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Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) Discuss the increasingly popular Scalp Micropigmentation (SMP) procedure here, including the advantages, disadvantages and possible long term effects.

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Old 09-02-2016, 10:11 AM
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Default Is permenant smp on the scalp safe?

I'm thinking about getting permanent SMP on my scalp. I have already had permanent SMP my 2 strip scars by a very well known practitioner in NYC who did a great job.

I thought about doing the temporary smp on my scalp to try it out but I don't like the idea of the ink pigments being absorbed into the body and passed through the lymph nodes.

How safe is permanent SMP on the scalp?

I don't want a chance of getting any kind of long term effects like cancer from something like this.

Where does the permanent SMP go when it starts to fade?

This concerns me as the inks are applied directly to the scalp. Does permanent SMP also get absorbed into the body?

I read somewhere that Dr. Pak mentioned there is a small possibility it can cause cancer. I need to know for sure before I go ahead and do this. Thanks
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Old 09-02-2016, 11:02 AM
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LT,

While I'm not leading expert on scalp micropigmentation, I believe permanent SMP is just as safe as a regular tattoo on the body. That's said, discoloration can occur after several years which is why some people and up going with temporary scalp micro pigmentation. While there is no discoloration, it does fade after a couple of years and you have to get it done again. This is considered both an advantage and they disadvantage for many people. It in essence gives you a chance to decide if you like it but on the other hand, if you do, you will need to make arrangements to go back and get it done again in a couple years.

Best wishes,

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Old 09-05-2016, 07:47 PM
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Bill i would respectfully disagree with you on the color changing part, depending on what specific colors you are referring to.

I'm new to the forum, and dont know if linking outside sources (like other forums) is allowed, so i will just talk about what i have seen while researching SMP. It may be wrong to even quote input from other sites, and if it is, just let me know and i will restate it in my own words.

When most people talk color change in regards to SMP, they are referring to it turning blue or green, like you sometimes see in regular tattoos. Reputable SMP companies (both permanent and temporary) use a specially designed scalp pigment that will not turn blue or green. Briefly, it has to do with the size of the pigment, how deep it is inserted, and its specific makeup.

Here is a more technical comment made on the forum of a reputable permanent SMP company, by a professor of biomedical engineering, who has close knowledge of the pigment this company uses, and who also has the treatment:

Quote:
*Removed* uses a monomeric pigment that does not break down into smaller constituent parts. Because of the covalent bonding inherent to its molecular structure, uv radiation can fade the pigment but not cause it to change color. This is also true of immune mediated responses.

For those reasons, you only have to worry about fading as the years pass but not color change.
Additionally, on another forum, a temporary SMP expert discussing the color change issue in regards to permanent SMP, had this to say:

Quote:
Today's pigments both permanent and semi-permanent are designed especially for the scalp. They are not permanent cosmetics nor tattoo ink but specially designed scalp pigments. Now, do these newly designed permanent pigments fade, change color, etc? Honestly, I don't know from first hand knowledge of using them myself. (Which is why I am choosing to learn more). What I can tell you is this: one of the reasons I love working with *removed* is that we see so many patients that I have the opportunity to see other peoples smp work up close and personal quite regularly. I can tell you that in monitoring these patients from other groups we have seen fading and a needs for touch-ups but not always color change.
So will permanent SMP from a reputable company eventually turn blue or green? No. At least according to these experts, as well as the companies themselves, and it isn't being reported by clients.

What does happen, is that over time, the pigment dots get smaller as they fade, and as they do so, the eye may perceive them as being more grey than black. The temporary expert also touched on this:

Quote:
So, I'm going to speculate that these new scalp pigments have a smaller particle size which will allow them to fade by virtue of being able to escape the cell wall. So, if they have a true black that exists on a grey scale as it lightens if it turns grey is that bad? I say no. Grey is the color of keratin which is the color of a hair follicle. Often you will see people who have full heads of hair but who choose to shave their head have a grey tone to their scalps.
So if anything, it may drift to a more grey look over time, but this isn't really a big issue since a normal head of hair that has been shaved has a grey tone to it.

