WHAT IS PERMANENT MAKEUP?
Permanent Makeup, or micropigmentation, is a non-surgical procedure. It is cosmetic tattooing of the facial features to enhance color and improve shape. Special colored pigments are implanted into the Dermis (middle layer) of the skin through microscopic injections with an extremely fine needle. Although pigments can be inserted using different types of equipment, Rebecca Giannopoulou uses the most sophisticated micropigmentation equipment, sterile safety needles and mostly biological colors.
Rebecca Giannopoulou has an 18 year career in micro pigmentation and uses only hypoallergenic pigments. You can choose any color you desire, so that it coordinates with your skin tone, hair, eye color and taste. Rebecca’s goal is to create a place where you can feel at home. For this reason, the first consultation is always free, in order for you to talk about your personality, your life style and about the result you have always wanted. Only then will she offer you a custom designed look according to your personal preferences. Be careful with dark colors. It is easier to darken permanent makeup later than to lighten it. So on the first appointment, she will recommend you to choose lighter colors, and darken them on the second appointment. She will only use colors that you have approved, and they will be recorded in your confidential chart for reference at a future appointment.
You are a Candidate of Permanent Makeup If You Have Any of the Following:
- A busy lifestyleand do not have time to apply makeup every day or do not enjoy doing so, and especially if you are too tired to remove it at the end of the day.
- Sports activitiesand want to look fresh while working out, swimming, camping, dancing, or exercising in any way that causes your makeup to run, smudge, or “sweat off”
- Eyebrow hair lossfrom prolonged waxing or tweezing, medical conditions such as Alopecia, or medications such as Chemotherapy for Cancer
- Asymmetrical featuresand want to make uneven areas appear balanced or more equal in size such as eyebrows, borders of the lips, or breast areolas
- Different medical after conditionslike mastectomies, scars from accidents, burns, surgery, or the repair of congenital disorders such as Cleft Palate, e.c.t
- Oily skinand your makeup smears or wears off too quickly and easily
- Cosmetic allergiesand want to look good without irritation if you have sensitive skin or eyes, seasonal allergies, or allergic reactions to conventional makeup
- Poor near visionwithout eyeglasses or contact lenses that makes it difficult to see when applying makeup
- Vision lossfrom eye conditions such as Cataracts or Macular Degeneration and want to wear makeup again
Unsteady hands from muscle weakness, joint pain, or motor skill impairment that makes applying makeup challenging (e.g., Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, stroke survivors)
WHAT IS AREOLA REPIGMENTATION?
Areola Repigmentation is a specialty area of medical tattooing that requires advanced education, training, and experience. These procedures help improve the appearance and self esteem of both women and men who have undergone breast surgery. Areola Repigmentation techniques can “create” an areola after breast reconstruction, minimize the appearance of scars, or restore an areola to a more natural looking color and shape.
How Areola Repigmentation Helps People After Breast Surgery
The areola is part of the human breast in both women and men. It is a circular area of skin around the nipple that is often darker and thicker than the surrounding skin. The areola plays a key role in the aesthetic look of a breast. Since a woman’s self-image can depend on the appearance of her breasts, a missing areola can be psychologically devastating. A woman can survive breast cancer after undergoing a mastectomy, and she can regain her figure with a breast reconstruction. However, she may not feel “complete” without an areola. A woman can become emotionally distressed from a scarred areola as well. A man’s self-esteem can also be lowered by the appearance of his chest and breasts. Areola tattooing provides the “finishing touch” after breast surgery. Patients feel the tattooing process helps them during the last part of their recovery to look complete and feel “whole” and “normal” again.
What Causes Areola Scars?
Surgical procedures on the breast can create a scar if they require an incision at or around the edge of the areola. The scar that is left is called a peri-areolar scar. Some breast surgeries also create a vertical scar from the nipple through the lower portion of the breast that may need to be camouflaged. The following are breast surgical procedures that may create a scar: Breast Augmentation or Enlargement (Augmentation Mammoplasty); Breast Reduction (Reduction Mammoplasty); Breast Lift (Mastopexy); and Male Breast Reduction (Gynecomastia).
