Frequently Asked Questions About Micropigmentation - Permanent Make-up
1. Am I candidate for
2. What is Micropigmentation?
3. When is Micropigmentation usually performed?
4. What does a typical Micropigmentation consultation entail?
5. How is Micropigmentation performed?
6. What are the differences in the machines that perform Micropigmentation?
7. What should I expect after
8. Does Micropigmentation hurt?
9. Will Micropigmentation cover my hypo-pigmentations or scars?
10. Is there a lot of swelling involved with Micropigmentation?
11. When can I return to work?
12. When will I be able to see the results?
13. What are the risks of Micropigmentation?
14. Is there maintenance with Micropigmentation?
If you are active, want to look your best 24 hours a day
or if you are elderly or have poor vision and want to free yourself of the time it takes
you every day to apply make-up. If you have no history of keloid scarring in your family,
you may be a candidate for micropigmentation.
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Micropigmentation is also known as dermagraphics,
permanent cosmetics or make-up, cosmetic tattooing and trans-dermal pigment implantation.
Dermagraphics is the enhancement of the face or re-pigmentation of hypo- pigmented areas
of the dermis with non-reactive, hypo-allergenic natural iron-oxide colored pigments
which are implanted into the very first layers of the skin with a tattoo like
gun or pen. These pigments can be very natural looking; also
available is the trendier of colors and basic cosmetic colors.
There are many models of these types of pens and guns,
some cordless, some not, some very expensive and still others that are very basic.
Technicians can be very skilled, taking a course to train with professionals
and some just buying videos and manikin kits to practice on before they hit the real ones.
You must be at least 18 years of
age (in most stales) to get any kind of tattoo.
first you must find a good technician to apply your dermagraphics. You should view a
lot of photos of the technicians work and check for credentials and experience as well as
check the procedure environment for cleanliness and/or sterility. This procedure is
slightly invasive and you should inspect the technicians general area for neatness and
biohazardous waste disposal.
Please read the Micropigmentation Page for all you
ever wanted or needed to know about dermagraphics.
In a nut shell: Dermagraphics is performed by enhancing
the face or re-pigmentation of hypopigmented areas of the dermis with
non-reactive, hypo-allergenic natural iron-oxide colored pigments which are
implanted into the very first layers of the skin with a tattoo like gun
The longer version: Any type of
tattoo is applied by using a small electric device (a traditional gun, rotary pen, machine
coil, Softap, or by hand) with a needle bar that holds from one to 14
needles, each in its own little tube, to implant colored pigments
The tattooing device basically
works like a miniature sewing machine: the needle bar moves up and down really fast,
forcing the needles into the superficial (epidermis) and middle layer (dermis) of the
skin, implanting whatever colored pigment the technician dips the tip into.
holds the machine with a steady hand while guiding it along the skin. The speed and power
is controlled by a foot switch or pedal, much like a sewing machine.
The needles penetrate the skin
only a couple of millimeters as the tubes restrict the needles from penetrating any
deeper. Each needle has its own separate tube enclosure. This feature permits the
needle bar shaft to operate smoothly without damaging the needles. A single needle
(sometimes a micro-needle) is used to make a very fine, delicate line. A row of needles
(from 4 up to 36) is used for shading and more dense fill ins. From
experience with traditional tattoos, I'd like to add that although it seems like the
shading would hurt far worse (because of the multiple needles) is quite the opposite.
Outlining is by far the most painful.
The end of the needle tube is
dipped in a small amount of ink. The technician guides the machine over the skin and the
needle(s) move up and down, penetrating the skin, implanting the pigment. Excess pigment
and blood, or other bodily fluids, ooze out from the puncture wounds and the technician
wipes them off with an absorbent disposable towel, repeatedly. This enables the technician
to better see what he or she is doing.
Prior to getting a tattoo, the
technician puts on a pair of latex gloves or other types if you or he/she has a latex
allergy and inspects your skin to make sure you have no cuts, scrapes or other types of
broken skin. The area is either swabbed with alcohol or sprayed with an antiseptic
solution or both and the technician shaves the area of any and all hair with a disposable
razor. The razors and towels used for wiping your bodily fluids should also be
disposed of in the same type of biohazardous waste.
the technician transfers a stencil of the tattoo (your desired design) onto your
skin. Some technicians may draw it on with a pen. I do not prefer this
method, as my technician had me use brow pencil to pencil my own design and it
is very difficult to see this in a mirror. I strongly recommend using a
digital camera to take a photo of what is drawn on to see if you ultimately like
it. I am dissatisfied with the shape of my permanent brows because of this.
