Is Eyebrow Tattooing Dangerous? Assessing the Safety Risks

Eyebrow tattooing, also referred to as eyebrow embroidery, microblading, or permanent makeup, semi-permanently tattoos individual hair strokes onto the skin above your eyes to fill out brows and create a perfectly filled-in look. But is having a needle repeatedly pierce the thin, sensitive skin on your face actually safe? What risks does eyebrow tattooing really pose?

Is Eyebrow Tattooing Dangerous

Is Eyebrow Tattooing Dangerous?

While eyebrow tattooing is generally safe when proper precautions are taken, some risks do exist. Infection, allergic reactions, scarring, granulomas, interference with medical imaging, and other complications are possible, though uncommon. Choosing an experienced, reputable artist, and promptly treating any problems greatly lowers the dangers. I will detail below!

Eyebrow Tattooing Carries Some Risks

While millions get eyebrow tattoos with no issues, there are some safety concerns to consider before jumping on the microblading bandwagon simply because your favorite influencer got it done. Some potential dangers include:


Anytime you get a tattoo — even semi-permanent cosmetic ones — you increase infection risk. If the technician reuses ink or fails to properly sterilize tools between clients, they can transfer dangerous bacteria like staph into your skin along with the pigment. Signs of infection after microblading include pus, swelling, redness, severe pain, heat and fever. Seek antibiotics immediately if concerned.

Allergic Reaction

It’s possible to develop an allergic reaction to the pigments used in the tattoo. Redness, itching, swelling, and rash can occur either immediately or up to weeks later. Let your artist know if you have lots of allergies or reactions to hair dyes, makeup, metals, topical products etc. so they can select inks least likely to trigger sensitivities.

Excessive Scarring

While some inflammation and redness is normal during the healing phase, some people produce too much collagen while healing, leading to thick, raised scars. Those already prone to hypertrophic scars and keloids should carefully consider this risk before intentionally creating small wounds on the face repeatedly with microblading.

Granulomas and Sarcoidosis

Granulomas are benign inflammatory knots that your body makes around foreign particles like tattoo pigment to wall it off. Sarcoidosis occurs when you develop multiple clustered granulomas. Either can form nodules and bumps years later inside microbladed eyebrows. See a dermatologist to diagnose.

Interference With Medical Imaging

Finally, know that all tattoos, including cosmetic microblading, can potentially cause problems if you need an MRI later on. The ink particles may heat up, swell, distort the images, or cause localized burning sensations. Inform your radiologist about even “semi-permanent” tattoos.

So while major reactions are uncommon, speak to both your doctor and your artist about your personal risk profile before consenting to any needles near your eyes. Share relevant health history.

What To Do If Problems Arise Post Procedure

What To Do If Problems Arise Post Procedure

If you do experience any of the following after getting eyebrow tattoos, take these next steps:

Signs of Infection

  • Pus, swelling, redness, severe pain, heat around the area
  • Fever, flu-like illness

Seek medical attention immediately to get on antibiotics to treat an infected tattoo before it gets worse or spreads. Do not wait! Catch quickly.

Allergic Reaction

  • Itching, redness, rash, swelling
  • Occurs suddenly or gradually

Alert your microblading artist and dermatologist. You may need topical steroids, oral antihistamines, or antibiotic ointment to clear up. Identify which ink chemical caused issues.

Hypertrophic Scars or Keloids

  • Thick, raised scars that grow larger vs. flattening
  • Develops in the months after while healing

Visit a dermatologist promptly. Get injections and specialized treatments to halt the overgrown tissue and minimize permanent conspicuous scarring.

By promptly recognizing complications and getting proper medical treatment, you can minimize risks from the semi-permanent tattoos. Don’t ignore problems!

Choosing an Experienced, Reputable Artist Lowers Risks

Choosing an Experienced, Reputable Artist Lowers Risks

Now that we’ve covered what can go wrong with eyebrow embroidery, how can you best prevent problems in the first place? The #1 most import thing is vetting your artist extensively.

Red flags include:

  • Offering discounts or deals significantly below market rate
  • Operating out of their home rather than a licensed salon
  • Little specialized training or experience in permanent makeup
  • No before/after photos to view healed results
  • No medical background or credentials
  • Poor reviews mentioning infections, poor outcomes
  • Doesn’t use disposable needles or sterilize equipment

Instead choose an artist who:

  • Has many years specialized experience in micropigmentation
  • Operates out of a registered, regulated facility
  • Has strong reviews praising their professionalism, results
  • Shows many examples of their work healing well
  • Uses precautions like disposables, sterilizing tools, gloves

While no procedure on the face is 100% without risks, choosing who wields the needle very carefully drastically reduces the chances of any complications arising from semi-permanent eyebrow tattoos. Do your research!

In Conclusion

When properly executed by a licensed, reputable technician, millions of people get eyebrow tattoos with no issues at all beyond some normal healing period inflammation and tenderness. However, some risk of infection, allergic reaction, scarring, or other problems does exist, especially in the hands of an inexperienced or careless artist. Weigh risks vs. rewards, pick your pro wisely, and promptly treat any problems that emerge!

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