rebecca fisher micropigmentation and medical tattoo artist

feel great, inside and out

frequently asked questions

Q: Does Micropigmentation hurt?

A: People often ask whether micropigmenation will hurt.  It’s important to remember that pain is an individual experience that varies from person to person, so some people feel it more than others.

To make the procedure as pain-free as possible, topical anaesthetic pre-numbing cream (containing 5% lidocaine) is applied to the surface of the skin.  It is left anywhere between 8 and 35 minutes - depending on where on the body the procedure is being performed and depending on whether a person is on medication or not.  This starts the numbing process.

Once the skin has been broken, we use another anaesthetic on the area which provides further numbing.  This is a quick acting gel that further relieves pain and/or swelling and can contain bleeding if there is any. It has 5% Lidocaine hydrochloride, 2% Tetracaine and 0.02% Epinephrine.

Some people receiving scar camouflage micropigmentation don’t require any anaesthetic at all as they are able to tolerate the needle intrusion into the skin because the scarred area has already been de-sensitised.

Some women experience more pain during a procedure when they are having a period.

Q: How long does the procedure take?

A: Including the consultation you should allow approximately 2 hours for a micropigmentation procedure.  If more time is required, another appointment will be scheduled because there is a window of time for the effectiveness of topical anaesthetics.

Q: What will the colour look like?

A: We select pigment colours to work with your skin tone, your hair and eye colour are also taken into consideration.  Patch testing on the skin near the site to be tattooed helps to obtain the best colour(s) to be used.  Patch testing simply involves placing a small amount of pigment on the surface of the skin, it is not necessarily implanted into the skin.  We implant pigment into the skin when attempting to colour match an existing nipple/areola to determine a true colour in 4 weeks time. It is important to patch test because the colour as seen in the bottle may appear different once it is injected under the skin and the action of light and specific skin tone act upon it.

If you later decide a different colour is required, it can be lightened, darkened, or even changed.

Q: Does it fade and how long does it last

A: Yes this is a semi-permanent procedure, the ingredients in the pigments are natural and will eventually be absorbed over time by the body. But how much the pigment fades varies from individual to individual.  Factors such as medication, lifestyle, skin characteristics, skin undertones, alcohol intake, smoking, general stress, a compromised immune system (eg diabeties), diet and attention to pre and post care treatment all effect the retention of the pigment in the skin. Colours always appear darker initially then fade to a lighter colour through the healing process and time.

A followup visit is required 4-6 weeks after the first treatment, procedures for skin and scar camouflage may require multiple treatments.  Because the pigments used are natural and inorganic, the body will eventually absorb the minerals in them, so the tattoo can last anywhere from 8 months to 2 years.  Some cosmetic enhancements, depending on the person, may not need maintenance for up to 5 years if at all.

Q: What if I don’t like my cosmetic tattoo?

A: There is flexibility with this procedure.  You can change the colour and/or shape to some degree.  Initially colours will appear darker directly after the procedure but will soften and lighten during the healing process.  You can normally see a 20% fade by day 5. The healing time is different for each individual and procedure. But there should be at least 4 weeks between each procedure.  You should not go in to make changes until at least 4 weeks has passed from the first treatment.

Q: Can you remove a micropigmentation procedure?

A: During the first treatment, using a “less is more” approach is best because if you have used a lighter colour a darker colour can always be used on a follow-up visit rather than vice versa, although it is possible to come in with a lighter colour over a darker colour using a colour corrector and the use of flesh or camo/skin tone pigments.  The shape can also be changed at a follow-up visit.  Remember this is a semi-permanent procedure so over time the body will eventually absorb the natural minerals in the pigments, especially if the follow-up treatment 4-6 weeks later does not take place.

Q: Are the pigments used safe?

A: The Nouveau Contour and Biotouch range of pigments used meet the highest and safest criteria for use on the face and body. They are fully regulated meeting international standards (ISO) and have been rigorously tested with microbiological harmlessness confirmed.  All ingredients also exceed the safety requirements of the European and American Cosmetics guidelines.

