May 23 2014, 2:01 pm PT | Posted in: Pigments
There are many providers of SMP on the web that discuss how many procedures it takes and how long the procedures will be to get a good result. Since the answer seems to be all over the map, can you tell me your answer and please justify it as well?
Just trying to get an idea of what I’m possibly in store for. Thanks
There are two classes of SMP: (1) for a donor area scar or set of scars, and (2) for the entire head. Obviously, the entire head will take longer for each session (6-8 hours) than just the scar area, which might take up to 3-4 hours. The number of sessions also vary, from 2-4 sessions depending upon the many variables that each patient presents with. The first session is usually done lighter in color and is more delicate than sessions 2-3. We go lighter on the first session because we do not want to induce pigment bleeding in the surrounding area. Some person’s skin takes up the pigment easier than others, so the touch we develop is based upon the take up of the pigment. After the first session, we get the ‘feel’ and for further sessions we adjust the technique to match what we learned on the first session. Some people absorb the ink quickly, so the pigment can fade after session #1, so we have to again, adjust what we do on subsequent sessions.
You must remember that the tattoo pigments we use are foreign bodies which precipitate a reaction in each person who has it done such that the person’s immune system attacks the pigment. This attack can cause the pigment that you see to fade. Also, areas of scar tissue will react differently to the pigment than non-scarred areas. This can be ‘felt’ by the person doing the SMP, so adjustments for scarring is something that each person learns as they do the SMP. The area of the scar is significantly smaller than the area of the rest of the head, so the costs for the process more than doubles for en entire head.
We generally invest between 20-25 hours for an entire head SMP and about 12-15 hours for a scarred area. The scarring is approached with pigment placed not only in the scar itself, but also in the surrounding normal scalp, because there must be blending of the colors so that the pigment can not be seen distinctly from the surrounding area. This process is not perfect, because the scars are still there. Be sure that you don’t expect the scar to completely disappear, because it never will. SMP only camouflages the scar.
Check out Scalp Scars with SMP and you will see a huge variation in the results of the SMP based mostly on the degree of scarring and the skin deformities that go with that scarring. We are starting to use permanent fillers to try to correct some of the skin deformities that show up after a complete SMP patient is finished; however, we are not able to fully camouflage every scar, as shown on the referenced link.