Semi-permanent makeup, also known as micropigmentation or cosmetic tattooing, is the practice of tattooing areas that people normally apply traditional makeup to (e.g. eyebrows, eyelashes, around the eyes and lips). This is a convenient way for makeup to remain on for several months rather than having to be reapplied daily.
Immediately after application, semi-permanent makeup results may look darker than desired due to colour remaining in the outermost epidermal layers of skin. Colour softens within a few days during the healing process as the upper layers of the epidermis are replaced by new cells.
Despite the practice being around for more than a century, recent developments in pigment technology (e.g. grading) can lead to a more natural look that resembles traditional makeup, especially over time as the body seeks to break down foreign substances in the epidermal layers.
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There are risks involved with all cosmetic procedures, where patients and even staff can be harmed. Accidents can occur due to:
- Inadequate staff training, experience or supervision in the use of specialised equipment, application of drugs or assessing the suitability of patients.
- The mis-matching of patient to procedure. Many procedures are only suitable for certain people or need to be tailored to the patient.
- The use of malfunctioning technology or outdated methods.
- Unusual allergic or other unexpected extreme reactions to cosmetic procedures in some patients.
There are risks with semi-permanent makeup procedures, primarily the risk of infection. If equipment is not thoroughly sterilised, there is a risk of transmitting HIV, Hepatitis B and C, as well as ordinary bacterial and fungal infections. Customers of cosmetic clinics can also be allergic to the makeup dyes, causing rashes, irritations, scabs and swelling.
There can be risks associated with pigments, the methods of application, the specific health reactions of the client and factors relating to the environment. Staff need to have a comprehensive understanding of these risks in order to deliver reliable, consistent, predictable and safe outcomes for their clients.
People should also be aware that removal of semi-permanent makeup, should one change one’s mind, is difficult given the delicate nature of the skin around the eyes. Removal may lead to further complications.
Experts in the field of semi-permanent makeup can provide opinion on:
- Whether the standard of care provided was reasonably competent, particularly about issues of negligence and malpractice.
- Whether a patient was adequately warned about possible side effects and whether an individual’s side effects are more severe than one can reasonably expect in semi-permanent makeup procedures.
- Whether patients were over-promised about the effectiveness or longevity of semi-permanent makeup processes or whether the colours and designs would exactly match what was desired.
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The overall cost of expert opinion depends on the services required. Some of the key factors that affect the cost of advice include:
- The need for a view or inspection of a location
- The quantity of documentary material to be reviewed
- Whether there are reports of other experts to be reviewed and commented on in detail
- Whether there is a need for conferences with the expert either in person or by telephone/Skype