What is microblading?
Your eyebrows play a major role in defining and enhancing your facial features. The endless hassle of filling in and shaping your eyebrows while applying makeup might have most people look for a more convenient and better option. Microblading is one such option to enhance your eyebrows without the need for daily hassles. It is a kind of semi-permanent tattooing for your eyebrows. Microblading, also called micro feathering or micro shading, involves depositing a pigment into the skin using a needle mounted on a small handheld tool. The procedure creates an illusion of fuller eyebrows. Thus, it partially or fully camouflages the missing eyebrow hair with the appearance of simulated hair by using fine deposits of pigments, colors and/or dyes. The procedure may take one to two hours to complete, but the results may last for years. Although called microblading, the hand-held instrument used in the procedure does not have blades. The instrument has a group or configuration of needles that are used to inject pigment into the skin.
Microblading, like any other cosmetic procedure, must be done by a licensed practitioner, preferably a board-certified dermatologist. In some states, microblading may be performed by a trained technician and a license may not be required.
What happens during a microblading procedure?
Microblading procedure takes around 45 minutes to two hours depending on how full you wish your eyebrows to appear. Before starting the procedure, the technician or doctor will discuss the best eyebrow shape and color for you according to the shape of your face, your complexion and hair color. Then, the professional will clean and numb the brow area to be treated. They use a hand-held instrument with fine needles so that the pigment or color penetrates deeper into the skin layers (the lower epidermis and/or dermis). Using the tool, they manually draw hair strokes that resemble natural eyebrows.
The practitioner’s hand moves to break the top layers of the skin (the epidermis) through the tiny needles to inject pigment. Alternatively, a machine with a rotary motor moves the needles up and down at a high rate to break the top layers of the epidermis to implant pigment.
Lastly, the area is cleaned and a soothing ointment or cream is applied to expedite the healing process. Some bleeding and swelling are to be expected.
What is the cost of microblading?
Microblading is quite an expensive procedure. The cost is generally several hundred dollars, ranging on average from 500 to 2,000 dollars. The cost varies depending on several factors, such as the practitioner’s consultation charges, the geographic location of the clinic or center, the facilities provided including the tools and equipment used and the experience of the practitioner. Thus, it is wise to consult with your practitioner’s office to ascertain your final fee. You should also ask about any available financing plans or offers from their office.
Insurance coverage for cosmetic procedures and their complications is usually not offered by most health insurance plans. Since microblading is purely done for aesthetic concerns, you are not likely to get insurance coverage for the service.
Is microblading safe?
When performed by a skilled practitioner, the risks with microblading are generally low. Microblading and other forms of eyebrow and eyelash enhancements pose health risks because they are pretty close to the eye. They can even cause problems with vision. Some people may develop allergic reactions. As the pigment is deposited deep into the skin, the allergen is difficult to remove. The chances of allergic reactions increase with repeated exposure. Hence, some people may have an adverse reaction even when the previous procedure was fine for them. The US FDA does not approve any pigment or color additives for permanent dyeing or tinting of eyelashes and eyebrows. It further warns against the risk of serious eye injuries and blindness with these procedures. There are also other risks, such as bleeding, infection, scarring and granuloma formation (masses that form around the pigment deposits).
American Academy of Ophthalmology
New Jersey Department of Health
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