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Setting Expectations: Medical Tattooing, Micro Needling, & Scar Camouflage

Prospective clients often call or write me to ask if I can help reduce the appearance of a scar.  The answer is a definite “yes”, I can help. But there’s a lot more to it than that.  It’s important to understand what can and can’t be done, and to have the proper expectations from the beginning. Here’s what you should know about scar camouflaging and scar relaxation. Which technique is right for me? The most common scars I’m asked to improve are facial scars, whether from injury or surgery, and scars on the breast typically resulting from breast augmentation, breast reduction, or mastectomy.  Areola tattooing is done carefully and artistically to give the areola a realistic three dimensional appearance. Another common request is to improve the appearance of an incomplete or improper body tattoo removal. I can improve the appearance of scars just about anywhere on the body. I offer scar relaxation, and a form of medical tattooing called scar camouflage. If you look very closely, our skin is not all one uniform color – it’s a mixture of colors. I use a technique called pixilation, which uses a blend of colors to more closely match the skin’s natural color patterns. Scar relaxation is accomplished using a technique called micro needling, also known as Collagen Induction Therapy (CIT). Micro needling creates microscopic punctures in the scar tissue. This stimulates collagen production and helps blood capillaries reach the surface.  The result is improved skin tone (color), smoothed texture and a reduction of the three-dimensional appearance of the scar. Scar camouflage is similar to scar relaxation except that I add pigments matched to your particular skin to make the scar color blend with the surrounding skin. I also use specialized techniques to further mask the scar’s appearance.  For example, normal skin viewed very closely is not all one uniform color, so I use pointillism to create the appearance of a more natural mix of tones naturally occurring in the skin. What to expect: Although micro needling and scar camouflage can reduce the appearance of your scar, it’s important to understand that scars are long-lasting and no scar will ever be completely invisible.  Every scar is different: body location, size, shape, color, appearance of depth, and so on. Some scars require only a single treatment, others take multiple treatments. Results are cumulative and may take four to six weeks to fully develop. If you’ve had your scar for a while, you may have noticed that it doesn’t tan the same way the rest of your skin does.  That’s a natural characteristic of scar tissue, and is not something I can change. However, the scar should be less visible as a result of my procedures. Unlike harsher colored body tattoos, the skin tone micro-pigments I use are safe and effective but do fade over a number of years, and will need to be touched up over time to maintain their appearance. Medical tattooing can successfully improve the appearance of modest-sized scars that cut through eyebrows or the hair on your scalp. It may not be the best option for scars that have left larger areas without hair, such as those that may be left by major surgery, because of the need to periodically go back and re-pigment large areas as hair color changes over time. If you’d like me to help with your scar, typically I’d start with a one-hour appointment or a 30-minute consultation. Pricing and additional information may vary. If you want to email or text me a photo, I can take a look and let you know what I think, but I can’t be as definitive as if I see it in person. Request an appointment by simply calling 954-774-5087.    
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