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Permanent Makeup

What is permanent makeup?

Permanent makeup (also known as permanent cosmetics, micropigmentation or cosmetic tattooing) is a form of tattooing. Like a tattoo, pigment is inserted beneath the skin to add permanent colour. People get permanent makeup to define their eyebrows, lips and eyelashes.

How is permanent makeup applied?

Professionals use a needle attached to a tattoo machine or micropigmentation pen to insert pigment under the skin’s top layer. The needle rapidly pierces the skin over and over again, inserting a tiny droplet of pigment with every pierce. 

What are the health risks?

A cosmetic tattoo needle breaks the skin, so you could get a bacterial skin infection or have an allergic skin reaction. If the permanent makeup is not done properly, you could also get a blood-borne disease such as HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C.

How can I protect myself?

Lower your chance of infection by checking and asking about:

The shop/salon and artists

  • The shop should be well-lit, clean and tidy.
  • All of the artists should be trained professionals.
  • Ask your artist about his or her experience and background.  

The equipment and procedure

To protect you from infection, your artist should:

  • Wash his or her hands with soap and water and wear gloves.
  • Clean your skin with soap and water and apply an antiseptic, like alcohol.
  • Use a disposable, single-use razor if a part of your body needs to be shaved — and throw the razor in an approved sharps container right afterwards.
  • Put on new gloves after touching any other equipment like the light switch or phone.
  • Use only sterile needles.
  • Remove needles and tubes from sterilized sealed packages before starting your procedure.
  • Use only instruments that have been cleaned and disinfected by an approved disinfectant.
  • Use only unused pigments and trays. The artist should pour the ink from the bottle into disinfected ink caps right before starting the job.
  • Use single-use applicators (e.g., wooden sticks) for all creams, lotions or ointments. There should be no "double dipping".
  • Tell you and give you written instructions on how to care for your permanent makeup while it’s healing.

What should I expect after getting permanent makeup? *

Caring for the treated area

  • Your treated region will swell. Your professional will tell you how often you should ice the area and the types of ointments you can apply. 
  • If youíve had your eye area treated you might experience tearing.
  • Follow your professional's instructions on what to avoid such as peroxide and sunlight. Either of these can damage your new look.
  • Protect yourself from infection by following your professional’s instructions and caring for your treated area properly.
  • Always wash your hands with soap and water before touching your tattoo.

Healing time
Treated skin on the lips and around the eyes takes between 3-10 days to heal. Protect yourself from infection by following your professional’s instructions and caring for your treated area properly.

When to call your doctor
While your treated area will be slightly tender and swollen for a few days after your procedure, see your doctor if you develop a fever or rash, or if the area becomes very swollen, burns or feels very hot. These might be signs that the area has become infected.

* Source - WebMD

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Revised: Friday April 03 2020

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