MRI safety when one has a tattoo design or permanent makeup method has become a question considering that the infamous “Dear Abby” letter in the 1980’s. A patient with permanent eyeliner had an MRI and felt a “warming up” or burning sensation during the MRI procedure. Is this cause for alarm, or perhaps a reason not to have an MRI for those who 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. In the late 70’s, the process began evolving in to the technology that people use for diagnosing illnesses in medicine today.
People have decorated themselves for hundreds of years 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 referred to as “para-medical tattooing” are carried out on scars (camouflage) and breast cancer survivors who have had reconstructive surgery using a nipple “graft” that is lacking in color. In this type of paramedical work, the grafted nipple created by the surgeon is tattooed an organic 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 normally applied. Due to a few reports of burning sensations inside the tattooed area during an MRI, some medical technicians have questioned if they should perform MRI procedures on patients with permanent makeup.
Dr. Frank G. Shellock has conducted laboratory and clinical investigations in the area of magnetic resonance imaging safety more than two decades, and it 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 related to MR imaging. One subject reported a sensation of ‘slight tingling’ and 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 area in the tattoo.
It is interesting to notice that a lot of allergies to traditional tattoos commence to occur when one is subjected to heat, such as 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 result is swelling and itching in a few parts of the tattoo. This usually subsides when exposure to the heat source ends. In the event the swelling continues, then the topical cream can be acquired coming from a 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 display up on the results, it is necessary for the healthcare professional to understand what is causing the artifacts. These artifacts are predominantly linked to the presence of pigments which use iron oxide or any other kind of gffuaj and occur in the immediate area of the tattoo or permanent makeup. Additionally, the technician can provide the sufferer a cold compress (a wet wash cloth) to use through the MRI procedure within the rare case of a burning sensation within the tattooed area.
In summary, it is clear to find out that some great benefits of getting an MRI outweigh the slight possibility of a reaction from permanent makeup or traditional tattooing through 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. Because the procedures related to permanent makeup become more main stream people becomes more aware of the advantages, particularly for individuals who have problems with illness, disease, injury or scarring. In my recent article “Constructing a Bridge: Cosmetic Surgery and Micropigmentation” I explored the relationship between cosmetic surgery and permanent makeup. I might now prefer to discuss how permanent makeup could work included in the solution for a variety of health conditions.