Cosmetic Tattoos – Are they Safe?

Most girls would like to wake up in the morning looking as fresh and pretty as they did before they went to bed (yeah, not everyone’s a super model.) And as much as we hate to admit, we all spend so much time checking our selves out in the mirror, we often get late to appointments. Wouldn’t it be so liberating(no to mention less time consuming) to wake up one morning, take a shower, put on clothes, comb your hair and just run off to work? That’s what you’ll get from cosmetic tattoos  or permanent make up, or so they say.

Permanent make up is rapidly becoming a trend in the health and beauty industry, as it has acquired a following, not only from celebrities but even among women (and men) working in different type of industries.

What are  examples of cosmetic tattoos?

Klant na 2de behandeling met permanente make-u...
Can you tell if it’s a tattoo or not?(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The most common examples of cosmetic tattoos are added moles and those done to permanently enhance the color and outlines of skins of the face, lips, eyebrows and eyelids. Some women would go for it to save time because they wouldn’t need to put their make ups on (Ok, I’m kidding), but contrary to what is popularly known, cosmetic tattoos are not always about vanity. Eyebrow tattooing is also recommended for those who have lost them as a result of old age and diseases. Tattoos are done to minimize and disguise discolorations caused by scars and skin conditions. It is also use to reconstruct or enhance the breast’s areola after going through breast surgery.

How is it done?

Just like how regular tattoos are done,  cosmetic tattooing involves changing the skin’s pigment by the inserting indelible ink into the dermis layer of the skin with the use of a needle.

Ouch Factor

Anesthesia will harden the skin, making it harder for the ink to penetrate but most cosmetic surgery specialists would use numbing creams to minimize the pain. Normally, the pain depends on the amount of fat located on the area being tattooed. More fat means more tissue to negate the pain of needles driving ink into your skin. The more nerve ending, the more it will hurt. The lips and the eyebrows are said to be one of the most sensitive, so be prepared. If you’re skinny and if you have your eyebrows done, it would probably hurt much.

Everyone, though, have different thresholds for pain – what may be painful for one person may not be painful to other people; some people can handle pain and some can’t.

What are the possible risks?

  • Unsanitary equipments and needles can transmit infectious diseases, such as HIV, hepatitis, and skin infections caused bacteria. Contracting infections will prevent you from donating blood for the first 12 months after having the tattoo done. To avoid such, have the procedure done at a facility that complies to government regulations for tattoos to ensure that the staff is  medically certified and skilled.
  • Allergies to pigments can be hard to deal with because pigments are hard to remove. Fortunately, reports of allergic reaction to pigments have been rare.
  • Keloids are scars that grow beyond normal boundaries you and if you are prone to having  such , cosmetic tattoo may not be the best option for you.
  • Granulomas are nodules that may form around a material that the body perceives as foreign, such as the tattoo pigment.
  • There were rare reports of people with tattoos or permanent makeup who have experienced swelling or burning in the affected areas when they’ve undergone magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Some reports also indicate that pigment used for tattooing may interfere with the image quality of the MRI, specifically  of those who have had permanent eyeliners tattooed. This doesn’t mean though that you shouldn’t undergo MRI.  Instead of avoiding an MRI, individuals who have tattoos or permanent makeup should inform the radiologist or technician.
  • Tattoos are difficult and expensive to remove despite the advances of laser technology. Keloids will be more difficult to remove.

Be as healthy as soon as possible before you get a tattoo. If you are sick, the healing process may be slower. Avoid drinking alcohol as alcohol in your bloodstream  tends to increase bleeding. Eat and drink so  you don’t get easily weak and you don’t get dehydrated. Delicate skin and sensitive areas may redden and swell. Allot resting time of a few hours after the procedure. Ask your doctor for supplements such as fish oil, ginseng or ginko if you bleed and bruise easily.

And most importantly, think before you ink.

Web Sources:

http://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/productandingredientsafety/productinformation/ucm108530.htm

http://www.webmd.com/healthy-beauty/news/20040709/fda-issues-alert-on-tattooed-permanent-makeup

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permanent_makeup

http://poundedink.com/how-much-do-tattoos-hurt/

http://www.drnumb.ph/cosmetic-tattooing

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-eyebrow-embroidery.htm

http://www.cosmetictattooartist.com/pre-procedure.html

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