Post-Surgical Areola micropigmentation techniques
- Areola-Nipple Complex Simulation: This procedure is for patients who have had breast reconstruction after a mastectomy or lumpectomy. Cosmetic tattooing techniques and color pigments are used to create the appearance of an areola. For a unilateral mastectomy patient, this process helps the reconstructed breast to match the natural breast. For patients with bilateral breast reconstruction, both areolas are recreated. Areola complex simulation can be achieved with or without a nipple button created by the surgeon.
- Areola Scar Camouflage: Many breast operations require one or more incisions at or around the edge of the areola which may produce scarring. The most common peri-areolar scars are from breast augmentation or reduction surgeries. A scar’s appearance can be softened, blended, or reduced by tattooing the areola scar using corrective pigment camouflage techniques.
- Areola Size or Color Adjustment: The color of an areola can be darkened, balanced, or enhanced with tattooing. The process helps women who have discolored or lightened areolas after breastfeeding or patients who have had areola graft surgery.
Patients with skin discoloration disorders (e.g. Vitiligo) can also benefit from areola tattooing. Also, individuals who have not had breast surgery but are self-conscious about their areola color or size (too light or too small) may choose this procedure to adjust their appearance.
Waiting and Preparing For Your Procedure
Areola simulation or scar camouflage can be performed when your physician approves it. Scar camouflage can usually be performed as soon as 6 months after surgery, but you should first ask your physician. Once you have been cleared for areola tattooing, you can schedule your consultation with Rebecca. During your consultation, she will discuss your concerns and recommend a treatment plan that she feels will provide optimum results. She will also provide you with specific guidelines to prepare for your procedure.
On your first appointment
Rebecca has a complete assortment of hypo-allergenic areola pigment colors. She will work with you to select a colors that look the most natural for you. For scar camouflage or unilateral areola recreation, the first appointment is a color test. The patient will have an areola recreation, or scar camouflage after the first procedure, but it will need more appointments to achieve the perfect color and design. A patient’s skin tone and body chemistry will affect the healed color of their tattooed areas. Therefore, the first apointment is the safest way to determine the formula for the closest color match to an existing areola. 4 to 6 weeks later, on the second appointment, the color is ajusted. You should also keep in mind that a simulated or scarred areola will probably need more than two tattooing sessions to achieve the best looking result.
After Your Procedure
You will need to follow specific steps for one week after each areola tattooing session. Rebecca will give you detailed instructions. Although you will not need to take time off from work, you should keep your recovery period and after care in mind when scheduling your procedure appointments around work, social, or travel plans.
WHAT IS SCAR COLOR AND SKIN CAMOUFLAGE?
How People Can Benefit from Camouflage Tattooing
Psychological studies have shown that self confidence increases when a person’s appearance and body image is improved. This can be achieved with medical corrective tattooing. Skin color loss can occur from medical procedures, trauma from burns or accidents, congenital anomalies, or different types of skin diseases. Medical treatments and surgical procedures will correct or improve the appearance of many types of scars and skin abnormalities. However, some patients still need the skin color of the treated area to be “corrected” so it appears more natural.
What is Skin Camouflage or Scar Camouflage?
Skin or scar camouflage is tattooing the skin with different colors of flesh tone pigments, nor with a design adjusted in order to disguise a scar or skin area that is missing pigment or color. It is a specialized area of permanent cosmetics that falls under the category of Medical or Paramedical Tattooing. The science behind pigments and the physiology of human skin and tissue must be understood by the specialist performing these procedures. These procedures require advanced knowledge, training, skills, and experience in permanent cosmetics as well as an artistic eye for color and skin tones.
Are You a Candidate for Skin Color Repigmentation?
Even if you have a scar or skin abnormality, you may not be candidate for skin repigmentation.
You might be a candidate if you meet the criteria below.
Your scar should be:
- Healed and no longer pink or changing color: Your scar should be at least 9 to 12 months old with stable color. If it is red or pink or still changing color, the tissue may still be healing. A reputable, experienced medical tattooist will not work prematurely on scar tissue because it may cause further damage to the skin. Rebecca will only see you if you have the approval of your physician.
