Permanent Makeup and MRI’s

When it comes to MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) reactions to permanent makeup procedures, there are very few reported cases of adverse MRI reactions. Fewer than 10 documented cases have experienced transient skin irritation, cutaneous swelling, or heating sensations at the site of the permanent colorings in association with MR procedures (review of Medical Device Reports, 1985 to 2011). Some years have passed since that study and according to multiple medical studies conducted, it is estimated that about 1.5% to 2% of people with permanent makeup and body tattoos will experience a reaction with MRI treatment. So, although it can happen, it is exceptionally rare especially if high quality pigment that meet the new EU REACH requirements and undergo regular testing for safety.

Here at Girlz Ink studio we only use Li Pigments, considered to be one of the safest and purest pigment lines in the industry. Li Pigments are made in a licensed, regulated and inspected manufacturing lab in the United States, owned and operated by Darlene and Mytia Story. Mytia has her masters in both Chemistry and Biology and the mother, daughter duo has been making pigments specifically for the application of permanent makeup for almost 30 years.

Li Pigments only uses the highest quality and purest colorants and ingredients in their pigment formulations. Every color meets the high standards of the EU and are EU REACH compliant. Li Pigments submits all colors to the CTL in Germany every two years for extensive testing and safety re-certification. Our clients can rest easy and feel 100% comfortable and confident that only the very best pigments are being used in all of their PMU procedures. Continue to read on for more important information regarding MRI’s.
According to Elaine Gagermeier, B.A., C.N.M.T., Chief Technologist and Manager of the MRI Center at Kettering Medical Center and Dr. Robert Tyrell, M.D. of MRI Consortium in Dayton, Ohio….any potential problem can be minimized through the use of proper protocol and safety is not a major concern when it comes to permanent makeup procedures. Although there have been a few cases of first-degree burns, typical of a sunburn, the accompanying symptoms of localized swelling, redness, irritation are transient and subside after a few hours. The burning is caused by the heating produced during the MRI exam.

In the rare cases where a problem should occur, there are variables such as sequencing that can be controlled. One type of sequencing, called a fast-spin echo, can help minimize distortion.

  • If possible…the patient should wait for the PMU and/or Body Tattoo Procedure to be 3 months healed as this will all time for the body’s macrophage cells to encapsulate the pigment and insulate it if you will. It is realized this is not always possible.
  • The screening form used for patients getting an MRI should include a question to identify the presence of permanent cosmetics or decorative tattoos and where it is located. If this question is not on the MRI screening form…run!
  • The patient should advise and inform the MRI technologist immediately regarding any unusual sensation felt at the site of the tattoo in association with the MR procedure
  • The patient should be closely monitored using visual and auditory means throughout the operation of the MR system to ensure safety.
  • As a precautionary measure, a cold compress (e.g., ice bag) may be applied to the tattoo site during the MR procedure.
  • If the patient receiving the MRI scan has gone to an artist using a high-quality pigment that formulates and follows all EU guidelines and undergoes regular testing…it is unlikely they will experience an MRI reaction. This is why it is so important for us artists to use high quality pigments that meet all EU requirements. We ourselves play a big role on protecting our clients from adverse reactions.