MRI safety when one has tattoo eyeliner gone wrong has been a question since the infamous “Dear Abby” letter during the 1980’s. An individual 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 never have an MRI if 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 process began evolving in to the technology that we use for diagnosing illnesses in medicine today.
Women and men have decorated themselves for thousands of years through makeup, jewelry, clothing, and traditional and cosmetic tattooing. Procedures including eyeliner, eyebrows, lips, eye shadow, and cheek blush are commonly completed in the U.S. and round the world. Other procedures referred to as “para-medical tattooing” are carried out on scars (camouflage) and breast cancers survivors who may have had reconstructive surgery using a nipple “graft” that is lacking in color. In this sort of paramedical work, the grafted nipple developed by the surgeon is tattooed an organic color to complement 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 a few reports of burning sensations inside the tattooed area throughout 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 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 you have permanent cosmetics applied. Of such, 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 general. Based on Dr. Shellock’s research, traditional tattoos caused more problems with burning sensations in the area in the tattoo.
It really is interesting to notice that a lot of allergic reactions to traditional tattoos commence to occur when one is subjected to heat, including exposure to the sun, or time spent in a hot steam room, or jacuzzi tub. Specific ingredients in the tattoo pigments such as cadmium yellow tend to cause irritation in certain individuals. The result is swelling and itching in jjsegy parts of the tattoo. This usually subsides when exposure to the temperature source ends. If the swelling continues, then a topical cream can be obtained coming from a physician (usually cortizone cream) to help relieve the irritation.
Dr. Shellock recommends that anyone who has permanent make up should advise their MRI technician. Because “artifacts” can present up on the results, it is necessary for the healthcare 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 some other kind of metal and appear in the immediate section of the tattoo or permanent makeup. Additionally, the technician can provide the individual a cold compress (a wet wash cloth) to make use of during the MRI procedure inside the rare case of the burning sensation in the tattooed area.
In summary, it is clear to find out that the advantages of having an MRI outweigh the slight chance of a reaction from permanent makeup or traditional tattooing through the MRI. The art and science 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 the public becomes more aware of the advantages, especially for people who suffer from illness, disease, injury or scarring. Inside my recent article “Constructing a Bridge: Cosmetic Plastic Surgery and Micropigmentation” I explored the connection between cosmetic plastic surgery and permanent makeup. I would now prefer to discuss how permanent makeup can work as part of the solution for many different medical ailments.