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Risks of Eyebrow Microblading

Why should you avoid eyebrow microblading? There's no going back. Learn why (and why not) to choose microblading for shaping your brows.

Eyebrow Microblading Dangers: What to Know

Thanks to the over-plucking trend of the '90s, many people were left with sparse eyebrows that refuse to fill in to fit the newer trend of thick, lush, arched brows that are all over Instagram. So what do you do create the look of full eyebrows when you don’t actually have them? The options are daily pencils, fillers, and gels. Or you can get microblading on your eyebrows.

But what is microblading, and what does it involve? What are the benefits and what are the risks?

What is Eyebrow Microblading?

Microblading is process that uses nearly microscopic needles to place dark pigments just below the skin’s surface in tiny lines that duplicate eyebrow hairs. It is semi-permanent, with touch-up procedures recommended every six months, though the results of the first procedure can last up to two years. Generally this will result in the appearance of fuller, more shapely brows that (hopefully) follow the natural brow line.

Dangers of Eyebrow Microblading

Infection: Because the pigments are deposited below the skin, there is a risk of infection. According to the SPCP—Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professional—risks of infection are low, as long as proper procedures are followed, during and after treatment. Though most infections following microblading are not serious and can be treated with over-the-counter antibiotic ointments, there is a risk of developing cellulitis, a much more serious infection that can lead to scarring.

Scarring: Scarring should not occur if microblading is done correctly. Correctly performed microblading should not go deep enough to cause scars. If you see significant bleeding during a microblading procedure, that could indicate that the artist is going too deep. If you have any history of keloid scarring (scarring beyond the boundaries of the original injury) you should avoid microblading procedures.

Infectious Diseases and Microblading

Because the microblading procedure breaks the skin’s surface, there is a risk of passing HIV and Hepatitis B or C through improperly cleaned equipment.

Allergic Reaction: Although allergic reactions are rare, it is possible to react negatively to the pigments being injected beneath the skin. Redness, swelling, itching, and irritation can be a sign of an allergic reaction.

Eyebrow Shape Disasters: Another unfortunate risk with microblading is an unsightly outcome. We’ve all seen the images and Youtube videos of unfortunate victims of bad microblading with eyebrows that look like black Nike swoosh logos, Cruella Deville eyebrows that don’t follow the natural browline, and microblading that resulted in unnatural-looking crosshatch marks across the brow bone.

What are the Causes of Bad Outcomes With Microblading?

When permanent makeup first debuted, it was generally done in a medical setting, by doctors who were attempting to fill in very sparse brows with a tattooing device. It was a very expensive cosmetic procedure. By 2016, however, the technique had been rebranded and marketed as a beauty treatment available in salons at much more affordable rates. The sudden surge in popularity of the procedure resulted in quick training techniques, and under-qualified technicians performing procedures. According to cosmetic dermatologists, there are now microblading technique courses being offered that last only two to three days, and then these “graduates” are immediately out there performing procedures.

how to avoid a Bad microblading Outcome

It’s critical to seek out highly qualified experts for an eyebrow microblading procedure. Look for positive reviews and referrals and be sure your artist is SPCP certified. Make sure that you choose someone with several years of experience in this procedure. Be certain to carefully follow all after-care and follow-up recommendations and seek medical attention for any severe redness, inflammation, pain or bleeding.

Eyebrow Microblading is not for everyone. You should probably not have this type of procedure if you are diabetic, have a heart condition, are using Accutane for acne treatment, have had Botox or a chemical peel recently, are undergoing chemotherapy or radiation, are allergic to lidocaine or other numbing medications, or if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

While there are some risks involved, most procedures have good outcomes and results. However, it’s important to weigh the benefits and risks before choosing a procedure. And remember that eyebrow pencils, gels and fillers can be easily removed, but microblading errors cannot.

Resources— Prevention.com MedicalNewsToday, NY Post, BrowsAndBody.com, MyMed.com