MRI safety when one has a tattoo or permanent makeup method has become a question because the infamous “Dear Abby” letter back in the 1980’s. An individual with permanent eyeliner had an MRI and felt a “warming up” or burning sensation during the MRI procedure. Is this cause for alarm, or a reason not to have an MRI in case you 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 technique began evolving in 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 called “para-medical tattooing” are performed on scars (camouflage) and breast cancers survivors who have had reconstructive surgery having a nipple “graft” that is lacking in color. In this type of paramedical work, the grafted nipple developed 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 including eyeliner are commonly applied. Due to a few reports of burning sensations within the tattooed area throughout an MRI, some medical technicians have questioned whether or not they should perform MRI procedures on patients with permanent make up.
Dr. Frank G. Shellock has conducted laboratory and clinical investigations in the area of magnetic resonance imaging safety for more than 20 years, and it has addressed the concerns noted above. Research 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’ as well as the other subject reported a sensation of ‘burning’, both transient by nature. According to Dr. Shellock’s research, traditional tattoos caused more problems with burning sensations in the area from the tattoo.
It is interesting to remember that most allergic reactions to traditional tattoos commence to occur when an individual is exposed to heat, such as sun exposure, or time spent in a hot steam room, or jacuzzi tub. Specific ingredients inside the tattoo pigments such as cadmium yellow have a tendency to cause irritation in a few individuals. The effect is swelling and itching in certain regions of the tattoo. This usually subsides when exposure to the warmth source ends. In the event the swelling continues, then the topical cream can be obtained from a physician (usually cortizone cream) to aid relieve the irritation.
Dr. Shellock recommends that those who have permanent makeup procedures should advise their MRI technician. Because “artifacts” can present up on the results, it is necessary for that medical professional to be familiar with why you have the artifacts. These artifacts are predominantly linked to the presence of pigments designed to use iron oxide or any other form of gffuaj and occur 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 make use of during the MRI procedure in the rare case of any burning sensation in the tattooed area.
In summary, it really is clear to find out that the benefits of owning an MRI outweigh the slight possibility of a reaction from permanent makeup or traditional tattooing during the MRI. The art and science of permanent makeup goes by a lot of different names: micropigmentation, permanent cosmetics, derma pigmentation, intradermal cosmetics, dermagraphics and cosmetic tattoos. Because the procedures associated with permanent makeup be a little more main stream the public gets to be more conscious of the advantages, especially for individuals who have problems with illness, disease, injury or scarring. In my recent article “Constructing a Bridge: Cosmetic Plastic Surgery and Micropigmentation” I explored the relationship between cosmetic surgery and permanent makeup. I would now want to discuss how permanent makeup can also work included in the solution for a number of health conditions.