Wake up with make-up: complication of cosmetic lid tattoo

Adam K Rudkin and John L Crompton
Med J Aust 2011; 194 (12): 654. || doi: 10.5694/j.1326-5377.2011.tb03153.x
Published online: 20 June 2011

Cosmetic lid margin tattoo (or cosmetic blepharopigmentation) is increasingly purveyed in Australia by specialist beauty salons and is marketed as a form of permanent make-up. Like other forms of modern tattoo art, it is applied using an electric needle tip which oscillates at 50–150 cycles per second. Each cycle embeds a small amount of pigment into the dermis. Typically, it is performed after application of a topical local anaesthetic.

In this case, tattoo pigment was inadvertently embedded directly into the cornea. This resulted in severe conjunctivitis and a large epithelial defect. In this image, taken 1 month after the injury, the anterior corneal stroma remains stippled with tattoo pigment.

  • Adam K Rudkin1
  • John L Crompton2

  • South Australian Institute of Ophthalmology, Adelaide, SA.



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