How about having perfectly groomed eyebrows, dramatic eyeliners, and alluring red lips even after waking up in the morning or working through the day? Micropigmentation holds the promise to keep your makeup in place and nothing is going to phase it out soon. Applying makeup for enhancing your best features is not always feasible, especially if you have any physical condition that makes it bothersome. They may literally find micropigmentation as a permanent solution to their problems. So, if you are considering this procedure, here is everything you should know about it.
What is Micropigmentation?
Micropigmentation, also called permanent makeup or permanent cosmetics, has been earning extreme popularity in the beauty industry lately. It is an innovative cosmetic procedure in which colored (iron oxide) pigments are deposited into the dermis i.e. middle layer of the skin (1). If poor skin health or any physical condition comes in the way of makeup application, micropigmentation helps by offering a long-lasting, smudge-free treatment. It restores confidence and self-esteem by enhancing the shape of eyebrows, hairline, lips, eyes, and even more. Micropigmentation is perfectly suitable for both women and men.
While the procedure of micropigmentation is categorized as cosmetic tattooing, it is less invasive and uses a different pigment than tattoo ink, as well as less advanced instruments than tattoo devices. When used for medical purposes, micropigmentation is termed as dermopigmentation.
Who are the Right Candidates?
You will be considered a good candidate for micropigmentation if you:
- Wish to enhance the appearance of your eyebrows or lips
- Have an uneven hairline and wants to improve it
- Are allergic to traditional makeup or cosmetics
- Wear glasses or contact lenses or have had Lasik surgery
- Like to flaunt a natural ‘no makeup’ yet beautiful look always
- Have physical limitations like severe arthritis, cataract, etc.
- Want to cover scars, vitiligo, cleft lips, etc.
- Want to restore areola pigmentation after chemotherapy or breast construction surgery
Micropigmentation is not suitable for patients with AIDS, diabetes, dry eye syndrome, blood disorders, hepatitis B or C , lupus, active skin disorders (herpes simplex, pink eyes, warts), and allergies to red dyes D&C. You should also not opt for it if you have soft tissue fillers or taken Accutane in past 6 months (2).
Finding the Best Professional
Being an art of inserting color into the dermal layer of the skin with specialized instruments, micropigmentation requires proper knowledge, skill, and experience. Make sure that you find a highly trained professional, who will perform it with your best interest in mind. Feel free to communicate with him and ask anything that you have on your mind beforehand to avoid a botched procedure.
How to Prepare for Micropigmentation?
The preparation for micropigmentation starts with a consultation with the doctor or specialist. Discuss all your needs and expectations with him to ensure that he addresses your concerns the right way. He will record and review your medical history to check whether you have any medical condition that could impede the procedure. Tell him about the medications (prescription and over-the-counter) or supplements you are taking. A physical examination will also be performed, There will also be a thorough evaluation of your skin tone, texture, and complexion to find the perfect match of pigment with your natural tone. Besides, you should have to keep the following points in mind before the procedure:
- Stay healthy both physically and mentally
- Do not shave the targeted part of the skin
- Stop smoking for at least for a couple of months
- Do not take blood-thinning drugs at least for two weeks
- Be realistic with your expectations
The Procedure of Micropigmentation
Typically, the procedure of micropigmentation is performed in the office setting. Here are the steps involved in it:
- Topical or injectable anesthesia is administered to make the treatment less painful and more comfortable for you.
- Your doctor or specialist puts on a pair of medical gloves to prevent the spread of germs during the procedure.
- A pen-like instrument (or a standard tattoo gun) with a small, thin needle is used in the procedure. It penetrates into the skin till it’s second layer and releases a hypoallergenic mineral (iron oxide) pigment into it.
- Once it is done, the treated area of the skin is cleansed with an antiseptic.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the inks (basically color additives) used in micropigmentation should be subject to pre-market approval as cosmetics under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. (3)
Micropigmentation is a very quick procedure, which takes merely 20 to 30 minutes. However, you may need more than one session based on your unique requirements.