Q: What are the ingredients in the pigments?

A: The pigments contain cosmetic colourants containing natural inorganic minerals (so that’s minerals ground  down from rocks) water, glycerine and isopropol alcohol.

Q: Who can benefit from cosmetic and medical tattooing?

A: Cosmetic and medical tattooing helps all sorts of people, anyone who wishes to boost their confidence and/or self-esteem by changing their appearance.  Whether it is from trauma, accident, disease, cancer, hereditary conditions or aging.

When people are unable to wear cosmetics due to allergy or skin sensitivity, micropigmentation can help.  Or if you simply have a busy lifestyle or are very active and don’t want to worry about your cosmetics sweating or washing off.

Micropigmentation can also help those who suffer from vision impairment or those who have sustained a loss of motor skills from accident, aging, disease or chemotherapy.

Q: How safe is it?

A: Safety always comes first. Rebecca adheres to strict hygiene practices at all times and is certified in hygiene protocol. Micropigmentation is a tattooing procedure that deals with broken skin, the following guidelines are observed to ensure a bacteria free environment where cross contamination can’t occur:

  • All Needles are single use and sterile, a new needle for a new client and each procedure.
  • Used needles are disposed of in sharps containers.
  • Pigment is never re-used, it is always disposed of at the end of a treatment session.
  • Single use disposable pigment cups are used and disposed of at the end of a treatment session.
  • Distilled water is used to water down pigment if required.
  • Machinery, the bed and tools are all sterilized after every treatment and every client.
  • Disposal equipment and tools are disposed of in a sanitary manner.
  • Other equipment and supplies are kept in a clean and sanitary manner.
  • Personal protection clothing is worn and disposed of at the end of a treatment, eg gloves, mask, apron, eyewear, hairnet.
  • Clean disposable bed sheets and supplies are used for each patient and each treatment.
  • The treatment room is in an area free from other contaminants.
  • Protective disposable film is placed over the tattoo machine, lights, bed button controls, chair controls and draw handles to prevent contamination and disposed of at the end of each treatment.

Q: Can I donate blood after a micropigmentation procedure?

A: Yes but The New Zealand Blood Service requires you wait at least 6 months.

Q: I have been receiving Retin A preparations

A: You just need to avoid these treatments 1 month before and 1 month after the micropigmentation procedure.

Q: I have had shingles

A: If you have had shingles it is still possible to have micropigmention as long as the area to be tattooed is not in the region of the shingles.  But you should wait at least 6 months post the condition before having a cosmetic enhancement.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid prior to a micropigmentation procedure?

A: Yes. It is a good idea to avoid alcohol for at least 2 days prior, as this can affect the uptake or retention of the pigment as well as cause the blood to thin and potentially cause excessive bleeding during a procedure.  It is also advisable to avoid aspirin and Ibuprofen at least 2 days prior to a procedure as these are blood thinners and could also potentially cause excessive bleeding.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid after a micropigmentation procedure?

A: Yes. Try to avoid makeup/cosmetics and moisturisers for two weeks post procedure on the area if on the face. Prolonged exposure to water, chlorine/pools/spas and the sun as well as excessive perspiration should be limited for up to two weeks following the infusion process.

Q: Can I go back to the gym after I have had a micropigmentation?

A: Yes.  You can resume your normal daily activities but excessive perspiration should be limited for up to two weeks post treatment.

Q: Are there any reasons why I can’t  have a micropigmentation procedure?

A: It is not advisable to have micropigmentation if you have: Epilepsy (although it is acceptable with your doctors consent), Lupus, Hepatitis B and C, are pregnant or breastfeeding (although you can express milk, but a doctors consent should be obtained first).

A person who has cataracts should not have any eye micropigmentation procedures performed.  And it is not advisable to tattoo directly onto any areas where psoriasis or varicose veins are present.  Tattooing near the sight of gortex implants should be avoided.

