Micropigmentation: Frequently Asked Questions
Micropigmentation has the potential to enhance, refresh and restore facial features. If you're considering this procedure, you probably have lots of questions, and perhaps some concerns as well. Below is a list of the most commonly-asked questions and their answers regarding micropigmentation:
- What is micropigmentation?
- Am I candidate for micropigmentation?
- At what age is micropigmentation usually performed?
- Who can perform micropigmentation?
- How is micropigmentation performed?
- What should I expect after micropigmentation?
- Does micropigmentation hurt?
- Will micropigmentation cover my hypopigmentations or scars?
- Is there a lot of swelling involved with micropigmentation?
- When can I return to work?
- When will I be able to see the results?
- What are the risks of micropigmentation?
- Is there maintenance with micropigmentation?
Basically, micropigmentation is a cosmetic procedure that uses tattooing to permanently enhance or restore facial features. The procedure goes by a number of names in addition to micropigmentation, including dermagraphics, permanent cosmetics or make-up, cosmetic tattooing and transdermal pigment implantation. The pigments used in micropigmentation are natural, hypoallergenic and come in a spectrum of colors to complement your skin or hair. Micropigmentation can be used to create permanent eyeliner, eyebrows and lip color. It can also be used to cover up a pale spot (hypopigmentation) resulting from a scar or trauma.
If you like the idea of permanent make-up — or if you have poor control of your hands or failing vision that makes applying cosmetics difficult — micropigmentation may be an option for you. Micropigmentation can also be used to simulate eyebrows or eyelashes that have been lost through illness, trauma, or medical treatment. Allergies or a tendency to develop certain types of scars may preclude you from having micropigmentation. A consultation with a facial plastic surgeon will help you determine if you are an appropriate candidate.
It can be performed at almost any age, but in most states you must be at least 18 years old to get any kind of tattoo.
Requirements vary by state. Ideally, your technician should be licensed (if required by the state) and board certified by the American Academy of Micropigmentation and the Society of Permanent Cosmetics Professionals; in addition to technicians, some board-certified plastic surgeons and facial plastic surgeons perform micropigmentation. Make sure the area where the procedure would be performed is clean and orderly, and check out the technician or doctor's portfolio to determine if his or her aesthetic style coincides with yours.
The technician wears surgical gloves to inspect the skin in the treatment area to make sure it's in good shape. He or she then cleans it with an antiseptic solution or alcohol before picking up the tattoo gun/pen. The needle bar moves up and down very quickly, depositing the chosen pigments into the top layers of the skin. The procedure takes about an hour, depending on the size of the area being tattooed. Micropigmentation can be broken up into multiple sessions, if necessary.
When the technician is done, he or she will spray the treatment area with water and antiseptic, wipe it down and then apply a layer of antibiotic ointment over the tattoo. You will be instructed to wash the area with mild soap and water no more than twice a day and to apply hand cream or antibiotic ointment as needed. Tattoos take about a week to heal.
Just as people have different thresholds for pain, some areas of the body are more sensitive than others (i.e., the eye and lip area are particularly sensitive). Micropigmentation in those spots will be somewhat more uncomfortable than in an area with thicker skin. Many technicians offer a topical anesthetic cream or gel to make you more comfortable.
Yes. Inks in flesh tones have significant camouflaging capabilities, but you will need to find a technician who specializes in this more advanced procedure.
Expect only minor swelling, especially if the treatment area is small.
You can return to work immediately, although there will be some obvious redness and scabbing for at least a week.
Results are immediate, although the full result won't be seen until about three weeks after the color has faded and the scabs are gone.
The risks of micropigmentation are few and include infection, line asymmetry, and an allergic reaction to the pigments used. Technician error could lead to dissatisfaction with the results. Tattoo removal is an option in these cases.
Touch ups may be needed in the years to come, but they are generally not as painful as the first application. If you take conscientious care of your skin, your micropigmentation will last longer.
Annapolis Aesthetic Surgery, Inc.
116 Defense Hwy.,
Annapolis, MD 21401
10807 Falls Road, #100
Baltimore, MD 21093
Buinewicz Plastic Surgery & Medspa
3655 Route 202
Suites 225 and 230
Doylestown, PA 18902