FAQ - Treatments
Micropigmentation is also referred to as Cosmetic Tattooing, Pigment or Colour Implants, Dermagraphics, or Permanent Makeup. These treatments have been performed in the Middle East and Asia for centuries, yet have only been available for around 35 years in the Western World. The modern procedure involves using a small, pen-like machine to implant small quantities of colour into the skin. The pigment remains in the skin indefinitely. However, the colour may fade over time due to ageing of the tattoo, health or environmental factors, or because of the use of light or sheer colour pigments in the treatment. The most common procedures accessed are: Eyeliner, Eyebrows, Lip Line, Lip Blend, Full Lip, Corrective Procedures following surgery, Scar Camouflage, and Areola/Nipple recreation for breast cancer survivors.
How can Cosmetic Tattoo benefit you?
Micropigmentation will save you time and frustration, giving you the freedom to enjoy many of your life’s activities without worrying about your appearance. Whether swimming, sleeping, perspiring, having a sauna, playing sport, washing your hair or eating, Micropigmentation will ensure that you look great 24 hours a day – it won’t wash off and can last for several years.
How hygenic is the procedure?
Great importance is placed upon cleanliness and hygiene in our clinic. All of the needles and attachments used come in sterile packs and are disposed of after each treatment. There is absolutely no reusing of pigment between clients. Each client has a new needle, new machine attachments and new product. Any instrument that is not disposable is autoclaved on our premises, which is the same sterilising procedure used by Doctors, Dentists and Hospitals. Our clinic has been approved by the local Health Department.
What are pigment lotions?
Most of the Pigments used are Iron Oxide and Titanium Dioxide, which is a safe non-reactive substance. The Pigments are
manufactured for the specific purpose of being implanted into skin. Apart from some Lip Colours, most of the Pigments are
inorganic. A coloured powder is suspended in a solution of distilled water, alcohol, and glycerine, which results in a smooth, fine, creamy liquid. There are over 400 pre-mixed colours but more can be created by mixing different pigments together to create shades of light and dark.
The Pigments used in our clinic are imported from reputable manufacturers, all of which have been tested and proven. Product ingredients are listed on the bottles that we use.
The difference between the Pigments we use and traditional tattoo inks is Cosmetic Tattoo Pigments have been blended to create soft colours for the face. Because traditional tattoo inks are used for decorative purposes and so tend to very bright in colour, they are not appropriate for face and camouflage treatments.
Is it like a body tattoo?
It is essentially the same procedure and outcome, but with a few differences in equipment and method. Tattoo Artists use a Coil Machine and Power box which has much more power than the Rotary Pen-style machine used by most Cosmetic Tattoo
Practitioners. The Rotary Machine is quieter, lighter, and easier to handle and control. Also different is the depth to which the needle is inserted into the skin – Cosmetic Tattoo usually doesn’t go quite as deep. Always choose a Cosmetic Tattoo practitioner to work on your face as they should understand the skin and structure of the face, have experience with makeup designs, and have a variety of suitable colours to work on the face for successful long-lasting results.
How long does is take to heal?
The healing time is minimal for all treatments (4-14 days) and is hardly noticeable. A small percentage of people will have some swelling, itchiness and tenderness in the days following a treatment, but work and all other activities can continue immediately. It is only with the full lip treatment that swelling can last for up to 48 hours – or even a little longer – and the lips will be dry. Some mature age clients may experience very sore and rough lips for approximately 7 days. Please be aware that we cannot perform Lip related treatments on people with Dental Braces.
What does it look like on the skin?
A Cosmetic Tattoo will generally give you the soft, muted look of a pencil. The colour immediately after the treatment will be stronger, brighter and possibly darker than your desired colour. In most cases, clients lose approximately 20-40% of intense colour during the first 4-14 days of the healing process, whilst Full Lip Treatment colour loss can be up to 60%. Colour retention will vary between individuals and is affected by the colour used, the client’s skin, the practitioner’s method, and whether the Post-Treatment Home Care instructions are followed. It is important to wait for 5-7 weeks after the treatment before making any judgements on the colour result. Included in the price of new treatments is a follow-up appointment to make any necessary colour adjustments. Extended sun exposure, using Retina-A, Glycolic Acid Peels or Laser will fade out colour from all treatments. Colour implanted around the corners of the eyes may last indefinitely.
