Permanent Makeup Post-Appointment Recommendations
GENERAL PERMANENT MAKEUP POST-PROCEDURE AFTER-CARE INSTRUCTIONS
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 contraindicated for anyone with poor skin circulation, Raynaud’s, cold allergy/ cold urticaria, and other skin/ vascular/ blood disorders that react to cold temperatures.
Inappropriate/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.
Helpful Hints for healing and comfort
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 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.
Aftercare Healing Hints for eyeliner (lash enhancement) permanent makeup
- 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.
For Eyebrow Permanent Makeup
- 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.
For Lip Liner and Full Blush Permanent Makeup
- Lips will ooze a couple of days. Blot and reapply ointment. After sleeping, crust will have dried on the lips. Rinse with water or put more ointment on to loosen crust, blot and reapply ointment. Most tissues like the ones you blow your nose with will leave lint on the lips. Use something stronger and lint-free like Bounty hand towels. A soaking wet cloth feels good to blot with.
- Lips will be tender at first. Drink through a straw. Choose foods you can place in your mouth with a fork without touching lips.
- Place an old towel on the pillow you will sleep on until the oozing stops so you won’t ruin good pillowcases or pillows.
- Do not excessively stretch lips while they are healing with big smiles, or pucker lips with smoking. Those motions push and pull against the lip edges, applying tension and friction between the strong normal skin surrounding the mouth and the broken inflamed lip edges. Lip skin is a continuation of the delicate mucous membrane in the mouth. It is not strong like normal skin.
- On the third day, lips stop oozing and start peeling. This is when the chapped lip feeling is strongest. You may relieve the chapped lip feeling by lightly massaging the lips after placing a thick layer of ointment on them and making gentle circular motions with one finger. The light, wet massage helps get loose skin off that is ready to come off without yanking out skin that is not ready to come off. The massage relieves the chapped feeling for several hours, then it returns, and you can massage again.
- Lips will peel for a week. Other than the massage mentioned above, allow it to flake off on its own. Picking and pulling off skin that is not ready to come off will cause pigment loss and can pull out deeper tissue. The edges or lip liner will be the last to fall off. Pulling this off will result in an uneven splotchy line or an indented scar (like messing with a pimple).
- Try to keep toothpaste off lips while healing.
- Do not have teeth bleached while healing.
- During the peeling process it may look like there is not much color there. Color is more apparent by the second week. Final result is not judged for 2 months.
- It is normal to have discomfort or a feeling of pressure the day of the lip procedure. The next day should be minimal. If you begin having pain on the 3rd or 4th day after being pain-free, it is a signal that something is wrong. It is usually one of three things: 1) Infection, 2) Cold sore, or 3) Allergic contact dermatitis from antibiotic ointment. Switch ointments to rule out that as the cause, and consider a culture to determine bacterial vs yeast infection. We take cultures at our office. We offer consultation and culture collection for anyone who has had permanent makeup procedures elsewhere and is having a healing problem. The lab will send a bill for their services if health insurance does not cover the expense.
- Lip infections after permanent makeup procedures are usually described as burning pain. Bacterial lip infections have a yellow gooey discharge, but begin peeling as expected on day three. Candidal lip infections do not begin peeling on time as would be expected with healthy healing lips (possibly due to candida adhesion properties), and may have a velvety appearance. Candida lip infections have one or more of the following depending on the strain or severity of the infection: cracking and bleeding – more likely near the corners, itching or tingling, whitish bumps/ nodules/ blisters/ pustules – more likely along the edges of the lips. Fungi concentration has been more prominent on the periphery of healing lips where they do the most damage causing blisters, scarring, or tightness. The tightness may relax in time but can take months to years.
- Lip skin yeast cultures taken before the lips heal over usually return positive results in individuals fitting yeast symptoms. Lip skin yeast cultures taken after the lips heal over may return false negative results. Being past the point of reliable results for skin swab culture, a person might need to speak with a dermatologist about a biopsy for diagnosis. Candida strains have a tricky ‘switching’ ability to change phenotype and display various colonial morphology and physiological properties to invade and survive in various environments/ tissue types or body areas, which might account for some of the false negative testing results. Candida should be given the last name chameleon. Candida antibiotics started early (within the first week) clear up lip infections well. Delayed therapy can allow the organism to penetrate deeper tissues, and the person may experience a lengthy spell of sore lips, and be able to feel knots deep in the lip tissue.
- After the lips are healed over and all is well, they still feel more chapped than normal. The chapped feeling subsides over a period of weeks to months. Certain lip balms create the problem. Do not use anything made for cold sores or blisters (carmex, blistex) because although they initially feel moisturizing, they turn around and dry the lips out. Some do more damage than that, especially if applied on broken lip tissue during the healing process. Applying vitamin E will usually help.