Medical Tattooing: How Does it Work?

Medical tattooing is a simple yet incredibly diverse cosmetic medical treatment which can benefit numerous conditions. 

This procedure has an extensive range of uses. Creating the appearance of fuller hair. Camouflaging scars and stretchmarks. Even providing breast cancer survivors with realistic and detailed nipple tattoos. 

The applications all share one key goal: to leave patients feeling more confident in their own skin. 

In this guide, we explore all things medical tattooing, including how it works, what the procedure entails, who the treatment is best suited to, as well as what skin concerns it can help with. 

What is Medical Tattooing? 

Medical tattooing is the process of adding pigment to the skin via needles, and is also known as medical micropigmentation.

It can be used to reduce the appearance of scars, burns and stretch marks, simulate the appearance of hair follicles in those who experience balding or bald spots, and brighten or balance skin tone, It can even create the appearance of nipples on those who have had a mastectomy. 

How does Medical Tattooing work?

Medical tattooing uses a specialised machine filled with tiny needles to deposit droplets of sterile pigment under the top layer of the skin. These pigments are mixed beforehand to match your skin tone. A topical numbing cream is also applied to the area beforehand to ensure any pain is minimal. 

What is MCA Tattooing?

Similar to medical tattooing, we also provide Multitrepannic Collagen Activation (MCA), which is an amazing option for those interested in reducing the appearance of scars or burns. 

Unlike other medical tattooing, MCA involves a dry needle penetrating the top layer of skin. This minor trauma stimulates blood flow and lymphatic fluid to the area. This helps the scar tissue heal and also stimulates collagen, melanin and elastin production which helps to regenerate that area of skin. 

The Safety of Medical Tattooing

Medical tattooing is considered to be a low-risk procedure and we take the utmost care to keep our clients safe. We use high-quality single-use needles that are pre-sterilised to ensure a clean and safe treatment.

If you experience anything that causes you concern after the procedure, you can contact us at our practice for further advice and support. 

The NHS also advises that you check with your GP before medical tattooing to ensure that it won’t interfere with any other planned treatment you may be undergoing or medication you may be taking.

What Conditions is Medical Tattooing Suitable for?

  • Scarring

Medical tattooing can dramatically reduce the appearance of scars. However, it is important to note that scars should be at least one year old before the procedure and be paler than the surrounding skin rather than red, as well as not being sunken or overly puckered. Your medical tattooist can advise you on the suitability of your scars for this treatment. 

  • Fuller Looking Hair

If you are balding, suffer from alopecia, have a receding hairline or have bald spots, medical tattooing can create the appearance of hair follicles on the scalp.

  • Nipple Tattoos After a Mastectomy

Following a mastectomy, a medical nipple tattoo can create the appearance of an areola and nipple. This can represent a significant and empowering final step in a breast cancer recovery journey. We are aware that this can bring up lots of complex emotions for our patients and we make sure to treat the process with great care and sensitivity. 

When To Avoid Medical Tattooing

While medical tattooing can prove to be a successful remedy for a number of conditions, there are some limitations to when it can be administered. These include:

  • Skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis or dermatitis, as flaking skin may not hold the pigment.
  • Chronic acne – as the skin is more prone to potential bleeding and scabbing which can lead to loss of pigment.
  • Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding

What are the Benefits of Medical Tattooing?

Medical tattooing has an array of incredible benefits, from reducing the appearance of scars and stretchmarks to giving you the appearance of fuller hair. Due to all of this, it can give an incredible boost to your self-confidence and level of comfort in your own skin. 

What Aftercare Follows Medical Tattooing?

After receiving your medical tattoo, you will need to keep the area moisturised by applying ointment three times a day or more if you feel it is necessary. We also advise that you do not swim or partake in any activities where you might sweat excessively for two weeks. 

The area should also be kept out of direct sunlight for approximately two weeks. And, in the case of medical tattooing for the scalp, the hair should not be washed for three days. When washing your hair after this three-day period, shampoos with strong chemicals, such as anti-dandruff shampoos, should be avoided as they may reduce the pigment.

You should also avoid scratching, picking or peeling the area as this can result in lost pigment and potentially mild scarring. Instead, if you feel discomfort, it may be helpful to apply another layer of moisturising ointment. 

How Long Does Medical Tattooing Last?

Medical tattoos typically last between 2-4 years, depending on the individual. This makes it a great option for those looking for a permanent solution. While there can be some fading over time, this can be counteracted by having a top-up treatment whenever you feel it is necessary. 

If your tattoo is likely to come into contact with chlorine, such as on holiday You can also extend the length of time between top-ups by caring for the treated area by keeping the area well moisturised and by applying a sheen of petroleum jelly to the treated area when coming into contact with chlorine. Your medical tattooist will give you advice regarding this.

Book Your Medical Tattooing Consultation With Evolve Medical Today

If medical tattooing feels like the right option for you, book a consultation now through our treatment page. For more information, contact us and we’ll be more than happy to answer any queries you have.