Permanent makeup, also known as micropigmentation or cosmetic tattooing, is a cosmetic technique that uses dye or pigment that is permanently injected into the skin to resemble makeup or conceal imperfections. Permanent makeup can improve a person's appearance in a variety of ways, that may include:
- Enhancing features such as the eyebrow, eyelashes and lip
- Concealing scars or blemishes
- Camouflaging areas of uneven pigmentation
All of these enhancements can be accomplished without the need for daily makeup applications. This procedure is FDA-approved and produces successful results for a wide range of cosmetic goals. Permanent makeup is quickly becoming a popular, convenient treatment for patients with minor cosmetic concerns. In some cases, permanent makeup is used to improve the appearance of a nipple after breast reconstruction. The results of this procedure are long-lasting and any fading can be addressed with with minor touch-up treatments.
Candidates for Permanent Makeup
Micropigmentation can be used for all skin types, and can be used to enhance the patient's natural appearance or improve the appearance of scars and other skin imperfections. For most patients, permanent makeup serves as a way to save time in their daily schedule. It may also be used on individuals whose ability to wear regular makeup is hindered by an allergy or other medical condition. This may include patients whose skin is easily irritated by most forms of traditional makeup, patients with arthritis and other painful conditions who have difficulty applying makeup, and those who have suffered hair loss on the eyebrows, sideburns or hair line.
Permanent Makeup Procedure
FDA-approved, allergy-tested dyes are made of mineral extracts and can be tinted to match the patient's skin tone as closely as possible. Individuals can choose the specific color, shade and intensity of dye for a completely customized procedure. After the application of a topical anesthesia, the dyes are injected into the skin using micro-needles. The procedure may last as little as 30 minutes, depending on the size of the area being treated. Patients can return home shortly after the procedure.
The application of permanent makeup may cause mild discomfort. Ice packs can be used after treatment to reduce any pain or swelling, and antibiotic ointment may be applied to help prevent infection. Complications are rare but may include infection or allergic reactions to the dye.
Permanent Makeup Results
The results of the permanent makeup application are visible immediately, although more than one session may be required for larger areas or touch-ups. Most patients can achieve their desired results after two treatment sessions spaced one to two weeks apart. Aging and long-term sun exposure may lead to a reduction in color strength that may require touch-up treatments in order to maintain the original results.
If removal of permanent makeup is desired, a laser procedure similar to tattoo removal may be performed, in order to remove pigmentation from the skin and restore the patient's original appearance.