5 Possible Side Effects of Scalp Micropigmentation

5 Possible Side Effects of Scalp Micropigmentation

Scalp micropigmentation, often abbreviated as SMP, is a relatively new technique used to deal with hair loss in men. It effectively creates the illusion of stubble or shaved hair on areas where there is no hair growth through pigmentation. The effect is a short buzz cut look which passes as ‘fresh from the barber’ every single day.

Considering that SMP treatment is non-invasive and is significantly cheaper than alternatives like hair transplants, it is no surprise that many men dealing with hair loss are opting for this solution. 

But are there any side effects, and should men be worried about them? 

Well, the truth is that there are a few side effects you should know about before getting your SMP treatment done. The good news is that none are worth worrying about. That is as long as you go to a qualified, experienced practitioner, and observe basic care procedures after the treatment.

Scalp Micropigmentation – Side Effects 

Men may experience one or a few side effects after SMP treatment. Although most should be no cause for worry, it is important to know what to expect immediately, as well as a couple of days after the procedure. 

Here are the main side effects reported by men after SMP treatment.

Swollen Lymph nodes

Lymph nodes are small bean-shaped glands which act as filters to eliminate foreign substances which the body deems dangerous. The lymph nodes that drain the scalp are located behind the ears, right at the base of the skull. 

Swelling of these lymph glands soon after SMP treatment is often a sign of infection, although it may also happen as a result of an immune response to the pigmentation used. Your body registers the pigmentation as a dangerous substance and quickly starts to filter it out through these glands.

What do swollen lymph nodes feel like?

These are often painless lumps which feel like a firm but movable ball. Most people get small swellings but some have reported swellings as large as a golf ball. 


Redness is the skin’s reaction to any kind of disturbance. After SMP treatment, redness is the skin’s reaction to perforation. As long as there is no pain, redness is nothing to worry about as it clears out in a day or two. Avoid exposing your scalp to direct sunlight during this time. Sunburn on a red, healing scalp is definitely not something you want to deal with. 


Large pigmented dots on the scalp after SMP treatment can be scary if you have no idea what causes them. They are actually pigmented scabs which form over each dot. Fortunately, these unsightly spots fall off gradually; usually within 10 days of the treatment, leaving a smaller, more natural-looking follicle representation.

Blue or purple dots

Yes, another potentially disturbing side effect of SMP treatment. This one happens when a poorly trained or unqualified practitioner deposits ink too deep under the skin. Pigments are broken down to produce a blue or purple color on the healing scabs. 

Final Thoughts

Scalp micropigmentation is a relatively safe treatment with minimal risks involved. However, side effects come down to two factors. Firstly, your body’s reaction to the pigment and treatment, and secondly, the professionalism of the SMP practitioner you choose. 

While there is no way to predict exactly how your scalp will react to the treatment, you can protect yourself by ensuring you choose a professional, highly qualified practitioner. 

Do some research to find out the average pricing for this kind of treatment. A practitioner who is unexplainably cheap should be avoided. Once you have settled on one, be sure to keep an eye for high hygiene standards at the facility. Poor sanitation could open the door to a host of post-treatment complications. 

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