Post-Procedure Care and Recovery
You can return home on the same day after undergoing the procedure of micropigmentation. The area of treatment will remain red and swollen for a few days and your doctor will advise you on how to apply ice packs or ointments to reduce it. Experiencing tearing after the procedure is also normal. However, if you experience too much swelling, develop high fever or rashes, or feel burning sensation in the treated area, get in touch with your doctor or specialist right away. It is important that you avoid exposure to sunlight or stay away from using products containing peroxide as these may cause damage to your new appearance. The skin usually takes 2 to 4 weeks to heal completely and the intense shade of the pigment fades into its permanent color within three weeks following the procedure.
As said earlier, micropigmentation is called ‘permanent makeup’ and it lasts for a long time too. But it will not last for a lifetime. The pigment will fade considerably over the years and you may need to opt for follow-up treatments in order to maintain your look.
Side Effects and Complications
Micropigmentation is a safe procedure as long as it is being performed by a skilled and experienced professional. Otherwise, you may end up experiencing disappointing results or even mild to moderate complications. While an allergic reaction to iron oxide pigment is rare, it is not totally impossible. Some other potential risks associated with micropigmentation are swelling, peeling, cracking, blistering, scarring, infections, inflammation, the formation of granulomas, change of color over time, keloid formation, etc. (4)
Cost of Micropigmentation
The cost of the treatment varies based on the area of skin that needs to be treated as well as the location of the patient. An average cost of micropigmentation may range from $1,800 to $3,2000.
Micropigmentation (permanent makeup, permanent cosmetics, dermopigmentation, cosmetic tattooing) is an innovative cosmetic procedure in which colored (iron oxide) pigments are deposited into the dermis (middle layer of the skin). It restores confidence and self-esteem of both women and men by enhancing the shape of eyebrows, hairline, lips, eyes, etc. in a long-lasting, smudge-free way. A good candidate for micropigmentation is someone who is allergic to traditional cosmetics, wears glasses or contact lenses, or has physical limitations. You need to consult the specialist and discuss your needs as well as expectations beforehand. The procedure is a quick procedure that takes only 20-30 minutes and is performed in the office setting. Keep following your doctor’s instructions as you return the same day. The skin takes 2-4 weeks to heal completely and the intense shade of pigment fades into the permanent color within 3 weeks. Even though it is called ‘permanent makeup, it does not last for a lifetime. As the pigment fades over the years, you may need to consider follow-up treatments. Some potential risks associated with the procedure include swelling, peeling, cracking, blistering, scarring, infections, inflammation, the formation of granulomas, change of color over time, keloid formation, etc. Its cost may range from $1,800 to $3,2000.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does Micropigmentation Look Natural?
Yes, when done correctly by a knowledgeable, skilled, trained, and experienced professional, micropigmentation looks absolutely natural.
Is Micropigmentation Painful?
Micropigmentation causes zero to minimal pain based on the area of the skin that needs to be treated. The procedure is made even more comfortable for the patients by administering topical anesthesia.
Can You Remove Micropigmentation?
Laser removal may help you get rid of micropigmentation results completely. However, you may need to undergo one or more sessions depending on the volume of the area.
Does Scalp Micropigmentation Grow Hair?
Unfortunately, scalp micropigmentation does not help your hair grow back. Rather, it gives a tight buzz-cut look and you can maintain a natural look by keeping the rest of your hair short in length.
Do You Need to Shave Your Head for Scalp Micropigmentation?
Instead of shaving your head for scalp micropigmentation, you may create the buzz hairstyle with an electric shaver. This will decrease the contrast between your existing hair and scalp micropigmentation, thereby creating the most natural look.
Is Micropigmentation Better Than Microblading?
The results of micropigmentation are long-lasting than those of microblading. Micropigmentation deposits pigment deeper into the skin than microblading, which increases its longevity for 1-1.5 years more.
- “Micropigmentation“, MyClevelandClinic.org
- “Micropigmentation“, ASDS.net
- “Permanent Makeup“, en.Wikipedia.org
- “How Safe Is Permanent Makeup?“, WebMD.com