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So you have

Eczema.

Is microblading right for you?

This blog post specifically talks about eczema under the eyebrow area. It does not apply to people with eczema on other parts of their face or body.

As brow artists, we see all different types of skin conditions and how they impact the permanent makeup process. Eczema is one of the most difficult conditions to work around, and a lot of people don’t even know that they have eczema! When scratched, eczema can weep a clear fluid and become more susceptible to bacterial, viral, and fungal skin infections. This makes microblading much less effective and even dangerous. We talk about how heavy bleeding can wash away the pigment from microblading in this blog post about red undertones, and eczema leads to a very similar result. If we see a client come in with eczema underneath their brows, we will highly recommend that they see a dermatologist or get their skin treated first.  

close up of a woman's forehead with small red bumps under the eyebrow

While we normally recommend ombre as an alternative for those not suited for microblading, that's not necessarily the case in terms of eczema. Eczema is very surface level, and even though the ombre method doesn't cause bleeding like microblading does, it still penetrates the epidermal layer of skin. This causes eczema to weep clear fluid, which will wash away the pigment.

While eczema under the brows can make the ombre method less effective, there's no real way to know without a consultation.

A close up of an eyebrow with three different circles that have images of possible skin concerns (eczema, rosacea, bumpy skin). They all look red and irritated. Text says

In our experience, those with eczema might require a much longer appointment. It's important to go slowly in order to have as much pigment as possible.

People with eczema under their brows are also more likely to need a third or even fourth session. In the rarest of cases, the pigment still may not stay even after several sessions. We cannot recommend many sessions in a short time period, as each session increases the risk of prolonged skin trauma.

We do what we can to make sure that our clients are satisfied with their brows, but we can never predict how someone's skin will take the pigment. We can only educate on the possible complications and warn that results may not always look the same as our normal work.   

This client is lacking hair on the edges of her brows because of eczema. When she attempted to get microbladed brows, the pigment disappeared from the strokes almost immediately after healing. She attempted to have it corrected several times. Even when black pigment was used, her skin did not take the color and it faded very quickly. 

After she came to us, we recommended that she seek treatment for her eczema before getting her brows done again. 

A close up of a girl's eyebrow with small bumps underneath the bottom of her brow

The good thing about eczema being such a common skin condition is the large amount of treatments available. Speaking to a dermatologist is always the first recommendation, as over the counter products are often too general and aren't likely to be a long-term solution. If you are for some reason unable to see a dermatologist, a mix of over the counter products may help clear up eczema long enough for permanent makeup. These tips are not meant to replace the advice that a dermatologist or doctor would give, but just to prepare the skin for a permanent makeup service. 

Hydrocortisone cream is the recommendation seen most often for short term eczema relief. It is a very low dose steroid used to treat itchy and irritated skin. Many microblading artists even use hydrocortisone as a post-procedure ointment. This means that it is safe to continue with hydrocortisone treatment for a few days after microblading to promote proper healing. Shampoos that contain ketoconazole, selenium sulfide, coal tar, or zinc pyrithione are also helpful in controlling eczema. While shampoos with those ingredients are usually advertised as dandruff control, they function well to clean up dead skin and to  stop the growth of malassezia, a yeast that is the main contributor to eczema. 

In most cases, keeping skin hydrated is the most important factor. Unscented or natural moisturizers should be used regularly with caution. Skin impacted with eczema can be very sensitive to certain products or scents, so they should always be slowly introduced. Shampoos with colloidal oatmeal, hyaluronic acid, and shea butter are also recommended for increased hydration. 

Still feeling unsure? We know it can be confusing, so we designed a quiz that can help you get a better idea of what would be the best choice for you. While we still heavily encourage a consultation, the quiz is a great first step!