A Consultant Dermatologist, Dr. Folakemi Cole-Adeife, has urged Nigerians to exercise caution with cosmetic tattooing of eyebrows known as microblading, warning that it can cause infections, keloid, toxicity and allergic reactions, especially when done by an untrained aesthetician.
Cole-Adeife who works at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, told the News Agency of Nigeria on Wednesday.
She described microblading as cosmetic tattooing of the eyebrows, usually to make them appear fuller and to have a desirable shape, reducing the need for frequent shaping or shaving.
According to her, microblading can enhance cosmetic beauty but it is not without possible risks both long and short-term, especially when it is not done by a trained professional.
“Herpes virus, Hepatitis B or C, and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can occur from the use of unsterilised equipment or materials and poor aseptic techniques.
“Also poor aftercare of the tattooed eyebrows in the few days after the procedure can also result in infection.
“One should avoid the use of heavy makeup or make-up brushes owned by others like make-up artists for at least one week after microblading to reduce the risk of post-procedure infection.
“The infections can be bacterial, fungal, or even viral and can lead to long-term complications if not properly treated when they occur,” she said.
Cole-Adeife urged persons with a history of excessive scarring or keloids, to avoid micro blading as keloids could develop from the procedure in such people.
“Scar or keloid formation is one of the long-term complications that could occur from micro-blading, particularly in dark-skinned people who have an increased risk of keloids.
“Another long-term risk could be from the microblading dye itself being absorbed into the skin or bloodstream and causing toxicity but this is quite rare,” she said.
The dermatologist said there could be allergic reactions to the microblading dye as some people might react to the dye used resulting in itching and swelling of the affected areas.
She advised that the dye be applied to a small test area a few days before the procedure to determine whether the person is allergic to the microblading dye or not.
“If anyone experiences any of these side effects, they should see a dermatologist for appropriate care to avoid further complications,” she said.
Cole-Adeife said that the microblading procedure should be done by an experienced aesthetician to avoid poor outcomes.
“Microblading by unskilled aesthetician can leave the client with undesirable semipermanent eyebrows that can only be removed via another laser tattoo removal, which is quite expensive,” she said.