Lashes & Permanent Makeup
Permanent makeup uses tattoo techniques to enhance or reproduce features that are not pronounced or have been lost due to aging, a medical condition, or scarring.
It is most often used for the face, on the eyebrows, lashes and lips, but also can improve scars or uneven coloring of the skin (vitiligo) and restore the breast’s areola after breast surgery.
Considering Permanent Makeup
- You have pale lips, sparse hair on your eyebrows or poorly defined eyelashes
- You had surgery or scarring and would like to restore or enhance through pigmentation
- You want to eliminate daily makeup application
Top 3 Pros:
- Quick procedure with very little downtime
- Customized results for your skin tone and coloring
- Good alternative for those with allergies and makeup issues
Top 3 Cons:
- Permanent makeup like tattoos are difficult to remove
- You may be susceptible to infection or allergic reaction to pigment
- Pigments may interfere with MRI scans
How It Works
Micropigmentation is a form of tattoo art, but is specialized to achieve specific cosmetic goals. Depending on the practice, your surgeon may have a specialist such as a licensed aesthetician or a registered nurse administer the treatment. It is important to ensure that there is a board-certified plastic surgeon who has oversight of the facility and that your specialist is licensed to perform permanent tattooing. Their qualifications and experience are integral to achieving the right look and preventing any risks or complications.
A topical anesthetic is usually applied to numb the skin and make you more comfortable during the procedure. Before the procedure begins, a scratch test on your finger will be performed to check if you are allergic to the pigment. This is important to determine if you have any reaction to the pigment before tattooing a larger area on your face.
If appropriate, there will be an outline of the area that will be tattooed. Needles penetrate the skin a few millimeters in depth and implant pigment below the epidermis for cosmetic enhancement or correction. Once the treatment is complete, ointment is applied to keep the area soft and to promote healing. A bandage may be applied to protect the area for a few hours, but is not required. More than one session, spaced four to six weeks apart, may be necessary to achieve the best results.
During your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss your cosmetic goals. Your surgeon will evaluate you as a candidate for permanent makeup and clarify what permanent makeup can do for you. Once your surgeon understands your goals and medical condition, alternative and additional treatments may be considered (see related procedures.)
You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your complete medical history. This will include information about:
- Previous surgeries
- Past and present medical conditions
- Allergies and current medications
Based on your goals, physical characteristics, and the surgeon’s training and experience, your surgeon or tattoo specialist will share recommendations and information with you, including:
- An approach to your treatment, including the type of device or combination of devices to be used and the number of treatments anticipated
- The outcomes that you can anticipate
- Your financial investment in the procedure
- Associated risks and complications
- Treatment location options
- What you need to prepare for your treatment
- What you can expect to experience after treatment
- The doctor will also share before-and-after photos of cases similar to yours and answer any questions
In most cases you may return to work and other daily activities immediately following your treatment. After the procedure, you will receive detailed instructions about your post-treatment care, including information about:
- Skin care
- Normal symptoms you will experience
- Potential signs of complication
It is important that you follow all patient care instructions provided by your specialist. Your specialist will also provide instructions about the normal symptoms you will experience and any potential signs of complications. Contact your specialist to find out if your pain, redness, and swelling are normal or a sign of a problem.
***It is normal to experience some mild pain or discomfort for up to forty-eight hours after treatment. There will be redness and swelling, but it will subside completely within one or two days. It is important to keep the area moisturized with ointment for several days as the skin heals.
Two to three weeks
A crust will eventually form over the entire tattoo, which will fall off after about two weeks. You will be able to see the full results in approximately three weeks, to determine if the color and shade is appropriate. If not, you will need a touch up.
Permanent makeup is permanent, but it may take two or three sessions to achieve the right look for you. Over time, tattoos fade and may need to be touched up.
For safety, as well as the most beautiful and healthy outcome, it’s important to return to your specialist’s office for follow-up evaluation at prescribed times and whenever you notice any changes in the treatment areas. Do not hesitate to contact your specialist when you have any questions or concerns.
Fortunately, significant complications from permanent makeup are infrequent. Your specific risks for permanent makeup will be discussed during your consultation.
All procedures have some degree of risk. Some of the potential complications of all procedures are:
- Infection and bleeding
- Allergic reactions
- Damage to underlying structures
- Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures
Other risks specific to permanent makeup are outlined below:
- Skin discoloration such as hypopigmentation and hyperpigmentation
- Temporary changes in skin texture
You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of yourspecialist, both before and after your permanent makeup treatment.