I should note that if you read enough feedback, on rare occasions you may find someone who had a treatment at a reputable clinic complaining that it turned blue. I've seen it happen with both permanent and temporary, but again, it is rare. Often, the person that is complaining is merely moving through a normal part of the healing process, which isn't uncommon, where bruising or some other issue may give the treatment temporarily a slightly blue hue. Many times i've seen people panic that their treatment is blue, and then a week or so later report back that it looked perfectly normal once everything settled down.

The rarest reports are where a patient feels that it stays blue (and while it may be somewhat subjective, perhaps it does), but this would be due to a unique issue with that specific patient -- whether it's an immune response or reaction to the ink, or the pigment was applied improperly by the technician, or something of that nature. These are extremely rare situations, and im actually struggling to recall a specific case in my mind, but nonetheless, it should be mentioned. As far as a normal patient receiving a normal treatment, you will not find reports of blue ink from a reputable clinic, at least with the data we have now, which comfortably takes it out 4-5 years.

Finally, even if a worst case scenario happened, and a permanent or temporary SMP treatment from a reputable clinic degraded in such a way that it looked bad, remember that laser removal is an option, which greatly mitigates any long term risk.

Also, speaking of laser, keep in mind that even though temporary is temporary, it still takes 1-2(+) years for it to fade based on what i have read. So if someone received a temporary treatment, and 3-6 months later (or whatever) it degraded to a point where it looked bad, then unless they were okay with walking around with the bad treatment until it naturally fades away, they would be looking to laser removal as well. That's just a point that a lot of people miss when comparing the two types of SMP, in regards to bad treatments and laser removal.

Temporary obviously has an edge over permanent when it comes to removing or adjusting a satisfactory treatment, as it would require no laser to accomplish this, as long as the patient was okay waiting for it to naturally fade to the desired state. The trade-off, of course, is that temporary requires more frequent touch ups.

Personally i think either option is fantastic, and equally viable (SMP in general has drawbacks, of course), depending on the needs of the client. Starting with temporary, then if you like the look, progressing to permanent, sounds like a great way to go, but it might be a bit difficult to accomplish currently, as most reputable clinics that im aware of only do one or the other, so you would have to switch companies. I know of one reputable permanent company that is offering temporary, but i haven't seen enough feedback on how their temporary pigment performs to recommend it yet.




Quote:
Originally Posted by LT View Post
I thought about doing the temporary smp on my scalp to try it out but I don't like the idea of the ink pigments being absorbed into the body and passed through the lymph nodes.

How safe is permanent SMP on the scalp?

I don't want a chance of getting any kind of long term effects like cancer from something like this.

Where does the permanent SMP go when it starts to fade?

This concerns me as the inks are applied directly to the scalp. Does permanent SMP also get absorbed into the body?

I read somewhere that Dr. Pak mentioned there is a small possibility it can cause cancer. I need to know for sure before I go ahead and do this. Thanks
Hey LT. The way i understand it is that, yes, permanent SMP ink is absorbed by the body in a similar fashion as to how temporary SMP is.

It isn't extremely uncommon to see people report that their lymph nodes temporarily swell up after a treatment, due to either the trauma of the needle injections, or ink passing through them, or both. However, SMP pigments are made differently than normal tattoo inks, and smarter people than me say that the risk of cancer would be extremely low. Also, there is certainly no data to support a correlation at this time with either SMP pigment, or i believe even regular tattoo ink.

There is some great discussion in other places about this issue, with more technical specifics, but ill summarize what the biomedical engineer i referenced earlier had to say about it.

He surmised that decades down the line, there may be a slightly elevated risk of cancer correlated with tattoo/SMP pigment, but that it would probably be comparable to the link between drinking too much Pepsi and cancer. In other words, not a very significant one. He also points out that there is a statistical correlation between depression and cancer, and that if SMP causes someone to be less depressed, it may negate some/all of the increased risk. This is all speculation from him, but it is based on sound reasoning and the current data.

