Micropigmentation—sometimes referred to as "permanent make-up"— is a technique in which minute, metabolically inert pigment granules are implanted below the epidermis for cosmetic and/or corrective enhancement. This ancient Asian beautification practice has gained popularity around the world. Micropigmentation is used to enhance facial features like eyebrows, lashes and lips; to improve conditions like scarring and vitiligo (uneven pigmentation); or to reconstruct the nipple/areola breast area.
Typically, two treatments are needed, one or more weeks apart. Needles penetrate the skin a few millimeters, in what is basically a tattooing process.
- No downtime and resumption of most normal activities within 24 hours for majority of patients.
- The pigments used are made from safe, generally non-reactive compounds approved by the FDA.
- The process is relatively quick (for example, an upper and lower lash line takes about 30 to 40 minutes).
- Skin returns to normal by the next day. Swelling or redness is generally mild.
- Mild discomfort during procedure is avoided using topical and/or local anesthesia.
- Good alternative for women with make-up allergies (although procedure is designed to enhance features, not replace make-up altogether).
- Pigments are individually mixed for customized results, and designed to look natural. Results can be seen immediately (although full end result will be seen in about three weeks).
- Permanent procedure. Laser surgery is required to remove pigment.
- Patients must avoid direct sunlight, refrain from applying make-up, and wearing contact lenses for a few days, and avoid swimming for several weeks.
- A small number of patients may experience allergic reaction or infection.
- Scarring is possible due to practitioner error. ASAPS recommends this procedure be performed under medical supervision.
- Pigments may cause interference with cranial MRI scans.
- Needles inserted too deeply in the skin can cause bleeding, spreading of pigments, and damage to hair follicles.
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), is recognized as the world's leading organization devoted entirely to aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine of the face and body. ASAPS is comprised of over 2,600 Plastic Surgeons; Active Members are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (USA) or by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and have extensive training in the complete spectrum of surgical and nonsurgical aesthetic procedures. International Active Members are certified by equivalent boards of their respective countries. All members worldwide adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and must meet stringent membership requirements.
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