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. A patient with permanent make up had an MRI and felt a “warming up” or burning sensation during the MRI procedure. Is this cause of alarm, or even a reason not to have an MRI if you have tattoos?
Magnetic Resonance Imaging was first discovered by Felix Block and Edward Purcell in 1946, and both were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1952. In the late 70’s, the technique began evolving in to 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 including eyeliner, eyebrows, lips, eye shadow, and cheek blush are normally completed in the U.S. and round the world. Other procedures known as “para-medical tattooing” are performed on scars (camouflage) and cancer of the breast survivors who have had reconstructive surgery having a nipple “graft” that is certainly lacking in color. In this type of paramedical work, the grafted nipple produced 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 like eyeliner are normally applied. Because of a few reports of burning sensations in the tattooed area throughout an MRI, some medical technicians have questioned whether they should perform MRI procedures on patients with permanent cosmetics.
Dr. Frank G. Shellock has conducted laboratory and clinical investigations in magnetic resonance imaging safety for more than 20 years, and has addressed the concerns noted above. A report was conducted of 135 subjects who underwent MR imaging after you have 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 upon Dr. Shellock’s research, traditional tattoos caused more problems with burning sensations in the community from the tattoo.
It really is interesting to note that most allergy symptoms to traditional tattoos start to occur when one is exposed to heat, including sun exposure, or time spent in a hot steam room, or jacuzzi tub. Specific ingredients within the tattoo pigments including cadmium yellow tend to cause irritation in certain individuals. The result is swelling and itching in certain parts of the tattoo. This usually subsides when exposure to the heat source ends. When the swelling continues, then the topical cream can be obtained from the physician (usually cortizone cream) to assist relieve the irritation.
Dr. Shellock recommends that individuals who have permanent makeup procedures should advise their MRI technician. Because “artifacts” can display up on the results, it is crucial for your medical professional to be familiar with what is causing the artifacts. These artifacts are predominantly related to the presence of pigments which use iron oxide or any other type ccssdw metal and happen in the immediate area of the tattoo or permanent makeup. Additionally, the technician can give the sufferer a cold compress (a wet wash cloth) to make use of during the MRI procedure within the rare case of any burning sensation inside the tattooed area.
In summary, it is clear to see that the benefits of having an MRI outweigh the slight possibility of a reaction from permanent eye makeup before and after or traditional tattooing throughout the MRI. The science and art of permanent makeup goes by many different names: micropigmentation, permanent cosmetics, derma pigmentation, intradermal cosmetics, dermagraphics and cosmetic tattoos. Since the procedures associated with permanent makeup become a little more main stream the public gets to be more aware of the rewards, specifically for individuals that suffer from illness, disease, injury or scarring. Within my recent article “Constructing a Bridge: Cosmetic Plastic Surgery and Micropigmentation” I explored the connection between cosmetic surgery and permanent makeup. I might now want to discuss how permanent makeup could work as part of the solution for many different health conditions.