Glamour Magazine April 2005: Permanent Makeup - Sexy or Scary by Christine Lennon Weighs the Benefits and Risks of Cosmetic Tattooing

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Glamour Magazine offers their 12 million readers an insight into the benefits and risks of the rapidly growing popularity of permanent eyeliner, brows and lipcolor. American Academy of Micropigmentation Chairman Charles S. Zwerling, MD and President Linda H. Dixon MD were quoted along with several medical experts on permanent makeup and the diagnosis and treatment of complications.

In the twenty years I've been involved with permanent makeup I can count the allergic reactions I've seen on one hand -- and not all of those may have been true allergic reactions.

Dr. Charles S. Zwerling, an ophthalmologist in practice in North Carolina and Linda H. Dixon, MD an anesthesiologist in practice in Hawaii have been featured as a national medical experts in the April 2005 edition of GLAMOUR Magazine. The article entitled “Permanent Makeup: sexy or scary?” by Christine Lennon for Glamour Magazine represented viewpoints from many professionals as well as both good and bad experiences by members of the public.

In 1992, Charles S. Zwerling, M.D., a pioneer and recognized authority on micropigmentation, formed The American Academy of Micropigmentation, a non-profit organization to protect the public, the profession and the professionals involved in permanent makeup. The Academy has several hundred Board Certified members who have passed stringent written, verbal and practical examinations. Dr. Linda Dixon has served as President of the American Academy of Micropigmentation for two terms starting first in 2000.

The Academy works closely with their members and other professionals to monitor complications that have occurred with permanent makeup. In addition, Dr. Mitchel P. Goldman and Dr. Norman Goldstein, both dermatologists with expertise in permanent makeup and traditional tattooing, are emeritus members of the Academy and act as invaluable resources to the profession. Huck Spaulding of traditional tattoo fame and author of the bible of traditional tattooing entitled Tattooing: A-Z, added a Chapter in his latest edition on permanent makeup (written by Dr. Dixon).

With regard to recent high-profile media attention to pigment allergic reactions, Dr. Zwerling said: "In the twenty years I've been involved with permanent makeup I can count the allergic reactions I've seen on one hand -- and not all of those may have been true allergic reactions."

The epidemic of allergic reactions to Premier Pigments, as mentioned in the Glamour article, have been outlined by the FDA (see, and represent an exception to the history of safety observed by professionals and other pigment manufacturers and suppliers for almost two decades.

“Permanent makeup is an invaluable procedure that has enhanced the appearance of thousands of women worldwide,” said Linda H. Dixon, M.D. and President of the American Academy of Micropigmentation. "We invite the public to visit our website for answers to their questions about permanent makeup, also known as cosmetic tattooing or micropigmentation. We list all the benefits and risks associated with these procedures under the CONSUMER section", according to Dr. Dixon. Go to: Another helpful website is (keyword: tattoo or permanent makeup).

People can trust that their safety is now being guarded by all members of the Academy. "Education of the public and professionals alike is the key to success and satisfied consumers,” writes Dr. Dixon. “Academy members are highly educated in the practice of permanent makeup and exercise an extra measure of protection for each client (patient).” The vast majority of permanent makeup professionals are from the fields of cosmetology, esthetics, electrology, nail techs, nursing, and a few dental hygienists, dentists and doctors, according to a 1996 survey by Dr. Dixon. "Doctors are not the best suited for performing this cosmetic invasive procedure but they are the ones who treat the complications", according to Dixon, "and they need a working knowledge of this specialized and rapidly growing field".

The annual meeting of the Academy is in Las Vegas at Sam's Town from August 19-21. "Protecting the Public" is the theme of this year's meetings and will feature an Expert Panel on Pigments: Fact or Fiction. The beauty and safety of iron oxides. Mitchel P. Goldman, MD (LaJolla, CA) and Frederick Stearns, Esq. of Keller and Heckman LLP (Washington DC) will lecture on the legal and medical aspects of permanent makeup in addition to being expert panel members.


Charles S. Zwerling, MD


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