Permanent Makeup Post-Appointment Recommendations
General Information about icepacks
Cold packs have not shown to make a noticeable difference in reducing permanent makeup swelling, but they feel good on the skin and are a comfort measure. Cooling a skin wound is beneficial; freezing it is not. Using refrigerator temperature cold packs is safer for damaged dermis than freezer temperature cold packs.
The traumatized tissue is already in a delicate condition and can get frost damage. Slight cooling of the skin a few times after a permanent makeup procedure can be done by applying wet tea bags, cloths, or gel compresses that were placed in the refrigerator (not freezer) in a ziplock bag. If you like to use bags of frozen peas, place a wet washcloth between your skin and the bag. Clients that leave it alone and let nature take its course heal better than the ones that frantically try to help the process. Cold packs are not recommended for anyone with poor skin circulation, Raynaud’s, cold allergy/ cold urticaria, and other skin/ vascular/ blood disorders that react to cold temperatures.
Inappropriate or overuse use of ice packs on fragile facial skin may cause cryotherapy complications. The freezing can cause ice crystals to form in the skin cells and damage them. Additional swelling can rush in after removal of the ice pack as skin warms. In short, your efforts to reduce swelling with repeat freeze-warm cycles can have the opposite effect and increase swelling.
The ice pack initiates primary constriction of blood vessels, then in response, vessels dilate and the area swells (reactive hyperemia of skin microcirculation). Oxygen is needed to heal wounds. Prolonged application of extreme cold reduces the blood flow that brings oxygen to the skin cells and may cause wound hypoxia and acidosis. A certain amount of skin perfusion pressure (SPP) is needed to maintain transcutaneous oxygen tension (TcPO2) for healing. Hypothermia increases risk of infection by reducing tissue oxygenation in hypoperfused tissues. Oxidative killing by neutrophils is a defense against pathogens, and rate of bacterial killing depends on sufficient tissue oxygenation.
General Healing Hints
A permanent makeup procedure is the equivalent of a skin-deep wound - like a scratch you might get around the house. Expect it to ooze a little, scab a little, and heal in a similar time frame.
- You may cool the skin a few times after permanent makeup procedure with cold pack (or wet and chill chamomile tea bags) for 10 min, every couple of hours the first day. Don’t overdo it. You can switch to warm moist pack (or tea bags) after the second day.
- Keep moist with healing ointment at all times while outer healing occurs (3-5 days eyes, 7-10 days lips). Use healing ointment continuously throughout the day until outer healing is complete. Apply antibiotic ointment twice a day for 2-3 days. The antibiotic ointment is more likely to cause a red itchy reaction with prolonged or continuous use. The antibiotic ointment can be whichever brand you like to use at home (bacitracin, polysporin etc). You may use your favorite moisturizers, serums, or healing ointments that have vitamins in it. Clients do best with water soluble or non comedogenic / pore clogging products that let the skin breathe - especially for the prolonged use of ointment for lip tattoo. If a product stings or burns when you apply it do not use it.
- Notify permanent makeup artist or physician at first sign of allergic reaction or infection. If you suspect a problem is developing, the first thing to do is switch the type of ointment you are using. The ointment is often causing the problem. An occasional slight healing itch is normal. Constant intense itching, abnormal thick yellow discharge, yellow crust, hot burning pain, lumps, bumps, and blisters are not normal.
- Avoid strenuous activity for 2 days. Increased blood pressure and dilated blood vessels increases swelling and oozing. Also, sweat running into a wound stings.
- No Scrubbing. Do not rub, wipe, or scratch or pick at the area. Use patting motions only.
- Keep area clean. Blot or rinse off oozing. Soap/ cleansers may be used as long as they are not alcohol based and do not have anti-aging acids or acne acids in it. Some cleansing chemicals might burn or bleach. If you wouldn’t use a product on any other type of injury, don’t use it on the healing permanent makeup. Rinse and pat dry.
- Do not expose the area to full pressure of the shower. You don’t want the water to beat on it, but water will not erase the tattoo despite the myths being told. Not keeping it clean sets it up for infection. Germs love the extra warmth generated by inflamed tissue, and they like the moistness provided by the oozing and ointment. Germs will be breeding in it. Clean it and keep ointment on it. Scabs that dry out take longer to heal off.
- Do not peel or pick at crust, this could cause pigment loss, scarring, and delayed healing.
- Do not expose to sun or tanning bed while outer healing progresses. Use of sunblock after healing is completed will help prevent premature fading.
- Do not swim in fresh, salt, or chlorinated water for 2 weeks.
- Avoid environments that would cause dirt or germs to contact area while healing.
- Do not apply topical cosmetics over area while healing.
- Ibuprofen or your favorite pain reliever may be used to reduce swelling and discomfort.
- Many anti-aging products and services containing acids, lighteners, and exfoliates cause premature fading of pigment. Avoid pigmented area. Stay about 1/4 inch away from permanent makeup.
- Do not use laser hair removal or foto-facial too close to pigmented area to avoid an accidental hit. Most laser operators know how protect a permanent makeup tattoo from the light by placing a tongue blade perpendicular/ 90° right angle against the edge of the brow or lip.
Healing Hints for eyeliner
- Do not wear contact lenses for 24 hours after procedure.
- Have sunglasses available. Eyes may be light sensitive or even dilated immediately after. The sunglasses are also handy for hiding puffy eyes·
- Do not dye, perm, or use eyelash curler for 2 weeks.
- Do not use mascara until outer healing is complete (3-5 days). Most clients are returning to work in 2 days and are non compliant about this, so at least begin with a new tube of mascara due to risk of bacterial presence in used tubes. Stay a little farther out on the lashes, not too close to the liner. Remove with Vaseline or baby oil without rubbing it into the liner
- Eyes will be swollen for a few days. Eyes may feel dry or irritated. Lubricating refresher drops may be used.
- Do not dye, wax, tweeze, or use electrolysis for 2 weeks in the cosmetic tattoo area. You can tweeze outside / around the permanent makeup.
- It can take a little time for the eyebrow tattoo to soften up, and to see how the color is going to do. After the skin is healed over you can put brow powder on it to mask it while waiting. Many women buy eyeshadow to use as brow powder because there are more tones available. Just make sure it is matte and doesn’t have sparkles in it.