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MRI safety when one has a tattoo or permanent make is a question considering that the infamous “Dear Abby” letter back in the 1980’s. The patient with permanent eyeliner had an MRI and felt a “warming up” or burning sensation during the MRI procedure. Is it reason for alarm, or perhaps a reason to NOT have an MRI in case you have tattoos?

Magnetic Resonance Imaging was first 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 into the technology that we 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 like eyeliner, eyebrows, lips, eye shadow, and cheek blush are normally carried out in the U.S. and round the world. Other procedures called “para-medical tattooing” are carried out on scars (camouflage) and cancer of the breast survivors who may have had reconstructive surgery with a nipple “graft” that is lacking in color. In this kind of paramedical work, the grafted nipple created by the surgeon is tattooed a natural color to complement 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. Because of a few reports of burning sensations in the tattooed area during an MRI, some medical technicians have questioned whether or not they should perform MRI procedures on patients with permanent cosmetics.

Dr. Frank G. Shellock has conducted laboratory and clinical investigations in 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 such, only two individuals (1.5%) experienced problems associated with MR imaging. One subject reported a sensation of ‘slight tingling’ and the other subject reported a sensation of ‘burning’, both transient by nature. Based upon Dr. Shellock’s research, traditional tattoos caused more difficulties with burning sensations in the area from the tattoo.

It is actually interesting to note that a lot of allergy symptoms to traditional tattoos start to occur when one is in contact with heat, including sun exposure, or time spent in a hot steam room, or jacuzzi tub. Specific ingredients inside the tattoo pigments such as cadmium yellow often cause irritation in some individuals. The result is swelling and itching in a few regions of the tattoo. This usually subsides when being exposed to the warmth source ends. When the swelling continues, then the topical cream can be obtained 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 show up on the results, it is crucial for the medical expert to understand why you have the artifacts. These artifacts are predominantly associated with the presence of pigments which use iron oxide or some other type of dbxujd and occur in the immediate area of the tattoo or permanent makeup. Additionally, the technician may give the patient a cold compress (a wet wash cloth) to use through the MRI procedure in the rare case of the burning sensation within the tattooed area.

In conclusion, it is actually clear to find out that some great benefits of getting an MRI outweigh the slight chance 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. As the procedures connected with permanent makeup become a little more main stream the public gets to be more conscious of the benefits, especially for individuals that are afflicted by illness, disease, injury or scarring. Inside my recent article “Building a Bridge: Plastic Surgery and Micropigmentation” I explored the relationship between plastic surgery and permanent makeup. I would personally now like to discuss how treatment of vitiligo could work included in the solution for a variety of medical conditions.