Micropigmentation: A Profile of Treatments
The first micropigmentation treatments were carried out in the U.K. during the early eighties. Since that time the pigmentation methods, the treatments and the equipment have improved immeasurably with the results that the treatments are safe and procedures comply with all the requirements of modern day health and safety legislation.
Permanent Cosmetic Treatments
- Enhancement of the eyes - improvement or creation of eyebrows and eyeliner
- Enhancement of the lips - correction of an uneven shape, outlining or colouring in the lips
- Beauty spots - often requested by clients
Micropigmentation can be very beneficially used in providing paramedical camouflage when a daily application of camouflage make-up would be too time consuming. Also there are some areas where it is impossible for a client to apply appropriate camouflage. For instance, having to cover scars on the back of the legs and other inaccessible places.
The technique can be used with great success to recreate the areola surrounding the nipple on the breast following reconstructive surgery or where the area is very pale and the client wishes for a deeper colour.
Vitiligo (in remission) and certain types of scar tissue may be camouflaged by micropigmentation. It can also be used to "fill in" areas of the scalp where the hair is beginning to thin or to correct receding hairline, or to fill in spaces after a hair transplant.
The final result when covering scar tissue or vitiligo depends to a large extent on the artistic skills of the therapist as well as on their practical techniques. The mixing of colours to provide eyebrows or eyeliner is a fairly straight forward procedure. Treatments to the body require a perfect colour match to merge with the skin tone of the area being treated and may also require the addition of age spots, freckles, moles, thread veins etc. to obtain an effective camouflage.
Dawn Cragg was trained in micropigmentation in 1983 and has years of experience performing treatments in many countries in Europe, Asia and Africa. She has attended congresses and professional development workshops in the USA and elsewhere. As a qualified teacher Dawn has, for over 20 years, used her experience to train other selected therapists in this delicate and creative skill.
In recent years the popularity of the treatment has caused an upsurge in companies offering the equipment, products and training. The nature of the treatments and the skills that have to be mastered can make it difficult for all therapists to develop the high level of proficiency needed. Having the utmost confidence in their chosen therapist is a vital consideration for all clients.
Dawn provides quality training based on her extensive experience of the treatments and on a life time of work as a make-up artist, remedial cosmetician and teacher. She can train her students in all aspects of the work and offers an ongoing service of advice and practical help to those she trains. All her work as a practitioner, a trainer and an equipment supplier are protected by insurance underwritten by AXA-Provincial Insurance Ltd. If required the same cover is available to the therapists she trains.
Is The Procedure Safe?
The answer to this question is YES - providing that the treatment is performed by a thoroughly trained and qualified person.
If the procedure is not conducted in a professional and hygienic manner the following might occur:
- Uneven application - resulting in unevenness of shape and/or colour
- An unnatural or inappropriate colour
- Infection due to inadequate consideration being given to hygiene
Are There Any Risks?
There are always some risks with any form of treatment but these may be minimized or eliminated altogether by the application of the correct procedures.
- A cornial abrasion or burn can happen if anaesthetic gets into and is allowed to remain in the eye. In both cases, immediate hospital treatment is essential
- The eye could be damaged when applying eyeliner but only if treatment is performed in unsuitable surroundings or conditions and without the necessary care
- An allergic reaction is always a possibility but is extremely rare. All clients should be given a test involving the pigments prior to treatment
- Pigments have been known to change colour. This has always been an extremely rare occurrence and in recent years the quality of the pigments and other factors has so improved that there have been significantly fewer occurrences worldwide
When eyebrows or lips are being treated, the client MUST BE SEATED IN AN UPRIGHT POSITION AND NOT LYING ON A TREATMENT COUCH. When the face is in repose most lines, wrinkles etc. "disappear". It is therefore only when the body is in a natural upright position that the correct placement of the pigment can be achieved
Is The Treatment Painful?
Pain thresholds do vary from one person to another. A typical anaesthetic, usually in the form of a cream, is normally offered to clients. - Some will not need it but for others it might help.
What If I Do Not Like The Result?
This is a question that should not and need not arise. It is very important that you be given a thorough consultation and are able to agree with your therapist the colour, the shape and the cost before the treatment is commenced.
For clients who have no eyebrows because of alopecia or excessive plucking there are sets of eyebrow shapes that are rather like stencils. Using these alternative shapes can be tested and painted in so that the client can have an ideal of the final result.
The therapist will always start the treatment using a lighter pigment than that chosen as the final colour. It allows the client to become used to the colour and for it to be darkened to exactly the required shade. This is why two visits will be advised for the complete treatment and included within the fee.