Microblading is a form of cosmetic tattooing, and as such, it implies breaking the skin and making tiny cuts on it. The skin needs some time to recover from the treatment, and it goes through a 2-week healing process that includes scabbing.
This part of the recovery can be annoying, but it’s actually crucial for the success of the treatment. The surface of the skin needs to close up, and the pigments need to settle underneath.
The scabs that form after permanent makeup are not like the regular scabs that form after an injury. Something that can happen is you notice your microblading scabs coming off with pigment. Here’s why this happens and what you should do about it.
What’s Microblading Scabbing?
Microblading is done with a manual tool – a super thin blade made up of several needles. The blade is dragged through the skin, and the cuts imitate brow hairs. The incisions are filled with pigment, and once they heal, the strokes look indistinguishable from actual hairs.
Any cut on the skin heals through scabbing. But what’s special about microblading scabs is that there’s no blood in them (or very little), it’s actually lymph.
When making the cuts, so little pressure is applied that the cuts only reach the upper dermis layer of the skin. They don’t reach major blood vessels, so it’s mostly lymph that oozes and forms the scab.
If there’s a lot of blood during the procedure, more than occasional pinpoint bleeding, the artist might be going too deep – this is a problem because it can lead to microblading not fading and bluish hues.
Microblading scabs are very thin and they don’t look like scabs formed after more serious skin trauma. Nevertheless, once the skin underneath has healed, they will peel off in flakes.
Image source: Instagram @nina_lola_studio
Why Are My Microblading Scabs Coming Off with Pigment?
The pigments implanted into the skin should go shallow under its surface, but not too shallow.
The scabs that form over them inevitably come into contact with the pigments, so it’s normal that they catch a tiny bit of pigment as they dry. In fact, about 15% of the implanted pigment is expected to come off with the scabs, and artists take this into account and pick a pigment color slightly darker than desired.
So microblading scabs coming off with pigment is normal, but to a degree.
Image source: Instagram @lishic_beauty_
What Isn’t Normal?
If scabs form too thick and uneven, they will take too much of the pigments with them – this is where proper aftercare is essential. Likewise, if the cuts made were too shallow, the skin won’t retain the pigments and they’ll get pushed out with the scabs.
If you notice thick microblading scabs coming off with too much pigment, there are 3 possible causes.
1. The blade went in too deep, or too shallow
It’s possible that your artist went too deep and caused a more extreme response from the body. If the blade went in too deep, the skin oozes more lymph and blood; the scab formed is denser and thicker, and more pigments get stuck in it.
On the other hand, if the cuts made were not deep enough, the skin can’t retain the pigments. The lymph will push them out and there won’t be much of them left.
2. You didn’t clean the brows frequently enough
On the day of the procedure, you need to clean off the lymph that the skin oozes. If you let it build up and dry over the treated area, the crust formed will be thicker than it’s supposed to, and you’ll notice your microblading pigment coming off with scabs.
Also, it’s important to wash your eyebrows regularly. Removing all the dust, sweat and lymph will keep the wound healthy and help you avoid complications. Use a suitable, mild soap or face wash and adjust your skincare routine.
3. You didn’t moisturize the area frequently enough
The so-called wet healing implies applying an aftercare ointment onto the area throughout the scabbing. The coat of ointment doesn’t only protect the area from contamination, but it also tricks the body into thinking there’s no need for thick scabs. If the area is moist, the skin oozes less lymph.
The ointment also makes sure the scab forms evenly in thickness along the brow – they should look more like a scabby film than patches of uneven thickness.
Important – Never Pick the Scabs!
Even if your scabs form thin and even, if you rip them off instead of letting them fall off on their own, they can pull out too much of the pigments. If you pick at the scabs, the retention will be uneven and you’ll have lighter spots. So you mustn’t touch the scabs at any stage, even if the flakes start falling off and barely hang on, don’t pick them off!
Image source: Instagram @eye_art_studio
What Will Happen with My Brows After Scabbing?
If everything goes right, your brows will look lighter after scabbing. You might get worried if the scabs fall off and there’s no color underneath them, but this is normal. Your microblading didn’t disappear after scabbing – the color will reemerge. Retention usually isn’t the same in every spot, but that’s fixed at the touch up.
But if you had heavy scabbing and too much pigment was pulled out, your brows will probably heal visibly patchy. This is annoying, but it can be fixed at the touch up, too.
Regardless of how your scabbing went, you need to go back 6-8 weeks after the initial implementation to let your artist assess the retention and replenish the pigments if needed.
The healing process after microblading can be an emotional rollercoaster. Your brows will go through several stages, and you’ll experience different sensations, from tenderness to itching. It’s important to be aware of what to expect so that you can prepare yourself mentally. No matter how annoying and unattractive the healing gets, you have to trust the process. Muscle through it and you’ll have your dream brows in no time!
For more information on microblading scabbing, read our Microblading Scabbing Guide.
Cover image source: Pexels