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MRI safety when one has a tattoo or permanent makeup treatment has been a question because the infamous “Dear Abby” letter in the 1980’s. A patient with permanent cosmetics had an MRI and felt a “heating up” or burning sensation during the MRI procedure. Is this cause of alarm, or perhaps a reason to NOT have an MRI in case you have tattoos?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging was initially discovered by Felix Block and Edward Purcell in 1946, and both were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1952. Within the late 70’s, the technique began evolving into the technology that we use for diagnosing illnesses in medicine today.

Men and women have decorated themselves for centuries through makeup, jewelry, clothing, and traditional and cosmetic tattooing. Procedures like eyeliner, eyebrows, lips, eye shadow, and cheek blush are normally carried out in the U.S. and round the world. Other procedures known as “para-medical tattooing” are carried out on scars (camouflage) and breast cancers survivors who may have had reconstructive surgery having a nipple “graft” which is with a lack of color. In this sort of paramedical work, the grafted nipple developed by the surgeon is tattooed an all natural color to fit the healthy breast.

Magnetic resonance imaging is routinely performed, particularly for diagnosing head, neck and brain regions where permanent cosmetics such as eyeliner are commonly applied. Because of few reports of burning sensations in the tattooed area during an MRI, some medical technicians have questioned whether or not they should perform MRI procedures on patients with permanent cosmetics.

Dr. Frank G. Shellock has conducted laboratory and clinical investigations in the area of magnetic resonance imaging safety for over twenty years, and contains addressed the concerns noted above. Research was conducted of 135 subjects who underwent MR imaging after having permanent cosmetics applied. Of these, only two individuals (1.5%) experienced problems related to MR imaging. One subject reported a sensation of ‘slight tingling’ and also the other subject reported a sensation of ‘burning’, both transient in nature. Based on Dr. Shellock’s research, traditional tattoos caused more difficulties with burning sensations in the community in the tattoo.

It is interesting to remember that a lot of allergic reactions to traditional tattoos begin to occur when a person is in contact with heat, including sun exposure, or time spent in a hot steam room, or jacuzzi tub. Specific ingredients within the tattoo pigments like cadmium yellow have a tendency to cause irritation in a few individuals. The end result is swelling and itching in some areas of the tattoo. This usually subsides when exposure to the temperature source ends. If the swelling continues, then this topical cream can be obtained from the physician (usually cortizone cream) to help relieve the irritation.

Dr. Shellock recommends that those who have permanent makeup procedures should advise their MRI technician. Because “artifacts” can show up on the results, it is crucial for your medical professional to be familiar with what is causing the artifacts. These artifacts are predominantly associated with the presence of pigments designed to use iron oxide or any other type ccssdw metal and occur in the immediate area of the tattoo or permanent makeup. Additionally, the technician can provide the patient a cold compress (a wet wash cloth) to utilize throughout the MRI procedure in the rare case of the burning sensation in the tattooed area.

In summary, it is clear to find out that some great benefits of having an MRI outweigh the slight possibility of a reaction from eyeliner permanent makeup cost or traditional tattooing during the MRI. The science and art of permanent makeup goes by a lot of different names: micropigmentation, permanent cosmetics, derma pigmentation, intradermal cosmetics, dermagraphics and cosmetic tattoos. Because the procedures associated with permanent makeup become a little more main stream people becomes more conscious of the benefits, particularly for individuals that suffer from illness, disease, injury or scarring. Inside my recent article “Building a Bridge: Cosmetic Plastic Surgery and Micropigmentation” I explored your relationship between cosmetic surgery and permanent makeup. I would personally now like to discuss how permanent makeup can work within the solution for a variety of health conditions.