There have always been parallels drawn between tattoos and scalp micropigmentation (SMP) procedures, because the application method appears at first glance to be very similar. There is an application of ink on specified body parts through making small punctures in the skin.
They differ however in equipment, facility, technique and intent. Tattoos use regular needles that make deeper punctures into the skin. These are done in tattoo parlours, and the success is according to the skill of the tattoo artist for artistic purposes.
An SMP treatment requires fine three pronged needles that make shallow punctures on the dermis to deposit specialised pigments that create the overall illusion of hair. It is done in SMP clinics by trained SMP practitioners, and is a much more specific discipline. Tattoo artists do not generally make great SMP practitioners, although there are exceptions to this rule of course.
Tattoos to camouflage scars
Tattoos can be very beautiful when created by a very skilled artist. It does not only create fine memories and lasting impressions, it can also hide those that one would rather forget.
Take scars for example. A burn victim might have an irreversible scar on the body. It could bring traumatic memories to mind whenever it is seen. Covering it with a beautiful tattoo can turn this grim memory into a triumph. Another case could be scarring which has caused indents on the skin. It could have been the result of stab or deep puncture injuries. An ingenious way to blend this unevenness of the skin into a work of art is to create a three dimensional tattoo. It could appear that the subject is using the skin as its terrain or landscape.
SMP to camouflage head scars
SMP has the same applications especially when it comes to hiding the scar caused by follicular unit transplantation (FUT) or the “strip method”. FUT leaves a scar across the back and/or side of the head because of the graft of healthy strip of hair harvested from the scalp. This open wound is sewn together, forming a scar as it heals. SMP can then be used to effectively hide a fully exposed scar, making it appear as part of the scalp.