.
*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 (although procedure is designed to enhance features, not replace make-up altogether).
*Pigments are individually mixed for customized results, and designed to look natural. Results can be seen immediately (although full end result will be seen in about three weeks).
*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.