Q: Smoking

A: Smoking causes poor pigment retention and can cause excessive bleeding during a tattooing procedure.

Q: I have been on the drug Acutane – can I have micropigmentation?

A: Clients who have been on this drug should wait at least 6 months before having micropigmentation because Acutane makes the skin very thin and fragile, this is not ideal skin for tattooing.

Q: I have been using AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) treatments – can I have micropigmentation?

A: We advise clients to stop using these products two weeks prior and two weeks after a micropigmenation procedure because the thinning agent in these product could cause stinging and excessive fading of the tattoo pigment.

Q: I have vitiligo – can micropigmentation help me?

A: Micropigmenation can help vitiligo, however it is important that you get your doctor to diagnosis the status of your vitiligo.  Micropigmentation should only be used where your vitiligo has been confirmed as dormant or in remission for at least 1 year by your health practitioner.  If the areas to be treated are large and widespread, the client needs to consider the time, discomfort, cost and commitment required.

Q: I have had a facelift

A: The waiting time for a semi-permanent cosmetic enhancement is 3 months from the time of the facelift surgery.  All incisions/scars should be completely healed with no signs bruising and with the swelling completely subsided.

Q: I get the herpes virus on my lips

A: You can have a lip enhancement, however it is a requirement that you take preventative measures by using medication prior to and after your cosmetic enhancement.

Q: I have had laser eye surgery

A: It is recommended that you wait at least 8-12 weeks after your surgery before having a cosmetic eye enhancement.

Q: I like to use a sunbed for tanning

A: If you do use a sunbed it is best not to commence a cosmetic enhancement for 10-14 days after the last sunbed session. It is also a good idea not to recommence use of the sunbed after the micropigmentation treatment as this will not aid retention of the pigment in the skin.

Q: What is the first step?

A: Call Rebecca Fisher on 027 292 7362 to arrange a consultation.

Q: What is Scalp micropigmentation?

A: Scalp Micropigmentation can create the look and give an impression of natural hair where hair has been lost, is patchy or is thinning due to balding, alopecia, surgical scarring or follicle transplant scarring, illness, trauma, aging or hereditary causes.

By tattooing very tiny ‘dots’ on the scalp the impression or illusion of a hair follicle is made – such as the razor look for men. As well as ‘dots’, fine hair strokes can also be tattooed onto the scalp or within existing hair for both men and women who suffer from alopecia or hair thinning.  This gives the scalp the impression of a thicker looking head of hair and reduces the look of patches in amongst remaining hair.

The goal for both balding and alopecia is to get a look as natural as possible and utilize what hair remains by blending the tattooed dots into existing hair patterns.  Equally a fully bald head can be tattooed entirely with dots to give a natural looking shaven head, or razor look.

Q: I have had laser treatment, how long should I wait before I can have scalp micropigmentation?

A: You can wait a minimum of 2 weeks, however it is preferable to wait at least 1 month before having micropigmentation.

Q: Are the pigments for the scalp and hair loss tattoos different to the cosmetic tattoo pigments?

A: Yes.Unlike the Nouveau Contour and Bio Touch range of pigments which are semi-permanent, the Ecuri range of pigments used on the scalp are permanent.  They are formulated to last and often stay ‘sharp’ and retain their colour for at least 5 to 8 years before a touch-up may be required and it does not turn blue or green the way regular tattoo ink can.  These pigments contain a protein that causes a quick drying effect on contact with the scalp and blood which helps prevent the dots from ‘blowing out’ or being blurry.

Q: Can you have an MRI if you have had scalp micropigmentation with Ecuri scalp pigments?

A: Yes. Ecuri’s scalp pigments are nearly radiancy free, which means they don’t conflict or interfere with having an MRI scan.

Q: Are the needles in scalp micropigmentation different to body art tattooing needles?

A: Yes.  The needles used in scalp micropigmentation are up to 75% smaller than regular tattoo needles so they very precisely match the size of a hair follicle. Like cosmetic and paramedical tattooing, the needles are only inserted into the dermal layer of the skin (approximately 0.5mm deep) which is more comfortable for the client and gives a very natural result.

