At Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center, we’re dedicated to helping all our patients achieve the self-confidence that comes from feeling secure in their appearance. While sometimes this is as easy as smoothing out a wrinkle or two, other patients are simply trying to reclaim some normalcy due to skin conditions, injuries, surgeries, or other circumstances. This is typically the case with the patients of our newest service: paramedical camouflaging (sometimes called micropigmentation).
Essentially, camouflaging is used to add pigment to scars and other areas of skin that appear lighter than your natural skin tone. While it is often used for spots of natural hypopigmentation, one of the most common purposes of this treatment is to reduce the appearance of scars. When your skin is injured through surgery, a cut, or a burn, your body naturally heals itself by replacing the lost or damaged skin with scar tissue. Although this scar tissue may have a similar texture and shape to your natural skin, it does not have any pigment cells, which makes the scar that much more visible. Paramedical camouflaging is a way to mask scars by basically tattooing them with a highly precise set of inks, carefully selected to match your unique skin tone. In addition to typical scars and de-pigmented spots, this procedure is also used to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, re-create areolas for breast cancer patients/survivors who have had a mastectomy and breast reconstruction, reduce lightened spots after certain skin cancer treatments, and even simulate the look of hair stubble for scars in the scalp, eyebrows, or beard.
The first step in paramedical scar camouflaging (or micropigmentation) is a free consultation with our paramedical and licensed medical esthetician, who has been specifically trained and certified in the procedure. After we evaluate your areas of concern to determine whether you’re a candidate for the treatment, the process itself can take several sessions, depending on the size of the area and how well the scar tissue receives the pigment. Our certified paramedical will use a variety of different pigments to design the ideal match for your skin color, and depending on how the ink settles, this can be adjusted as needed at future sessions. However, once you have achieved the result you’re looking for, your scar camouflaging is expected to be permanent, however results will vary from patient to patient.
While paramedical camouflaging can be a life-changing procedure for many patients, it’s important to note that not all scars can be addressed with this treatment. Here are a few criteria to keep in mind:
- The scar needs to be reasonably flat. This procedure only affects the color of the scar, not the texture. However, if you want to smooth your scar first, we may be able to recommend laser treatments, Réjuvapen® microneedling, or other scar reduction options which can help.
- The scar must be fully healed (typically twelve months old) and no longer be changing color. In addition, this treatment is not ideal for progressive vitiligo (a condition which causes the skin to gradually lose pigment in patches).
- The scar should be solely a lighter color than your natural skin—not darkened and not with dark edges. Paramedical camouflaging can only add pigment, not remove it, so dark scars are not candidates for the procedure. If your scar has dark edges, it indicates post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), which could worsen if we were to perform camouflaging. However, we may be able to offer you a hyperpigmentation-focused laser treatment instead, depending on your unique skin.
Whether you’re suffering from a scar, stretch marks, missing areolas, or another pigmentation issue, our professional and experienced staff wants to help you love your look again. Just remember—this is a procedure which should only be performed by a specially trained, licensed, and experienced provider because of the in-depth knowledge of the skin, scar tissue, and pigmentation it requires. To schedule your free consultation, give us a call at Laser Lights Cosmetic Laser Center. Or, follow Laser Lights on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for more information about cutting-edge skin treatments, skin care tips, special offers, and more.