So, you want to be a camouflage artist. Here’s what you should know.
Paramedical cosmetic tattooing can successfully camouflage scars, burns, and other skin imperfections resulting from injuries, surgery or other circumstances. Micro-pigmentation can also disguise a number of other skin flaws, including cleft palate, non-pigmented age spots, stretch marks, as well as patients with certain skin pigmentations. While it is considered a very successful and rewarding procedure when done correctly, camouflage tattooing can also be drastically impacted by factors not typically experienced in other areas of micro-pigmentation.
An example of this is the advanced level of skill and expertise needed for technicians to achieve a precise skin color match using a technique called pixilation, which requires a blend of colors imitating the natural mix of tones and patterns of the skin. Additionally, paramedical cosmetic tattooing is not always the most effective on its own. To achieve visibly desirable results, it should be carried out with other skin treatments to target the scar’s appearance from the inside out.
A reputable and effective treatment that technicians use is Dermatude META (Medical & Estheticial Tension Activating) Therapy which can aid in camouflaging skin flaws, particularly those with texture. Considered a completely natural scar therapy, Dermatude prompts the body’s own inherent healing systems through a technique similar to microneedling (but less invasive), which involves making microscopic punctures in the scar tissue. This procedure is particularly effective in treating stretch marks by provoking a burst of collagen growth and cellular repair, as well as helping the blood capillaries reach the surface. Results are improved skin tone/color and a smoother texture, effectively reducing the three-dimensional appearance of scars. Following a Dermatude treatment, the scar tissue in the stretchmark/scar will go through a healing process in which the damaged tissue is slowly repaired and replaced with new, healthy skin. Micro-Pigmentation can then complete the camouflage process for optimal results.
Though a new and trendy procedure, often clients are not informed that scar camouflaging can produce unwanted results, particularly without an experienced and thoroughly trained technician. It is crucial that paramedical cosmetic tattooing is performed by an educated artist who understands its process and can work with the many variables of this specific procedure.
Although scar camouflage and Dermatude META therapy can reduce the appearance of scars, it’s important to manage expectations and to understand that no scar can ever be completely “reversed” or invisible.
Every scar is different due to body location, size, shape, color, appearance of depth, etc. Consequently, every camouflage procedure is different – some cases may require only a single treatment, while others may take multiple treatments and require multiple methods. Results are cumulative and may take four to six weeks to fully develop.
While many scars and skin imperfections can be camouflaged using the proper techniques, there are a number of factors that can affect the results, including the type of scar and the client themselves.
It is important that the scar is completely healed before performing any kind of procedure on it. This can take between 8-12 months after its creation. Depending on the type of scar, there’s a limit to the camouflage that can be achieved. For example, keloid scars are extremely limited as they are unable to be flattened.
Birth marks are unsuitable for camouflaging procedures due to medical concerns. Insurance companies warn against this procedure because there’s a possibility it could disguise a situation requiring medical attention, either in present or future. Laser removal is recommended in these cases.
Due to medical reasons, insurance companies also warn against performing camouflage on skin areas with hyperpigmentation. These areas may be caused by medical issues that need to be addressed rather than covered. In these cases, a Dermatologist consultation is recommended.
It is much more difficult to lighten dark skin than it is to darken light skin, as the results can look chalky. Furthermore, certain ethnicities are more susceptible to either hyper-pigment (darkening) or hypo-pigment (lightening) as a result of the procedure. Some ethnicities are also prone to keloid scarring.
Melanoma & Melasma
Micro-pigmentation is not suitable to camouflage melanoma or any skin cancer. Medical consultation and treatment should be immediately sought. Other health ailments, such as those with melasma are also not candidates for micro-pigmentation, but may be candidates for Dermatude. The reason being that melasma is unpredictable, particularly if exposed to the sun. While pigments will remain the same color, tissue affected by melasma could change color therefore making long-lasting camouflage impossible to achieve. Furthermore, melasma is considered treatable and medical consultation should be recommended.
Due to the relatively new and complex nature of scar camouflage procedures, aspiring camouflage artists should prioritize two things: researching the correct information and seeking proper education from a seasoned professional who specializes in paramedical cosmetic tattooing. Cautionary and meticulous training is necessary to prepare a technician to enter the field with a comprehensive understanding of the procedure’s limitations and how to best achieve its rewarding outcomes.
As one of the top permanent makeup artists in North America, Elsa Torresiani (Milani) has proven that she is the undisputed authority on scar camouflage with one of the most extensive and impressive camouflage portfolios in the industry. Micro-Pigmentation Centre is excited to partner with our fellow engaging and experienced camouflage professional.
Equipped with a plethora of certifications from training around the world, including Micro’s renowned Color Through the Skin© workshop, Elsa is now generously sharing her wealth of knowledge and experience with industry professionals attending her online course in collaboration with our team.