MRI safety when one has a tattoo or permanent make has been a question since the infamous “Dear Abby” letter in the 1980’s. The patient with permanent eyeliner had an MRI and felt a “heating up” or burning sensation during the MRI procedure. Is it cause of alarm, or perhaps a reason to NOT have an MRI for those who 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. Inside the late 70’s, the technique began evolving in to the technology that we use for diagnosing illnesses in medicine today.
Men and women have decorated themselves for centuries by means of makeup, jewelry, clothing, and traditional and cosmetic tattooing. Procedures such as eyeliner, eyebrows, lips, eye shadow, and cheek blush are commonly done in the U.S. and round the world. Other procedures called “para-medical tattooing” are done on scars (camouflage) and breast cancers survivors who have had reconstructive surgery using a nipple “graft” that is certainly lacking in color. In this sort of paramedical work, the grafted nipple produced by the surgeon is tattooed a natural color to match the healthy breast.
Magnetic resonance imaging is routinely performed, particularly for diagnosing head, neck and brain regions where permanent cosmetics such as eyeliner are normally applied. Because of a few reports of burning sensations in 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 magnetic resonance imaging safety for over 20 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 those, 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 upon Dr. Shellock’s research, traditional tattoos caused more problems with burning sensations in the community of the tattoo.
It is interesting to notice that most allergic reactions to traditional tattoos commence to occur when one is subjected to heat, including sun exposure, or time spent in a hot steam room, or jacuzzi tub. Specific ingredients within the tattoo pigments including cadmium yellow have a tendency to cause irritation in certain individuals. The result is swelling and itching in a few areas of the tattoo. This usually subsides when exposure to the warmth source ends. If the swelling continues, then the topical cream can be obtained from the physician (usually cortizone cream) to help 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 important for your medical expert to understand what is causing the artifacts. These artifacts are predominantly associated with the presence of pigments which use iron oxide or other type of dbxujd and happen 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 utilize throughout the MRI procedure inside the rare case of any burning sensation in the tattooed area.
In conclusion, it is actually clear to see that the advantages of having an MRI outweigh the slight probability of a reaction from permanent makeup or traditional tattooing through 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. As the procedures related to permanent makeup be a little more main stream the public grows more aware of the benefits, especially for individuals who suffer from illness, disease, injury or scarring. Within my recent article “Constructing a Bridge: Cosmetic Surgery and Micropigmentation” I explored the connection between cosmetic surgery and permanent makeup. I might now want to discuss how makeup for vitiligo can also work included in the solution for a variety of health conditions.