Frequently Asked Questions
Surgical Scars Camouflage
Q. How is the procedure done?
A. The first step is to select the proper color. Then there is a small test patch done to see if the color takes as anticipated. If, in the follow up visit the test is satisfactory, then the procedure may be completed. You will return in 4-6 weeks for a follow-up visit to determine if additional color is needed to perfect the procedure.
Q. Does this work on all scars?
A. Scars are very tricky to anticipate. Test patches are done to determine how receptive the scar is to the color, and what the final color will be. A scar cannot just be correctly "colored" on the initial visit. Getting it right is a process that will take more than one visit. The only scars that can successfully be camouflaged are scars that are lighter than the surrounding skin tone. Scars that are raised or Keloids, dark red or purple scars, and scars that are less than 9 months old cannot be treated. Some individual skin types are not good candidates for the scar camouflage process. A personalized consultation will determine if this process is indicated for your situation.
Q. How long does a procedure take?
A. For scar camouflage, the initial test patch for color selection can be as short as a 30-minute visit. Often the initial consultation and test patch are performed in one visit. For the actual full scar camouflage procedure, the process may take anywhere from 30 minutes to over an hour depending on the size and nature of the scar.
Q. Is it the same as a tattoo?
A. It is a form of tattoo, although different techniques and pigments are used.
Q. I have a facelift scar and would like it camouflaged. In the future can I receive cosmetic laser treatments?
A. The pigment used in scar camouflage contains Titanium Dioxide. This is an opaque white pigment base that cannot be lasered. It can turn the pigment black. You simply need to inform your laser technician that you have had scar camouflage and they will avoid direct contact between the laser and the scar.
Q. Is the procedure safe?
A. Unlike many technicians that re-use or sterilize (via an autoclave) the various components of their equipment, we use all pre-packaged, sterile and disposable needles and needle casings. With the highly technologically advanced digital implantation system used at Newport Permanent Makeup, we use medical-grade needles that are encased in a special permanent cartridge. This patented cartridge system contains an internal diaphragm that prevents any bodily fluids and airborne contaminants from entering into the system. This ensures that you will receive the safest, most sterile form of cosmetic tattooing available. In addition, all of your procedures are done under Federal OSHA standards that regulate the sterile, safe and healthy practices for prevention of cross-contamination from person to person.
Q. Does it hurt?
A. Usually there is minimal sensitivity and minimal discomfort. A topical anesthesic is available if desired to help numb the area to be treated. Most scars are not pain sensitive. The additional factor to consider is that the ingredients in most topical anesthetics cause a “blanching” effect of the surrounding skin tone due to the constriction of blood vessels during the numbing phase. This can make it more difficult to see the scar and its surrounding border areas. It is favorable to avoid topical anesthetic unless there is major discomfort to the client.
Q. How will I look immediately after the procedure?
A. You may experience minor swelling and redness on procedure day. There is some minor redness, healing and peeling during the first week. Scar tissue is different than healthy skin. The treated sight often looks “angry” and has some minor oozing of natural healing fluid for a few hours. The color will appear too dark and may not look like it matches until the procedure is healed.
Q. When will I see the final result?
A. The final result will be revealed after 7-10 days of healing. You will return in 4-6 weeks for a follow-up visit to determine if the color tone and depth are satisfactory. It is typical to need some small areas of “touch up” at this visit to perfect the results. Scar camouflage is tricky and should be done in increments to ensure a natural blend. Think of the pixels in a digital photo. Pixels are dots of color that, when added together, create a picture that the eye sees as a solid. The same is true when doing successful scar camouflage. A dotted or pixelated technique creates a visual impression of blended color that makes the scar “disappear”. Too solid of a color implantation will just create a scar of a different color. It is important to be conservative when adding color to a scar, therefore several procedures may be necessary to ensure a natural result.
Q. Is it really permanent? How long does it last?
A. Some people may need the color darkened within one to five years after the procedure. This is typically only about $100, since it is merely a recoloring of any areas which have lost color intensity.
Q. What factors affect how long the color lasts?
A. The skill of the technician, the quality of the pigments used, the individual's skin type and how dark the original color is all effect how long it will last. Some lifestyle factors, including sun or tanning bed exposure, the use of exfoliating skin-care products and frequent swimming can cause premature fading of the color.
Q. I am nervous about the fact that it is permanent. How can I know what to expect before I have it done?
A. The test patch ensures a perfect color match before covering the entire scar. You will have an opportunity to review the results before committing to the entire process. A good technician will not proceed unless a favorable result is apparent.
Q. Which technique do you use?
A. The most state-of-the-art technology today is the computerized digital system. We are proud to use the German-engineered Nouveau Contour Intelligent system. This system allows for precision artistry, medical grade sterility and, with the computer “brain”, the settings for the needle speed and depth can be individualized for each person’s skin type and texture. This allows for preservation of the skin’s integrity and minimal to zero chance of scar tissue or other complications often associated with permanent makeup tools or machines.