Q: What is micropigmentation?
A: Micropigmentation is a form of tattooing in which color is implanted in the dermis layer of the skin. It is an invasive cosmetic procedure that requires skill and experience from your technician. Because your skin is always shedding, the implanted color will appear darker on the day of your procedure, but will lighten up as you heal. As you heal, the top layer of skin – known as the epidermis – will flake away, giving the tattoo a lighter look.
Q: Do the procedures hurt?
A: Before the procedure begins, topical anesthetic that is specially made for permanent makeup is applied to the tattoo area. This will numb the skin. The amount of pain you feel will depend on your tolerance for pain. On a pain scale of 1-10, with 10 being the worst, most people experience mild pain in the 1-3 range. This type of pain is often described as a vibration or tickling feeling.
Q: How long does the procedure take?
A: You should expect your procedure appointment to last about 2 hours. The first 20-30 minutes will be used to numb the treatment area. The next 60 minutes will be spent on tattooing. The remaining 30-40 minutes will include providing aftercare instructions, taking photos and scheduling a return visit in 4 weeks.
Q. How long does recovery take?
A: Your recovery time depends on the procedure you receive. Eyebrows result in a small amount of swelling, but will sting for a couple of hours after the anesthetic wears off. The stinging will feel similar to the sensation after scraping your hands on the sidewalk. Eyeliner may result in moderate swelling, as if you’ve been crying for a while. Cold packs are recommended. Lip color may result in significant swelling.
Q: How long will my makeup last?
A: Micropigmentation can last for a long time, but this will depend on your skin type and how well you care for your procedure. Environmental factors will affect your tattoos. These can include sun, swimming and facial products, among others. Your body’s natural breakdown response will also affect the lifespan of your tattoo. The more comfortable you become with your makeup, the more you may want to add to or freshen it every couple of years.
Q: What if I have certain conditions to consider?
A: Your micropigmentation specialist will be happy to help you factor in any conditions you have that may affect your tattoo. These include scars, vitiligo, alopecia, a history of fever blisters or other health problems. Please do not hesitate to inform your technician about your conditions and ask questions about treatment and recovery.
Q: What if I need an MRI at some point after my procedure?
A: Visit mrisaftey.com for information about micropigmentation and MRI. Rarely is there a problem with pigmentation’s effect on MRIs. You may experience some tingling or a burning sensation. If you experience this sensation around the eyes, place a dampened cotton round over your eyes for comfort.
Q: Is micropigmentation a good investment?
A: Your investment in permanent makeup may seem expensive up front, but it may save you time and money in the long run. Retouches, which are less expensive, are required every couple of years to keep your permanent makeup looking fresh. Your investment can eliminate daily, time-consuming makeup rituals and frees you from the worry of smears or smudges on your eyebrows or eyeliner.
Q: Will I look like myself after I have the procedure?
A: Most certainly! Permanent makeup can make a big difference in your daily routine. You’ll save countless hours trying to get your eyebrows or eyeliner just right, and you’ll save money on expensive makeup products that rub off during the day. Permanent makeup doesn’t have to replace all of the makeup you may want to use at times. Since the color is in your skin, and not on your skin, you may apply additional makeup whenever you want.
For more information, search for “permanent makeup" at fda.gov. Or visit micropigmentation.org.