Permanent makeup is a great way to recreate makeup looks and achieve fabulous eyebrows or full lips, but it is also the best way to cover up scars or discoloration. Scarring caused by injury or surgery can lead to discomfort and issues with a person’s self-confidence. Permanent makeup can reduce the visibility of scars of different origins as well as the consequences of conditions such as vitiligo and cancer treatment, and significantly improve the life of anyone struggling with covering up their imperfections with makeup every day, because it’s a long-lasting solution.
Although most clients who seek scar camouflage with permanent makeup have facial scarring, it’s worth noting that micropigmentation can be done almost anywhere on the body. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at all aspects of skin micropigmentation with the purpose of camouflaging different conditions.
What is micropigmentation?
Micropigmentation is a permanent makeup technique that implies injecting pigments by reinserting the microneedle into the area of the skin that is being treated numerous times, until the desired coverage is achieved. Although it is sometimes called cosmetic tattooing, medical or paramedical tattooing, the results of micropigmentation eventually fade as the body breaks down and absorbes the pigments.
It is generally considered non-invasive, safe, with minimal risk of an allergic reaction and little to no downtime, although it does entail some aftercare.
What is scar camouflage through micropigmentation?
Scar camouflage through micropigmentation means the artist injects custom blended pigments into the scar tissue or into the discolored area of the skin so that the color of the damaged area matches the color of the skin surrounding it, making the scar as invisible as possible. They literally color it in. The effectiveness of the treatment depends on the type of scarring to a large extent, but there is bound to be an improvement.
Image source: Instagram @top_scalp_micro
Does the success of treatment depend on scar tissue?
If a scar is light and isn’t raised or sunken in comparison to the rest of the skin, the right pigment shade can give great results and blend seamlessly into the rest of the skin. The so-called hypertrophic scars, which are raised or are darker – reddish or purple – can be diminished, but not completely erased by skin-toned pigments.
Some artists recommend getting the area microneedled before the camouflage so as to achieve maximum results, because microneedling can help give the skin back its original texture.
Who is a candidate for scar micropigmentation?
The general rule is that the scar must be over 6 months old before you consider having it camouflaged through micropigmentation, but some artists refuse to work on scar tissue until at least a year passes from its formation. Also, if the scar is still changing color at a noticable rate, it’s best to wait until it stops.
Otherwise, micropigmentation gives great results diminishing scars of different origins:
- Injury scars
- Surgery scars
- Plastic surgery scars
- Burns (the process also changes the texture of the burnt area; the microneedling makes it softer and thinner)
- Certain types of birthmarks
- Stretch marks
- Age spots
- Cleft palates
- Congenital anomalies
- Hypo pigmentations
Image source: @master.clarahartmann
Who isn’t a candidate for scar micropigmentation?
Certain types of scars aren’t suitable for camouflage. A scar with dark edges can be a sign of Post Inflammatory Hyper-Pigmentation that needs to be managed first.
Skin micropigmenatation is also not done on keloids, spider veins, and hyper-pigmentation.
What are the benefits of scar camouflage?
The physical benefits are obvious; scar micropigmentation can minimize or erase scars, discoloration, burns, stretchmarks, as well as minimize breast scarring after mastectomy. But perhaps the most important change that comes with getting the treatment is psychological. Camouflaging an imperfection can mean liberation, give the person a confidence boost, eliminate a source of stress and discomfort, and contribute to the quality of their life in general.
Scars are often physical reminders of painful experiences and cause emotional trauma, so covering up the scar once and for all can be a part of the healing process.
It also makes the lives of people with facial scars who spend a lot of time every day covering up their scar with regular makeup much easier.
Image source: Instagram @master_phibrowscarolina
How long does the treatment last?
The length of the micropigmentation session is impossible to predict precisely. It depends on the size of the scar, the surface that needs to be treated, but also on the quality of the tissue. Scar tissue is less flexible, so it takes more time and effort to work with. Generally, artists work in 1-hour sessions, and several sessions are required to achieve the best possible results.
Does micropigmentation hurt?
Clients claim that micropigmentation doesn’t exactly hurt, but they do admit it can be a bit uncomfortable. The degree of discomfort you feel depends on the type of scarring. Nerve endings in scar tissue are often destroyed or damaged, which reduces the pain, but topical anesthetics which numb the treated area ensure minimal discomfort.
What is the healing process like?
The healing process after a scar micropigmentation session is quick and easy, under the condition the artist is skilled enough not to damage the skin more than necessary. Usually, all you’ll have to deal with is some scabbing and redness, so there’s no need to put your life on hold.
What's the aftercare like?
The aftercare isn’t too much of a hassle either. All you need to do is refrain from touching, rubbing and scratching the treated area for a few days. Also, avoid excessive sweating for up to a week. If your artist gives you any extra instructions, make sure to follow them. They might include applying an ointment regularly for some time.
The general rule of any permanent makeup procedure is to avoid sunlight for a certain period of time so as not to damage the pigments, but this particularly applies to micropigmentation for scar cover up. Sunlight exposure causes the skin to turn darker, which means the treated area will look lighter in comparison.
How do I choose an artist?
Scar micropigmentation is quite a specialized field. Although most permanent makeup artists are technically qualified to do medical micropigmentation, it’s best to go to an artist who predominantly does this type of work, as it requires a very meticulous technique. If micropigmentation turns out anything short of perfect, it could end up making things worse and highlighting the scar instead of hiding it.
If you’re considering scar micropigmentation, research the artists in your area: scroll through their social media or website and find examples of their work and read reviews if available. Once you have an artist in mind, book a consultation session. Ask as many questions as you want and make sure the artist is certified and experienced.
Image source: Instagram @glambeautyacademy
How much does scar camouflage through micropigmentation cost?
The price of micropigmentation can vary depending on the surface treated, but the general price of a session is around $500. Some artists charge extra for consult sessions and follow up corrections. The price can also depend on the artist. More renowned and experienced artists tend to charge more, but the end result usually justifies the higher price.
Scar micropigmentation is an effective way to cover up or at least minimize the visibility of scars of different origins. By injecting pigments into the tissue, the scar or discolored patch of skin is matched to the skin surrounding it. Scar camouflage of this type is most effective on “flat” scars that are lighter than the rest of the skin, but there’s room for improvement even with red or purple scars. This treatment is also possibly the best way to cover up scalp scars, and has become an integral part of breast reconstruction.
Although achieving maximum results might take some time and quite a bit of money, well-done skin micropigmentation can greatly improve the lives of everyone struggling with self-confidence due to visible scarring.