Of all the procedures available at my London based clinic, eyebrow tattooing is the single most popular procedure. Why? Because the right shaped eyebrows can be an incredible beauty asset. The right shaped brows can balance the rest of the face highlighting your best features and downplaying any flaws.
Apart from the choice of technique when performing eyebrow tattooing, such as hair stroke or powdered, the shape of the brow is very important, for example, having a round brow on a round face will just make the face appear even rounder, an angled brow would be better, or an angled brow with a high arch on a long face will make the face appear much longer, a flatter shape would be much more desirable.
Before any eyebrow tattooing is undertaken, a full consultation is given to discuss the preferred style, shape and colour. The shape of the brow is then drawn on and tweaked until the client is a 100% happy to proceed.
The right colour for the eyebrow tattoo is also very important – it’s not just a question of black or brown, I have several shades of brown from ash to reds; I also have a choice of blacks from soft to hard. But it’s not just about the colour of the pigments I use, skin colour and tone is also taken into the consideration. It’s no good putting a light brow on a dark skin, as it just won’t show; it needs to be a stronger dark brown to black.
Attention also needs to be paid to lighter skin colours as 80% of clients have a blue undertone, so care needs to be taken to ensure the colour used isn’t too cool otherwise the eyebrow tattoo can end up with a blueish tinge. Colours are tested on the skin above the brow in order to ascertain which is the best colour for the skin along with the preferred colour choice of the client; again no tattooing is done until the client is a 100% happy with the choice of colour.
Once the client is happy to go ahead, I will use a topical numbing cream, once the skin blanches (lightens) this indicates that the client is numb, I also use what’s called a secondary anesthetic to keep the client numb during the whole procedure. The client will be kept informed during the procedure and near to the end will be shown the eyebrows in order for any adjustments to be made if needed.
Once the client is delighted with their new eyebrows they will be given an aftercare sheet and a top up appointment for 4 to 6 weeks later, once the eyebrows have totally healed. The second appointment is to go over any areas that may have faded slightly during the healing process; this also strengthens the pigment colour and helps it last longer before needing future top up appointments. With the quality pigments I use and good aftercare it could be years rather than months before a top up is needed.
After having a mastectomy many women choose to have medical tattooing to re-create their nipples and areolas. Medical and artistic skill in the creation of a 3D effect for the nipple and areola can really make a difference to the appearance of the breasts, giving the patient much more confidence in the way they look and feel about themselves.
Pigment is implanted into the skin using a tattoo machine in much the same way as a normal body tattoo; although there are some differences, such as quality medical grade pigments are used instead of tattoo ink. Colour testing will be done to establish the best colour to use for the patient’s skin type and personal preference. Patients will also be required to undergo a patch test, although it is extremely rare to get an allergic reaction to the pigments. Topical and secondary anaesthetic is applied throughout the procedure, which usually makes the whole process painless.
Patients that have a breast lift or reduction can also benefit from areola pigment implants; post surgical scars left around the areola can be ‘merged’ into the areola by pigment infused across the whole areola and continuing into the scar. Misshapen areolas resulting from these surgical procedures can then be corrected to give the breasts a more balanced appearance.
Other scars, including face lift scars, surgical scars or scars resulting from some sort of accident, can also benefit from a scar camouflage procedure. Scars that are paler (hypopigmentation) than the surrounding area and with a smooth texture are ideal for this type of procedure, and it works well for all skin tones and nationalities, although is not recommended as a solution for keloid or hypertrophic scarring.
It’s important that scar camouflage is carried out when the skin is not tanned, otherwise when the tan fades, the pigment will not fade; leaving a noticeable difference between the scar and the healthy skin and likewise, once the scar is camouflaged it’s advisable to keep sun exposure to a minimum.
Hypopigmentation is a “whitening” of the skin due to a loss or decrease in the production of melanin in the skin as mentioned in the scar types above. Hyperpigmentation is the “darkening” of the skin due to an increase of the production of melanin in the skin. A person with hyperpigmented skin would NOT benefit from this treatment.
Vitiligo is a chronic skin disease in which the pigment cells or melanocytes are destroyed, resulting in loss of melanin pigment leaving areas of irregularly shaped white patches on the skin. The precise cause of Vitiligo is complex and not fully understood. There is evidence to suggest that it is caused by a combination of factors; auto-immune, genetic and environmental.
Some individuals may benefit from scar camouflage on these lighter areas, but only if the vitiligo has been in remission for at least one year, as to do the procedure on an unstable site could stimulate the problem, leading to new sites being established in other areas. It’s also inadvisable to camouflage extremely large areas of vitiligo due to the amount of commitment, expense and discomfort. Vitiligo patients will need to undergo a thorough consultation to establish the viability of the treatment.