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When to Get PMU Removal, and When Not to!

 I have been doing PMU and tattoo removal now for several years.  I have tried different techniques and products over the years, and am now an International Master Trainer for Xtract® PMU and Tattoo Removal.  My experience training doctors, nurses, estheticians, PMU artists, and Tattoo artists alike have given me a unique understanding of the PMU and tattoo removal process

Do I always recommend removal for clients who are unhappy with their PMU? No I don’t and here’s why:

  • Removal is the process of breaking the skin which results in scabbing. The scabbing can last for several weeks, and in the situation of eyebrows, can be very difficult for the client to feel comfortable in public. I am always transparent with my clients and ensure they are aware of the healing process so they can emotionally prepare. Some clients choose to work from home or take time off during the healing process.
  • Eyeliner removal scabs are not as bad as the upper lids can hide the scabbing. Usually wearing glasses can provide enough cover.
  • Elsewhere on the body, the scabs can be concealed with bandages or clothing.
  • If the PMU can be corrected without removal, I would prefer to do the correction because the healing process looks beautiful instead of the scabbing

A lot of times the PMU can be corrected and/or covered.  Situations where this is an option are as follows:

  • The PMU is not overly saturated and has faded quite a bit.
  • The shape is workable, and if a shape correction is required, the previous work does not exist outside the corrected shape

There are times when PMU cannot be corrected without removal:

  • When the pigment is way too saturated to be able to make any difference in the work.  The skin is like a sponge, and can only hold so much volume.  Much like a sponge we use to clean our dishes with, we have to take some of the water (in this case pigment) in order to add new water to it.  It’s the same analogy for skin, we have to remove the oversaturated unwanted pigment color in order to correct the color
  • When the shape is far outside the area where a nice and natural shape should be.  If I cannot cover the unwanted PMU with a tasteful and natural shape, I will recommend removal before proceeding.  If the client is unwilling to go through this process, then I am not able to take them on as a client.  The reason for this is not because I don’t want to help, it’s because I know the client will not be happy with the results, and it would be wrong for me to take them.  I have learned this through all the years I have been performing PMU services.  I have gained enough experience to know what is and what is not possible.  I want what is best for all of my clients, and want them to be happy for years and years after their service.

Below not my work, the shape is too far out of the natural brow shape.  The pigment is far too saturated to achieve a natural color

Below my client who wanted a full removal of the pigment in order to get microblading done.

About half my clientele are corrections and removals, all from other artists.  I never have to remove my own work for several reasons:

  • I work very conservative on the first session.  Getting a PMU service can be very scary for first time clients.  I want my clients to feel comfortable with the process, and to ease into any changes on their faces.  I want to go slowly and have them get used to the new addition of PMU pigment on their face.  While PMU fades about 50-70% after fully healed, I want them to trust the process and to trust me.  Trust is everything.
  • After the healing process and they get used to their new brows, eyes, or lips, they can decide if they want a bigger shape, a warmer or cooler pigment tone, or more saturation.
  • I always go light in my saturation.  In case of a too warm or too cool healed result, this can easily be corrected on the touch-up session if the pigment is not too saturated.  PMU is a process, not a one and done deal.  We are working with a living organism, the skin.  I respect the skin and what it wants to do.  When I touch a client for the first time, I need to feel the skin and get to know their skin.  Every single client is different, and will heal and respond differently.
  • While more sessions can be more expensive than going to an artist only once, I have seen too many clients unhappy with their previous work to have confidence in my own decisions to go slow with new clients and “virgin” skin.
  • PMU implanted in the living skin can change over time due to: metabolism, light-fastness of the pigment, medications, and sunlight, to name a few.  Because of this I recommend getting a touch up every 1-3 years if needed.  I always tell my clients, just come in when you want to, there are no rules.  You feel you need a touch up?  Just call my office and we will get you right in the schedule!

I hope this information has been helpful to potential clients, students, and tattoo removal technicians in order to make an informed decision on what is best for you beauty needs.

Happy New Year 2022!

 

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