What is micropigmentation?
Micropigmentation, also known as permanent makeup, permanent cosmetics or cosmetic tattooing, is a cosmetic procedure used to improve or replace lost coloring on your skin. Micropigmentation is most often used on your face – to enhance eyebrows, eyelashes, eyelids (as eyeliner) and lips. It’s also used to camouflage or improve scars, even out skin coloring and restore color to areas of skin that have lost color.
Who are good candidates for micropigmentation?
Anyone – male or female – can get micropigmentation. If you are a person who wants to look their best while avoiding the physical challenges of applying makeup, micropigmentation may be especially appropriate for you.
Some medical conditions that make applying or using makeup challenging include:
- Conditions that result in unsteady hands, such as severe arthritis, multiple sclerosis or Parkinson’s disease.
- Conditions that result in poor eyesight, such as cataracts or macular degeneration.
Micropigmentation may also be a treatment or solution to some medical conditions including:
- As a follow up to reconstructive surgery to the face.
- To replace eyebrows that are thinning due to age or underlying medical conditions.
- To camouflage lack of color to the skin due to vitiligo.
- To recreate an areola (area around the nipple) after breast surgery.
- As a permanent solution if you have allergies to traditional, temporary makeup.
Micropigmentation procedures are also considered for purely personal reasons, such as:
- You don’t like applying makeup on a daily basis.
- You’d like to have fuller looking or better-defined eyebrows or eyelashes.
- You’d like better defined or richer colored lips.
- You have scars you’d like to improve with tattoo pigment.
How is micropigmentation done?
Most procedures only require a topical anesthetic to numb the skin and keep you comfortable during the procedure.
Typically, micropigmentation can be performed in an office setting. The procedure is performed with a pen-like instrument or standard tattoo gun. The needle will penetrate a few millimeters into the middle layer of your skin (dermis) and an iron oxide pigment is injected. Your cosmetic specialist or plastic surgeon will be wearing medical gloves while performing the procedure.
Most procedures take from 30 minutes to several hours to perform (from preparation to end of procedure; time depends on complexity of procedure). After the procedure, your specialist will give you an antiseptic to keep the treated region clean. In addition, you may be given an ointment to keep the area soft and promote healing. Sometimes a bandage may be applied to protect the area for several hours after the procedure.
What is the follow-up care after a micropigmentation procedure?
Some patients may require more than one treatment to achieve the desired result. Make sure you understand exactly how many treatments you will need for the procedure you want. As the pigment fades over the years, you also may have to undergo additional treatments to maintain the look.
What should I do at home after the micropigmentation procedure?
You will return home the same day as your procedure. You can usually return to work or other activities immediately after your procedure.