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  • Writer's pictureMARY HALL SCOTT

Eyeliner, Pigment & Migration

We all know that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. However, instead of beauty there sometimes can be irritation, severe bruising or pigment migration in the eye area. This is a clear sign the beholder has recently had their permanent eyeliner makeup done and their tattoo artist was either not quite skilled or simply negligent.

Eyes are one of the most treasured organs of our body. Eyesight is the quality that we rely on the most in our daily life.

The eye area epidermis is the thinnest on our body being only around 0,05 mm thick, and the dermis is around 0,08 mm thick. Another peculiarity of the skin on the eyelid is lack of subcutaneous fat. Given all factors mentioned above, all the procedures on the eye area have to be performed carefully and with high precautions. The depth of pigment placement and the choice of equipment and pigment itself are decisive factors in achieving the best results and a healthy look of the skin.

Pigment migration is by far the most common complaint among the patients who underwent the procedure of permanent eyeliner makeup and its outcomes are dramatic. It is the condition when pigment particles move to unwanted areas producing blurred look of the tattoo at best and highly-colored spots near the area of treatment at worst. Pigment from the lower eye lid, for example, can migrate to the cheek or the lateral nose depending on the area of pigment injection.

Several factors can trigger pigment migration.

Firstly, the area around the eye is naturally prone to this process, the inner and the outer corners of the eye in particular, as well as the upper lid above the lash line.

Secondly, poor quality pigments or pigments with very small particles can also contribute to this phenomenon. For the same reason it is not recommended to dilute pigments with pigment dillutants or other substances.

Thirdly, working with dark black pigments implies a high risk of particles migration. In case the patient insists on getting a black eyeliner tattoo, softer shades of black should be used. Otherwise, using dark brown or gray shades instead of jet black would minimize the risk of migration.

Fourthly, in order to prevent or minimize the risk of pigment migration, the artist should choose proper equipment and a suitable application technique. Use of fine needles or single needle increases chances for pigment migration. The application should be done at a 90-degree angle, and fluid pockets and inflamed areas should be avoided. The way the patient is positioned is also vital for proper application. Normally the patient is lying and moving their head to the side when the artist is working near the outer corner of the eye.

Pigment migration may seem as a difficult problem to be solved, but following the aforementioned recommendations can significantly decrease the risk of this adverse reaction. First and foremost, it takes an attentive and dedicated artist to perform micropigmentation treatment on the most complicated areas with the best outcome.

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