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MRI safety when one has a tattoo or permanent makeup procedure is a question because the infamous “Dear Abby” letter back in the 1980’s. The 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 discovered by Felix Block and Edward Purcell in 1946, and both were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1952. Inside the late 70’s, the technique began evolving in to the technology that we use for diagnosing illnesses in medicine today.

People have decorated themselves for thousands of years through makeup, jewelry, clothing, and traditional and cosmetic tattooing. Procedures like eyeliner, eyebrows, lips, eye shadow, and cheek blush are normally done in the U.S. and around the world. Other procedures referred to as “para-medical tattooing” are carried out on scars (camouflage) and cancer of the breast survivors who have had reconstructive surgery having a nipple “graft” that is with a lack of color. In this kind of paramedical work, the grafted nipple created by the surgeon is tattooed an all natural color to match the healthy breast.

Magnetic resonance imaging is routinely performed, particularly for diagnosing head, neck and brain regions where permanent cosmetics including eyeliner are normally applied. Because of a few reports of burning sensations in the tattooed area throughout an MRI, some medical technicians have questioned if 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 more than twenty years, and has addressed the concerns noted above. A report was conducted of 135 subjects who underwent MR imaging after having permanent cosmetics applied. Of these, only two individuals (1.5%) experienced problems connected with MR imaging. One subject reported a sensation of ‘slight tingling’ as well as the other subject reported a sensation of ‘burning’, both transient in nature. Based on Dr. Shellock’s research, traditional tattoos caused more issues with burning sensations in the region from the tattoo.

It really is interesting to note that a lot of allergy symptoms to traditional tattoos commence to occur when a person is subjected to heat, such as exposure to the sun, or time spent in a hot steam room, or jacuzzi tub. Specific ingredients inside the tattoo pigments like cadmium yellow have a tendency to cause irritation in a few individuals. The effect is swelling and itching in a few parts of the tattoo. This usually subsides when contact with the temperature source ends. When the swelling continues, then the topical cream can be found from the physician (usually cortizone cream) to assist relieve the irritation.

Dr. Shellock recommends that anyone who has permanent makeup procedures should advise their MRI technician. Because “artifacts” can show up on the results, it is important for the healthcare professional to understand why you have the artifacts. These artifacts are predominantly related to the presence of pigments that use iron oxide or some other type ccssdw metal and appear in the immediate section of the tattoo or permanent makeup. Additionally, the technician can provide the individual a cold compress (a wet wash cloth) to use through the MRI procedure inside the rare case of a burning sensation within the tattooed area.

In summary, it is clear to see that some great benefits of owning an MRI outweigh the slight probability of a reaction from eyeliner tattoos or traditional tattooing during the MRI. The art and science of permanent makeup goes by many different names: micropigmentation, permanent cosmetics, derma pigmentation, intradermal cosmetics, dermagraphics and cosmetic tattoos. Since the procedures connected with permanent makeup be a little more main stream people grows more mindful of the rewards, especially for individuals who are afflicted by illness, disease, injury or scarring. In my recent article “Constructing a Bridge: Plastic Surgery and Micropigmentation” I explored the connection between cosmetic plastic surgery and permanent makeup. I would now like to discuss how permanent makeup can work within the solution for many different health conditions.