I suggest using a stencil and then modifying the result to suit your face.
Then and only then, after looking at this in a photo should you choose to go
ahead and have it tattooed.
You are then asked to verify the
placement, position and so forth of the design you are about to implant into your skin
forever. If everything is good then a thin layer of petroleum jelly, or other ointment, is
spread over the area to be tattooed.
The level of pain really depends on the individual. Some people's pain threshold (or tolerance) is high while others are quite low.
of pain also depends on the tattoo site. Cosmetic Tattooing can be completed per area in
about an hour and a half. If you are having more than one area/procedure it may take a few
hours or maybe another sitting (you come back another time).
Some will say it is more the technique that makes the difference which
is true for depth of the implantation and pain factors. The machines are just
different models and different quality. Some are like a hand held cordless pen, while
others are traditional tattoo guns. The prices are the main differences, from $250.USD to
When the technician has
completed your design the tattoo is sprayed with water and antiseptic and wiped off.
layer of Bacitracin, A&D or Tattoo Goo 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 as needed (no
Vaseline!) If it is a normal tattoo they wash and apply the Basictracin 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!). You will wash it gently with mild soap
and apply hand cream or Bacitracin 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 until the healing is 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.
peeling of the area either! If it flakes, let it flake. You will pull pigment right out of
the tattoo resulting in splotchiness.
Do NOT expose your tattoo to direct sunlight for at
least two weeks. If you do, you may get sunburn or changes in pigment (i.e. color
fade). Use sunscreen like it's going out of style. Do NOT swim, period.
That goes for
fresh, salt or chlorinated water. This could cause pigment fade as well.
You should always
apply sunburn if you expose your tattoo to sunlight (this means artificial
light, too). Indoor Tanning machines will fade your tattoo as well.
Touch-ups are quite possible as
I strongly recommend having a topical anesthetic for brows
and lips and anesthetic eye drops for lash enhancement. I had both (for
each area respectively) and I cannot tell you how much the anesthetic makes a
difference. Different areas are more
sensitive and I am sure that the eyes, being the most sensitive area, and the
lip area, will definitely feel somewhat uncomfortable.
Even with eyedrops, I could still feel a very annoying tickling sensation with
lash enhancement from the vibrations of the pen.
Many technicians offer some type of anesthetic.
topical or for those technicians in a medical profession as well, like a certified
Registered Nurse Anesthetist, you will have access to injectable anesthetic strengths.
Like Lidocaine which some of you receive at the dentist. Although there is a lower
version of anesthetic called Marcaine available and just as effective, only for a shorter
period, which is fine for this type of thing. Normally, just a topical gel or cream is
sufficient to numb the implantation site.
It is very likely. The flesh tones have shown significant camouflaging
abilities. However, you should find a technician who specializes in this area.
This is a
more advanced procedure. Ask around, ask a plastic surgeon or their staff.
Hardly worth mentioning. If you have extensive work, say for large
hypopigmentation areas there may be swelling, but the swelling is generally minute.
You can return to work immediately although there will be redness that
is apparent, very slight swelling and the area treated will be scabby for at least a week.
My eyes were quite swollen and pink. The brows looked very face and apparent
until the scab fell off.
Results a seen immediately although the
full end result is seen in approximately 3 weeks. The color will have
faded to the color you had chosen and the scabs will be almost completely gone.
Do not pick at the scabs to speed up the process or you will lose color
implantation. You may need touch-ups at this time.
The risks are few but mostly from the error of the technician.
is possible and so is dissatisfaction. As well as line asymmetry and possible allergic
reaction to the pigments.
Touch-ups for years to come is very possible.
Although not near as
painful and tedious as the the first application. You should keep your lips moisturized
and o not pull dead skin fro your lips as this could eventually fade the tattoo.
I have had my permanent make up for several years and the brows have faded
(which I am thankful for since I am not satisfied with the shape). The
lash enhancement is very subtle.