Is Microblading Safe? Here’s All You Need to Know

Is Microblading Safe? Here's What You Need to Know

When people hear that microblading is a form of tattooing and that it involves implementing pigments – essentially a foreign substance – directly into the skin where it’s supposed to stay for a long time, they sometimes get worried that the treatment may be a health hazard in some way.

So one of the first questions is, naturally, is microblading safe? Are there any risks involved with the treatment? What about long-term adverse effects?

So today, we’re looking into the safety aspect of the microblading treatment and listing the risks, side effects and contraindications. Here’s a hint – it’s perfectly safe if you’re a good candidate and it’s done right.

Does Microblading Carry Any Risks?

Technically, yes, although the frequency of complications is very low. If you find a trained, certified and licensed artist who adheres to all the health and safety protocols and checks your medical history to determine whether you’re a good candidate, microblading is quite safe.

However, there are some possible complications you should be aware of before booking your treatment:

Allergies

Microblading implies using a range of different products:

  • Topical anesthetic
  • Cleansers and wipes
  • PMU pigments
  • Aftercare ointments.

Each of these products come into direct contact with your skin, and can therefore cause an allergic reaction. In the past, the blades used to make the hair strokes were also a potential source of allergies (more than 18% of the US population suffers from nickel allergy), but their quality has improved significantly over the years.

Allergic reactions to microblading can be manifested through anything from slight itching to redness or swelling, and your skin may even decide to reject and extract the pigment.

While most cases are mild, they’re best avoided, so a patch test should always be done before a microblading treatment, and a comprehensive one at that. Each of the products that will be used during the treatment should be patch tested. When it comes to pigments, it’s not enough to just swatch them on the skin – your artist should do 1 or 2 test strokes on a hidden part of the body.

If everything is fine within 48 hours, you’re good to go.

Find out more about the microblading patch test here.

Allergic reactions to microbladingImage source: Instagram @the_beautyhour

Irritation

Even if you don’t develop an allergic reaction to the products, your skin could get irritated – after all, your skin suffers trauma during the treatment.. Luckily, these irritations are quite mild and they usually subside within hours.

Infection

Since microblading involves breaking the surface of the skin, there’s the risk of infection. The open incisions could get contaminated at any point during the procedure, or in the days afterwards, before the micro-wounds have had the time to close up.

Contamination and subsequent infection can happen if your skin isn’t disinfected before the procedure, if the microblading blade isn’t sterile, or if your brows come into contact with any unsterile surface once you leave the salon (this is most often fingers, so don’t touch your brows in the days following the treatment!).

Since microblading involves breaking the surface of the skin, there’s the risk of infectionImage source: Freepik

Scarring

The blades used for microblading are very thin and they aren’t supposed to go deep into the skin. But if your artist’s technique isn’t great and they go too deep, there is a chance scar tissue forms over the incisions.

The same can happen if your skin is overworked, for example if you get a touch up before the initial incisions have healed, or if you repeat the treatment too often. It’s also a possibility if your skin is naturally too thin or thinned out, or otherwise compromised. But an experienced artist will know how to assess the state of your skin and decide whether it’s safe to perform the treatment.

Is Microblading Safe for Sensitive Skin?

Due to the nature of microblading, the treatment isn’t always safe for sensitive skin. Sensitive skin is usually quite thin, and it’s very easy for the blade to cut deeper into the tissue than it’s supposed to.

The blade is only supposed to reach the second layer of the skin, and if your skin is very thin overall, there is a higher chance the pressure on the blade is too intense, and the blade cuts deeper. If this happens, there is a risk of permanent scarring.

So, clients who have very sensitive skin (mature skin often falls under this category) are often pointed in the direction of machine brows, either nano brows (hair strokes done with a PMU machine) or powder brows (machine shading).

Machine work is generally gentler on the skin and there’s a very low risk of the needle going too deep.

Is Microblading Safe for Sensitive Skin?Image source: Instagram @hellostudiohue

Is Microblading Safe During Pregnancy?

No.

Microblading should never be done on pregnant clients due to risk of infection and the use of products which are either proven to be unsafe for the fetus (epinephrine often contained in numbing creams), or they haven’t been tested sufficiently to claim that they are safe.

Find out more about why microblading is not safe for pregnant women in this guide.

Find out more about why microblading is not safe for pregnant women in this guide.

Is Microblading Safe During Breastfeeding?

No.

Again, the risk of infection. If you develop an infection post-microblading, it can be passed onto your baby through breast milk.

Find out more about why microblading shouldn’t be done while breastfeeding in this article.

Is Microblading Safe for Cancer Patients?

It all depends.

Generally, microblading shouldn’t be done on patients who are undergoing cancer treatment. The immune system is compromised and the body can react in unpredictable ways to microblading.

If the patient isn’t undergoing treatment and their bloodwork is fine, microblading may be performed, but never without the approval from their oncologist. Consult your doctor and get their opinion.

Here’s more info on when it’s safe to do microblading on cancer patients.

Is Microblading Safe for Diabetics?

It depends.

Controlled diabetes isn’t automatically a contraindication for microblading, but a doctor must always be consulted first.

Other Microblading Contraindications

Microblading is not safe for:

  • people who suffer bleeding disorders
  • people who take blood thinning medications (consults your doctor and see if you can pause the meds)
  • people who’ve recently had Botox or dermal fillers in the area (wait at least 2 weeks)
  • people with viral infections or diseases
  • people with skin irritations, Rosacea, or Psoriasis near the treated area

Final Note

If you suffer from any medical condition we may not have listed and you’re not sure if microblading would be safe for you, we advise you to consult your doctor before you book a treatment, and get a note that confirms they’ve okayed the treatment – your artist may ask for a written confirmation.

Cover image source: Freepik

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