One additional thing worth mentioning is that i came across a thread once concerning permanent SMP clinics, where someone who is extremely anti SMP was adamantly claiming that it would lead to cancer. A former member of this website, who is now very involved with temporary SMP, stepped in to point out that there is zero evidence of what he was claiming, and said that there are more documented cases of people developing cancer or other diseases from drinking tap water, than there are from scalp pigmentation procedures.

Okay... well i might have said a little more here than i intended to do when i first started this post... haha. Oh well, hopefully it will be helpful to someone.

I guess i should add to anyone reading this that i am not financially tied to the SMP industry, nor would i really consider myself an expert. I'm someone who has been researching/following it for years online, and i try to spread the knowledge from other experts around. What i say is based on what i read from the experts, and more importantly, on the feedback i read from clients. Dont rely solely on what i say, do your own research, and most importantly try to see it in person as much as you can. SMP isn't perfect, but it is proving successful in many cases.
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Old 09-07-2016, 02:43 AM
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I think a non professional couldn't told you about the exact recommendation but a professional can really solve your problem..
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Old 09-07-2016, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mania1 View Post
I think a non professional couldn't told you about the exact recommendation but a professional can really solve your problem..
I think you need a professional to solve your problem.
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Old 09-14-2016, 12:55 PM
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Thanks for the responses. The SMP industry is like the wild wild west. I think it's actually worst than the HT industry with hardly any regulations the more research i do. Anyone can open up a tattoo shop somewhere and claim to be great practitioners with fake pics, fake reviews and no long term pics after procedure.

I do think getting SMP into old strip scars is a great idea as i have had my strip scars SMP by a well known practitioner. It did come out really good and I can shave my hair down on the sides. Getting it done on my scalp is really concerns me looking fake and any possible long term effects it my have. I would need to see clients who actually got SMP done before I ever decide to do this.
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Old 10-29-2016, 08:57 AM
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Well, since many of those quotes above are mine. I chime in. Permanent SMP done by a reputable clinic is the most important part in this decision because they have safe protocols in place and pigments that have been tested over time. We used to see lots of color change because clinics were using pigments that were designed to never fade (tattoo ink). Today, we use special pigments that are "more permanent" but they too will fade but not totally disappear. They fade to a light grey. So, you will need to touch up all SMP now (if you are going to a reputable clinic).
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Old 10-29-2016, 05:02 PM
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I just wanted to give me experience with SMP which I think can either be coincidence or a fact. I first got SMP in 2012 and was happy with it. Within 3 months I was diagnosed with cancer. I had another session on my back and side during chemo when my hair wasn't there. Didn't even consider they could be related. 1.5 years ago I decided to get a touch up on the front. 3 months later my cancer came back this time also in my brain. Both times it was blood cancer which as I said I am not sure if they are related. During my second chemo I noticed that after 4 years my side and back had not faded at all. I will never know for sure if my SMP caused my cancer and because of it had to have two bone marrow transplants. I would never consider or recommend SMP to anyone. I have talked to many doctors that treated me concerning this and they said they can never prove it but they are seeing more cases of blood cancer with people with tattoos. I challenge anyone that offers SMP to give 100% facts that SMP doesn't have a risk of cancer. I just wanted to share my experience and let people know this can be a possibility. I am convinced that SMP caused my cancer (maybe I'm wrong). Not worth the risk in my opinion.

Tattoos can cause cancer

Nanoparticles in Tattoo Ink May Cause Cancer

Could your tattoo give you cancer? Scientists fear toxins from ink could enter the blood and accumulate in your major organs | Daily Mail Online
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Last edited by lorenzo; 10-29-2016 at 05:41 PM.
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Old 10-29-2016, 09:30 PM
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Hi Lorenzo,
I'm sorry to hear your story but glad that you have recovered!

Would you mind saying where you had it done?
PM would be fine if you don't want to mention here.
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Old 10-30-2016, 09:55 AM
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Hrsp thanks for the support. I don't blame anyone that did it but wanted to say this is a possibility. Even if they said there is a 1 in a million chance you get cancer I probably still would have done it.
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