All blacks tattooed into the skin will eventually look a little bluish. This could be immediately after the healing or months or years later. The darker the skin tone – particularly olive skin – the less obvious black pigment will look and the more chance it could take on a bluish hue. For this reason, we do not use black alone on the eyebrows. Some dark skins will be unsuitable for tattooing.
Does it hurt?
Each person has a different pain threshold, so the treatments will hurt more for some clients and less for others. We do use pain control products to alleviate much of the pain and some clients choose to also take pain relief tablets prior to having a treatment. The final results, however, far outweigh the relatively short period of discomfort and every client says that it is worth it. In the case of a lip treatment, a local anaesthetic is administered by a Dentist so that you feel nothing.
What if I have had cold sores in the past?
If you have a history of cold sores, fever or sun blisters, or any other type of sore on the lips, the trauma and stress of the procedure will cause the sore to reactivate. We recommend a course of Blackmores ‘L-Lysine’ tablets four weeks prior to any Lip procedure – the tablets contain L-Lysine, an Amino Acid, together with Zinc and Vitamin C. From the day of your treatment, double the dose for one week. Avoid nuts, cocoa powder, chocolate, peanut butter, brown rice, oats and other grains as these encourage Herpes. If using Retina-A, you will need to cease using it twelve weeks prior to your treatment.
For best results, ask your Doctor for a Prescription for Zovirax, Famvir, Valtrex or similar tablets – the daily dosage must be 1000mg in total. Clients should start taking the tablets a day before the Lip Treatment, continuing for 4 days. For more detailed information, ask us for our Cold Sore Information Sheet to be mailed or faxed to you.
Do I need to inform the therapist of anything?
There are a few important things that the therapist should be made aware of. This includes pregnancy, medication, any medical problems which may be a contraindication to having a treatment (a doctor’s letter will be necessary) and susceptibility to Keloid scarring on the face. If you suffer from severe allergies, we recommend a patch test of products prior to your treatment. If you have any concerns or are unsure as to whether you may be prevented from undergoing a Cosmetic Tattoo treatment, please don’t hesitate to contact the clinic.
Are there any other important things I should know?
Whilst we do endeavour to match the pigment colour with your request, the particularities of an individual’s skin can sometimes make this difficult. Every client is different and it cannot always be determined how the skin will react to a pigment.
During an Eyeliner treatment or in the days following it is possible for black and blue colours to spread a little under the skin when implanted, giving a hazed, smudged, bruised effect of colour. We do, however, take every precaution, lightly depositing only small amounts of Pigment in that area. Whilst this is an extremely rare occurrence, it is important to be aware that it can happen and is beyond the control of the practitioner. Colour feathering around the Lip line has also occurred with a few clients.
For mature clients who bruise easily, we suggest taking Arnica tablets before Lip and Eyeliner Treatments. If you are a lip client and are on blood thinners, it is recommended that you either ask your doctor if you can go off the tablets to have Lip Tattooing or perhaps re-consider having the treatment. This is because excessive bleeding can mean that the skin will not accept the pigment very well.
The Treatments can be Permanent or Semi-Permanent. In most cases, colour has still been obvious in some skins for over 28 years, meaning that some skins hold the colour more permanently – especially in the eye area – whereas others fade, leaving a lighter residue of colour in the skin. It is recommended that clients have the tattoo ‘refreshed’ about every 17 months to keep the colour vibrant, but this may be needed less often depending on the colour first implanted.
Treatment Care Instructions
Following your treatment, the therapist will advise you on how to care for the area tattooed, and you will receive a detailed
instruction sheet. Most treatments heal within a few days and will have minimal impact upon your ability to work. We call all of our clients approximately two weeks after treatments, and are happy to receive any of your questions.