Corrective Pigment Camouflage: Part 3 of 3

This information is part 3 in this 3-part series.

In this article, we will concentrate on Scar Relaxation, procedure after care for C.P.C., and the final results.

Scar Relaxation is the application of repetitive circular tattooing movements to create a softer skin texture and to soften the fibrous bands of collagen (scar tissue) to give the patient more flexibility in their movements. This procedure works well on all contracted tissue with exceptional results on hands.

Scar Relaxation was introduced by Susan Church at the first Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals (SPCP) conference in 1991 after she discovered it while working on several burn survivors in concert with Dr. Grossman.

Scar Relaxation appointments are usually scheduled at 4-week intervals. However, dramatic results can be seen and felt after the first treatment.




Patients are excited with their results of the C.P.C. that has been performed on them, many times alleviating the need for potential surgeries on the contractured tissue.

In all post procedure phases of Corrective Pigment Camouflage (C.P.C.) there is an inflammatory response of the skins tissue. The skins typical symptoms may range from mild redness, heat, swelling and discomfort to lymph drainage. All patients will experience a typical wheal and flare reaction (redness, histamine release and swelling) to the procedure area that is much like a bee sting or mosquito bite. Applications of C.P.C. will also cause increased blood flow to the immediate area. The procedure area will be a bit sore, swell slightly to moderately within the first 24 hours, may possibly be very tender and be slightly pink to red.

Immediate after care instructions includes the use of either Petroleum Jelly, or some type of an antibiotic ointment. If possible, cover the area to keep it exempt from free radicals and pollution for 12-24 hours. If the procedure area is swollen, you may use ice for the first 24-72 hours to help alleviate the pain and swelling. Using heat after this period will promote circulation and removal of waste products. Injured tissue will heal much faster and scar less if the patient keeps the area moist. The patient should apply a thin coating of Petroleum Jelly over the procedure area while showering or bathing to protect it from moisture.

C.P.C. areas need to be protected and kept out of the sun and tanning beds.

Technicians need to be cautious of post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation (darkening of the tissue) when applying C.P.C. Hyper-pigmentation occurs when the skin’s tissue is traumatized. Hyper-pigmentation occurs in Caucasian skin occasionally, although it will most likely occur on clients with heavy concentrations of melanin in their skin. Normal skin color should return in several months following the application of C.P.C. Bleaching agents such as Hydroquinone, Kojic Acid and/or Licorice may be used to lighten the skin if needed.

Final color results are not determined until several applications of pigment have been inserted into the procedural area and the skin has totally healed.

Final results cannot be guaranteed as the tones of the skin change throughout the day, and the temperature of the body changes from cold to warm.

We, as technicians, fine-tune and complete the finishing touches on the work the plastic surgeon has completed. Technicians should always work in concert with the patient’s physician. As the physician performs any ongoing surgeries, the patients C.P.C. color applications may need to be readjusted. Also, C.P.C. areas can be re-pigmented yearly for a ‘color refresher’.

Hopefully this series on C.P.C. will help you to understand the psychology of beauty that is created to present unique concepts of thinking about beauty that extends beyond traditional basic value.

Susan Church CCPC,CPDA
Director of Education
International Institute of Permanent Cosmetics
This article originally appeared in the SPCP July/August 1996 Newsletter

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