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MRI safety when one has a tattoo or permanent makeup procedure has been a question since the infamous “Dear Abby” letter in the 1980’s. A patient with permanent cosmetics had an MRI and felt a “warming up” or burning sensation during the MRI procedure. Is this cause of 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. Within the late 70’s, the technique began evolving to the technology that people use for diagnosing illnesses in medicine today.

Men and women have decorated themselves for thousands of years by way of makeup, jewelry, clothing, and traditional and cosmetic tattooing. Procedures including eyeliner, eyebrows, lips, eye shadow, and cheek blush are generally carried out in the U.S. and around the world. Other procedures known as “para-medical tattooing” are carried out on scars (camouflage) and breast cancers survivors who have had reconstructive surgery having a nipple “graft” which is lacking in color. In this sort 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 such as eyeliner are generally applied. Because of 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 cosmetics.

Dr. Frank G. Shellock has conducted laboratory and clinical investigations in the field of magnetic resonance imaging safety for over twenty years, and it has addressed the concerns noted above. A study was conducted of 135 subjects who underwent MR imaging after you have 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 also the other subject reported a sensation of ‘burning’, both transient in general. Based on Dr. Shellock’s research, traditional tattoos caused more problems with burning sensations in the region in the tattoo.

It is actually interesting to remember that many allergy symptoms to traditional tattoos commence to occur when a person is exposed to heat, including exposure to the sun, or time spent in a hot steam room, or jacuzzi tub. Specific ingredients inside the tattoo pigments like cadmium yellow tend to cause irritation in some individuals. The result is swelling and itching in a few regions of the tattoo. This usually subsides when exposure to the warmth source ends. When the swelling continues, then a topical cream can be acquired coming from a physician (usually cortizone cream) to aid 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 necessary for your healthcare professional to be familiar with what is causing the artifacts. These artifacts are predominantly linked to the presence of pigments which use iron oxide or any other type ccssdw metal and happen in the immediate part of the tattoo or permanent makeup. Additionally, the technician can provide the patient a cold compress (a wet wash cloth) to utilize during the MRI procedure in the rare case of the burning sensation within the tattooed area.

In conclusion, it is actually clear to view that the benefits of having an MRI outweigh the slight chance of a reaction from permanent eyeshadow tattoo or traditional tattooing during 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 connected with permanent makeup become more main stream the general public becomes more mindful of the benefits, particularly for individuals who suffer from illness, disease, injury or scarring. Inside my recent article “Building a Bridge: Plastic Surgery and Micropigmentation” I explored your relationship between cosmetic plastic surgery and permanent makeup. I might now prefer to discuss how permanent makeup could work within the solution for a variety of medical conditions.