We are often asked at our MRT Munich how things are with tattoo, permanent make-up and piercing: Does body jewelry pose a problem? In short, I answer with a clear "yes and no". What does it mean?
MRT stands for magnetic resonance imaging
This is a difficult word, but in the end it means something very simple: the magnetic resonance tomograph contains electric coils in the wall. These coils generate a pulsating magnetic field and radio waves. Although the magnetic field in the "tube" is about 10.000 to 50.000 times stronger than the magnetic field of the earth. Nevertheless it is harmless for the body.
The human body with its different types of tissue consists of atoms, and atoms have nuclei. Some atomic nuclei react to the magnetic field. This reaction is called resonance and can be compared with a kind of echo. So there are signals, and they differ, depending on the type and composition of the tissue. This is where the computer comes in: it builds an image black and white from these signals.
Is our MRI Munich really so strong? No. In some cases, devices are used that reach 3 or, in research facilities, even 7 Tesla. This is a very strong magnetic field. Our MRI Munich only generates a magnetic field of 1.5 Tesla. This is quite sufficient for the examinations we offer. Now you know how our in this respect weaker MRT Munich works – but what has this to do with tattoo, permanent make-up and piercing
Metals react to magnetic fields
You may have owned an experiment box as a kid and played around with a little magnet: Grandma’s great silverware is attracted to the magnet because it contains iron inside and is honestly just silver plated. Plate and cup remain on the table, and the cast-iron pan almost knocks the magnet out of your hand. Paper clips are only attracted very lightly (low iron content), but the old shoe scraper outside on the house wall won’t let go of the magnet (pure iron and really rusty).
Piercing, permanent makeup and tattoo can contain metal. These metals react to the magnetic field that our MRI Munich generates. Please do not panic if you have a tattoo: The matter is more complicated. Maybe the paint under your skin is completely harmless. Because not all colors contain metals, and not all metals react to the magnetic field.
Since the 1990s, almost exclusively harmless colors have been used – in Germany
Most tattoo studios today indicate on request what is contained in the colors used. Since about 1990, inks have been used that have no or very few magnetic ingredients. Magnetically active ingredients are iron carbonates (white color), iron hydroxide (white color) and iron oxide (orange, yellow, black and red color) as well as iron ammonium ferrocyanide (blue color). The use of these ingredients is still not forbidden, but they are just rarely used. Until about the mid/late 1990s, iron oxide in particular was used in most tattoo inks. Since then, however, the professional studios in Germany have switched to iron-free colors. This has to do, among other things, with the allergic potential of dyes with high metal content.
For those who want to know exactly, there is in the tattoo studio insight into the ingredients of the colors. If your tattoo was done not too long ago, the chances are good: probably the studio still exists, continues to use the same colors and will gladly give you a copy of the ingredients. By the way, iron carbonate is magnetic only when heated.
This is the situation in Germany. Other countries may have different rules. You know yourself where you got your tattoo from.
Permanent make-up is a tattoo on the face
There is no superficially applied make-up that lasts permanently. So-called permanent make-up is always a tattoo and is created from the same colors as a tattoo. Therefore, the same applies here: Before you use the services of our MRT Munich, inquire which colors were used. Reputable cosmetic studios will be happy to inform you.
What will happen to your tattoo and permanent make-up during the MRI??
Probably nothing happens at all. If the colors actually contain relevant amounts of magnetic ingredients, these metal particles align with the magnetic field. You will feel a tingling sensation on your skin, maybe a slight warmth as well. If this is the case, we will interrupt the MRI immediately if you let us know by ringing the bell in your hand. Despite reports to the contrary on the Internet, you need not fear burns: They do not occur suddenly, but develop over a period of time. You will not stay in the MRI that long. And we can reassure you even further: First-degree burns show up as reddened skin that is sensitive to touch and tense. More does not happen. Your tattoo does not run, does not burn, does not dissolve.
By the way, with tattoos as well as permanent make-up it always depends on how large your body is covered with color and where exactly the color is located. Permanent make-up is applied on the face – if we need images of your foot, the permanent make-up on the face is far away from the main magnetic field and is hardly affected!
We are committed to a high level of safety with our MRI Munich. That is why we do not leave you alone in the "tube. Our staff will explain you before the treatment. You get a small switch in your hand. If you feel tingling or warmth, press the button. The MRI is interrupted immediately, our specialists take care of you.
Caution with fresh applications
One of the few situations in which we postpone a necessary MRI in Munich due to tattoo or permanent make-up are fresh treatments. If tattooing or make-up has only been done within the last six weeks, the skin has not healed yet. The color pigments have not yet firmly bonded with the skin cells. In this case it can happen that the pigments under the skin shift and the tattoo looks blurry afterwards.
Piercing: plastic or metal?
With piercing it is actually quite simple: most pieces of jewelry can be removed. And this is exactly what we advise our customers to do before the MRI here in Munich. You do not need to worry about metal alloys and contained substances if you simply take off your piercing. After the MRI you put on your jewelry again.
Some piercings can not be removed, especially in the early days. In this case we would have to know what material the jewelry is made of. Plastics and silicone piercings are no problem, titanium and implantanium are also harmless. But do you know so exactly which metals are contained? Sometimes our specialists know. Show us your piercing before the treatment, then we can help you if necessary. help further.
All questions clarified? Our MRI Munich is safe for you and your body jewelry!
To schedule an appointment, you can call my appointment hotline at 089 380 359 46 or make an online appointment from the comfort of your home.
If you have further questions, just ask! We are happy to help as far as we can.