Victoria Ammoscato • Feb 1, 2018
Over the last 5 years there has been a steady increase of fast track training courses within the permanent make up industry. This has led to a higher proportion of clients receiving services that leave them unhappy and requesting correction services.
Within my practice the level of requests for correction of poor work has steadily increased, leading me to constantly improve the techniques I use for removal prior to correction of colour or correction of design.
I also offer a training program in my techniques which enable fellow technicians to improve and expand upon their services.
Firstly I want to discuss what Saline Removal or ‘Lightening’ of pigment is. When a tattoo is carried out, pigment is ideally placed within the upper dermis where it then remains, it is immune to desquamation, the natural exfoliation of the epidermal cells which occurs approximately every 60 days.
Pigment may fade down over a period of time, sometimes to almost nothing but it never simply disappears, it can migrate over a period of time further into the dermis with all forms of tattooing and regardless of the pigment used.
When someone seeks correction of a poorly placed eyebrow tattoo, there are multiple considerations for the technician such as;
- Formulation of placed pigment
- Age of placed pigment
- Level of saturation
- The faded colour
- Scar tissue
- Age and condition of skin
- Ethnicity and phototype of client
These are all considered before the secondary considerations such as;
- Aesthetic appearance of existing pigment placement
- Client expectations
Saline removal or ‘lightening’ is effective when carried out correctly, the right technique is obviously required but a large part of successful treatment depends heavily on the post treatment program for correct healing. The right products used at the right stage of the healing process.
The treatment that I carry out involves a super hypertonic solution being implanted into the area where pigment is present and triggering an osmotic process. Quite simply the higher salt content in the solution than is contained within the body is unable to remain within the tissues and lifts the pigment particles. I have a specific post treatment program that means treatment is succesful and that skin condition is improved.
The older the pigment placed the more difficult it can be to remove or lighten, if it has migrated further within the dermis. Also the pigment formulation used is relevant and will determine your treatment program, whilst saline is effective for all types of pigment any form of removal obviously can work faster when the pigment is designed to fade down (micropigmentation pigments generally have a larger micron size, less concentration of minerals and are more easily broken down by the body) as opposed to be permanent.
The lines have become more and more blurred between products for Body Art tattooing and Cosmetic tattooing over the past few years with technicians searching for longer lasting results at any cost, the result is that more permanent pigments are being utilised for permanent make up and the long term result of this should be carefully considered but this is a seperate discussion that deserves a further blog.
Saline method remains for me the safest option, it doesnt involve acids which can cause further scarring for numerous reasons, it isnt limited to certain colours or requiring expensive laser equipment that in some countries is legal only for specialised Doctors.
Its important to consider that any form of removal is very rarely a 1 step process, often several sessions are required to get the level of saturation to a suitable point where correction of colour or design can be carried out. But very often this process is necessary because the pigment contained within the skin makes it impossible to implant any further colour with success.
Removal should never be considered a magic wand, or a back up plan.
Each treatment for permanent make up or cosmetic tattooing should be carried out with the greatest of care and skill from a technician that holds the ability to do so, but its useful to know that there are options available that are effective and safe in the right hands.