- Smooth and relatively flat: Camouflage tattooing cannot disguise or correct extreme changes in skin texture. If your scar or skin area is bumpy or raised, the process may not be effective. If you have any skin surface irregularity, please consult with a Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon first to see if any type of medical treatments can first improve the skin texture.
- Without dark edges: Dark edges or borders around a scar indicate Post Inflammatory Hyper-pigmentation (PIHP) from the initial trauma or surgery. It is possible that the camouflage tattooing process may increase the hyper-pigmentation and create a wider, darker border. The risk of this happening is usually greater with darker skin tones. Again, you will have to ask your physician before consulting with Rebecca
- YOU ARE NOT A CANDIDATE FOR one of the following: Port Wine birthmarks; spider veins; freckles; age spots; under eye circles; hyper-pigmentation; or unstable Vitiligo (not in remission). These can be improved with non-tattoo medical treatments such as lasers, sclerotherapy, or chemical Please consult with a physician regarding the best course of treatment for these conditions.
You might be a candidate if you also meet the criteria below.
- Have realistic expectations: Camouflage tattooing will not completely restore skin to the way it looked before it was injured. The process will not “erase” a scar or skin abnormality so it appears completely gone and the area looks “perfect” again. It improves color differences to help disguise the scar or anomaly and make it less noticeable to other people. It remains an optical illusion.
- Not spend time tanning: A scar camouflage tattoo will never be a “perfect” match to the surrounding skin color. This is due to the constant changes in skin tones from blood flow, body temperature, and tanning. The pigment in the tattoo will not darken if it is exposed to sunlight or tanning booths, so the tattoo may appear lighter if the surrounding skin tans. When the tattoo color matches tanned skin, it may appear darker once the surrounding tanned skin fades. Therefore, if you spend time outdoors, you will need to adjust your lifestyle or decide to match the tattoo to “winter” or “summer” skin and live with the changes in between.
- Not expect results in one session: Camouflage repigmentation is a process, not a one-time “cure”. It is performed on “unhealthy” skin that has been damaged or altered. Its response cannot be predicted. A scar or Vitiligo patch may have areas that absorb pigment, reject it, or both. The area will look dark and red immediately after a tattooing session, and then it takes several weeks to show the healed color (or not). This requires time and patience.
Before Your Camouflage Procedure
The first step is to obtain a clearance from your physician. Then you can make an appointment with Rebecca for a consultation. At the consultation she will determine if you are a candidate for scar camouflage tattooing and discuss your options. If you are a candidate, the next step will be to set an appointment for a “Spot Color Test”.
What is a Spot Color or Patch Test?
Scar and skin color camouflage is an unpredictable process. Therefore, a spot color test is the starting point for determining an appropriate combination of pigments to match the skin. In all cosmetic tattooing, including permanent makeup, the final healed color looks very different from when the pigment was initially implanted. The healed result equals the pigment color formula that was inserted under the skin plus the patient’s skin color and tones. The healed spot will indicate if that same formula can be used for the first tattooing session or if it will need to be modified.
At your spot color test appointment, Rebecca will analyze your skin tones. She will mix several combinations of pigments to determine what appears to be a good match. She will then tattoo at least one spot about the size of a pea using at least one “formula.” All pigments that have been used will be recorded in your chart for future reference. Although the tattooing process is brief, the mixing process can be very time consuming so you should allow at least one hour for this appointment. When finished, you must wait 4 to 8 weeks to see how the healed color will look. Your tattooing sessions can then begin after healing and color stabilization of the spot tattoo.
Corrective Camouflage Tattoo Sessions
Once the spot test has healed and the color stabilizes, the damaged skin can be tattooed. As an artist, Rebecca has a sharp eye for colors. If she determines that the spot formula should be adjusted, she can do so at that time. She believes that cosmetic tattooing is a “partnership” with her patients because it is a multi-step process. Therefore, she will freely ask your opinion about colors and results as she works. The results after the first tattooing session may be very good. However, due to the “unpredictable” nature of most scars and skin abnormalities, a second, third, or even fourth session may be necessary for the best outcome. Fortunately, the color formula or technique can be modified at each session to improve results. Sessions should be scheduled approximately 6 to 8 weeks apart to allow for complete healing and color stabilization.