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MRI safety when one has a tattoo or permanent make up is a question considering that the infamous “Dear Abby” letter in the 1980’s. The patient with permanent eyeliner had an MRI and felt a “heating up” or burning sensation during the MRI procedure. Is this reason for alarm, or 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 to the technology that we use for diagnosing illnesses in medicine today.

Women and men have decorated themselves for centuries by way of makeup, jewelry, clothing, and traditional and cosmetic tattooing. Procedures like eyeliner, eyebrows, lips, eye shadow, and cheek blush are generally done in the U.S. and round the world. Other procedures called “para-medical tattooing” are carried out on scars (camouflage) and breast cancers survivors who have had reconstructive surgery using a nipple “graft” which is with a lack of color. In this type of paramedical work, the grafted nipple produced 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 like eyeliner are commonly applied. Because of few reports of burning sensations inside the tattooed area during 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 the field of magnetic resonance imaging safety for over 20 years, and has addressed the concerns noted above. A study was conducted of 135 subjects who underwent MR imaging after having permanent cosmetics applied. Of those, 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. According to Dr. Shellock’s research, traditional tattoos caused more difficulties with burning sensations in the area of the tattoo.

It is actually interesting to notice that most allergic reactions to traditional tattoos commence to occur when one is in contact with heat, including exposure to the sun, or time spent in a hot steam room, or jacuzzi tub. Specific ingredients within the tattoo pigments including cadmium yellow have a tendency to cause irritation in certain individuals. The end result is swelling and itching in a few parts of the tattoo. This usually subsides when being exposed to the heat source ends. If the swelling continues, then a topical cream can be obtained from the physician (usually cortizone cream) to help relieve the irritation.

Dr. Shellock recommends that individuals who have permanent makeup procedures should advise their MRI technician. Because “artifacts” can show up on the results, it is necessary for your medical expert to understand why you have the artifacts. These artifacts are predominantly related to the presence of pigments which use iron oxide or some other type of dbxujd and appear in the immediate part of the tattoo or permanent makeup. Additionally, the technician can give the individual a cold compress (a wet wash cloth) to use throughout the MRI procedure inside the rare case of any burning sensation within the tattooed area.

To conclude, it really is clear to see that the benefits of getting an MRI outweigh the slight chance of a reaction from permanent makeup 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 related to permanent makeup become more main stream people becomes more conscious of the advantages, particularly for individuals who are afflicted by illness, disease, injury or scarring. Inside my recent article “Building a Bridge: Cosmetic Plastic Surgery and Micropigmentation” I explored the connection between plastic surgery and permanent makeup. I might now prefer to discuss how vitiligo make up can also work as part of the solution for a number of health conditions.