In the vast world of aesthetic medicine, keratopigmentation has represented a real revolution. Imagine a time when changing your eye color was an unachievable dream, relegated to contact lenses or the fantasies of those who wanted a different look. But now, years after its introduction, it is time to take stock. Has keratopigmentation kept its promises? And what were the long-term implications of this practice?
The science behind keratopigmentation
The color of a person's eyes is determined by the amount and distribution of melanin in the iris. For example, those with dark eyes, such as black or brown, have more melanin than those with light eyes such as green or blue. Just a few years ago, the idea of changing your eye color from black to blue was pure fantasy. But thanks to medical and technological advances, today it is not only possible, but it is becoming increasingly popular.
How does it work?
The keratopigmentation process consists of making a thin intracorneal tunnel in the patient's eyes with the help of a laser. Next, a special pigment is inserted to change the color of the iris according to the patient's wishes. A sort of tattoo. Unlike other more complex techniques, keratopigmentation only affects the surface of the eye, avoiding complications such as hemorrhages, infections, retinal detachment or glaucoma.
Safety and reversibility
One of the most fascinating aspects of this procedure is its reversibility. If someone changes their mind about their eye color, they can simply go back to their original color. But more importantly, keratopigmentation appears to be relatively safe. Indeed, let me rephrase: although it is impossible to predict the long-term effects, the majority of scientific evidence for over 10 years now suggests that, if performed correctly, this procedure does not pose serious risks to the patient's health.
- Cosmetic keratopigmentation in sighted eyes: medium and long-term clinical evaluation.
- Year: 2020
- Summary: Evaluation of the medium and long-term results of keratopigmentation (KTP) as a surgical alternative to modify the aesthetic appearance of healthy eyes.
- Research links
- Keratopigmentation to change the apparent color of the human eye: a new indication for corneal tattooing
- Year: 2016
- Summary: Recently developed surgical keratopigmentation techniques, assisted by femtosecond laser technology, using properly developed micronized mineral pigments, have been reported to be efficient and conveniently safe as they are not associated with significant life-threatening complications due to change in the apparent color of the eye in cases of therapeutic and functional cosmetic keratopigmentation.
- Research links
- Tolerance and biocompatibility of micronized black pigment for simulated pupil reconstruction with keratopigmentation
- Year: 2011
- Summary: Study of tolerance and biocompatibility of new micronized mineral pigments for corneal cosmetic pigmentation in an experimental animal model.
- Research links
Limitations and future considerations
As of this writing, one of the limitations of keratopigmentation is the availability of biologically compatible pigments. In other words, there are only a few medically approved colors. Many of these pigments react to light, so long-term oxidation may occur. This is why it is essential to choose clinics that work only with ophthalmological pigments.
If we analyze this trend, it is easy to predict that the practice of changing eye color could increase enormously in the coming years together with the increase in clinical experience, the reduction of costs (currently relatively high, in a range between 3000 and 8000 euros ) and to the development of more appropriate, specific and diversified corneal pigments.
When they say "looking at the future with different eyes".