Q: If my forehead hairline has completely receded, can you tattoo a new hairline?

A: Yes. With scalp micropigmentation you can design and relocate a new hairline around the forehead, side of the face and back of the head as well as fill in areas where hair loss is present. This may be a small area, larger patches or a full head. A variety of hairlines can be achieved, whether conservative, natural/soft or hard/defined.

Q: Are there any reasons why I could NOT have scalp micropigmentation for balding or alopecia?

A: Yes. We do not perform scalp micropigmentation or hair simulation for:-

- Women who are pregnant or nursing

- People undergoing Chemotherapy

- People on antibiotic therapy

- People on blood thinners

- People with blood clotting disorders

- Anyone with infectious diseases, eg HIV, Hepatitis

- People with Epilepsy

- People with Diabeties (paramedical and cosmetic micropigmentation to the body is different – with a doctors consent you can perform the procedure on someone with diabeties but not for scalp).

- Albinism (Albino)

- People with heart/liver and high blood pressure.

- People who use drugs

- Alcohol should be avoided

- Smoking is also contra-indicated, smoking causes the blood to thin and a lack of oxygen to the brain.

Q: Does scalp micropigmentation hurt?

A: Pain is individual to everyone.  But our goal is always to help make you feel as comfortable as possible.  We use a pre-numbing cream applied to the scalp at home 1 hour before the treatment session commences. This helps alleviate any initial discomfort.  Most people describe the pain as a 3 to 4 on a pain score out of 10.  If pain persists a numbing gel can be used. This is a quick acting gel that further relieves any pain and/or swelling and contains bleeding if there is any. It has 5% Lidocaine hydrochloride, 2% Tetracaine and 0.02% Epinephrine.  It is the same gel as used for paramedical and cosmetic micropigmentation.

Q: I have some scars on my head, can you use scalp micropigmentation to tattoo over the scars
to conceal them?

A: Yes. Scars, whether from injury, surgery or follicle transplant can be blended and camouflaged to lessen their appearance.

Q: I wear a ‘rug’/hairpiece/hair system – what should I do?

A: You need to allow your skin to breathe prior to coming to a scalp micropigmentation procedure. It’s very important. So you must not wear it for between 10-14 days prior.  If you don’t adhere to this, you run the risk that the pigment will not implant nor remain in your scalp.

Q: What should I avoid after I have had scalp micropigmentation?

A: We will advise you of the full aftercare instructions but for the first 3 days you should not:-

- Wipe the scalp

- Get any sun exposure to the scalp

- Get the area wet (includes swimming and sweating) – it must be kept dry for 3 days.

- You must not scratch, pick or peel at the area

- No creams, moisturisers or other materials are to be used on the area

After Day 7, many of your normal activities can be resumed, water and shampoo are now fine.  After 1 month, getting a fake tan is fine as are saunas and swimming pools.  Care should be taken to use a sunblock on the head as a matter of course from now on.

Q: How much does scalp micropigmentation cost?

A: Scalp micropigmentation begins from $2000 ranging through to $7000 for a full head, depending on the amount of coverage required. If you contact Rebecca on 027 292 7362, she can discuss your specific requirements based on the amount of hair loss you have experienced and how the pricing will work for you.

Q: How many scalp micropigmentation treatments would I need to have?

A: A scalp consultation with Rebecca is $120.  There we can discuss how many treatments we think you might need, your specific requirements and expectations.  As a guide only a client might require 3 x treatments sessions, these can be spaced as closely together as 7 days apart, sometimes dependent on the degree of hair loss, a 4th or 5th treatment may be required, these can also be spaced at a minimum of 7 days apart.

Q: Is there any preparation I need to do to my scalp before the actual treatment?

A: Yes, once you have had a consultation with Rebecca, she will advise you on the care program for the two weeks leading up to the first scalp micropigmentation treatment.  She will provide you with everything you need for this.