Permanent makeup

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Permanent makeup is a cosmetic procedure involving the permanent application of tattoo ink into the skin for cosmetic or aesthetic reasons. Permanent makeup alters the appearance of the skin in such a way that scars are concealed. Alternatively, the procedure is done so that a person appears to be wearing cosmetics, such as eyeliner, all the time.
Tattoo ink is injected approximately two millimeters into the skin into the dermis using a very fine needle. On areas of very thin skin, the ink is injected at a more shallow level.
Permanent makeup became more popular in the 1970s and 1980s, as technology to apply tattoo ink over sensitive areas of skin, such as the eyelids, became more popular. Improved technology in the tattoo industry has increased the precision and detail that may be achieved through permanent makeup.
Some individuals choose permanent makeup procedures to avoid the time consuming task of daily application. However, makeup also has a number of medically related applications. For instance, permanent makeup may be used to conceal the scar left by a skin graft or to alter the appearance of the areola after breast surgery to a more "natural" look. Individuals who experience vision or coordination difficulties may choose a permanent makeup procedure to bypass obstacles in the application of cosmetics.
According to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, the ingredients of inks used to create tattoos are under the domain of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The regulations regarding the actual practice of putting ink into the skin for cosmetic purposes are controlled by local and state governments. In the June 28, 2007 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine, it was reported that the FDA has had over 150 adverse events associated with permanent makeup.
The appearance of permanent makeup may change over time. For instance, ink that is injected below the dermis may spread. Additionally, as the contours of the face change with age, permanent makeup may appear out of place. The dyes may also fade with time.

Related Terms

Cosmetic tattooing, dermapigmentation, micropigmentation, permanent cosmetics.