Tattoos and Microblading: Recommendations from Dermatologist

Tattoos and Microblading: Recommendations from Dermatologist

As a physician, I always recommend caution and education before undergoing any elective procedure. Procedure puts you at risk for a complication so do your research beforehand. What are the possible complications and is the person doing the procedure able to fix those possible complications? Are the risks of the procedure worth the benefits to you?

Like many industries in the US, tattooing and microblading are not well regulated, there is no uniformity to the required training, the ingredients in the ink, in the pre and post care. Yet, it can be a permanent procedure. Every year I see complications from tattoos and microblading, primarily allergic reaction to the products the patient is using on the new tattoo, allergic reactions to the ingredients the ink, and infections from the needles pushing bacteria into the skin.

Of these three more common complications, the first one is the easiest to fix. Let's review the commonly recommended options for healing the skin after getting a tattoo or your eyebrows microbladed.

  1. Vaseline/petroleum may fade the ink but it will not cause an allergic reaction and is cheap so for many this is an ok trade off.
  2. Aquaphor is a more expensive petroleum product that has lanolin in it. Lanolin has been marketed for years as natural healer for the skin when in fact studies have never been able to support this claim but they have shown a rapidly increasing rate of allergy to it. But the majority of people are NOT allergic to it so for a single individual it could be safe.
  3. Over the counter antibiotic ointments (Neosporin, Polysporin) used to kill bacteria commonly found on the skin but they have been so widely used for 40+ years, most bacteria are resistant to them and they also contain ingredients that frequently cause allergic reactions.

I see no benefit worth the risk of using Aquaphor, Neospoin, Polysporin. They all cost more than plain Vaseline, still contain petroleum that will fade color and other ingredients that can cause irritation and allergic reactions.

The best option is Doctor Rogers RESTORE Healing Balm, a petroleum-free, hypoallergenic  ointment that speeds the healing process without affecting the color or your new art. I made this balm because I was so frustrated by the number of allergenic reactions I was seeing from the ointments people were using on their skin after procedures. RESTORE Healing Balm is all we use after surgeries and lasering in my dermatology practice.  After seeing how well it healed their skin, many, including a few tattoo artists use it to heal skin after microblading and tattooing because it safe for the most sensitive, raw or damaged skin while aids in healing.

Tattoos, microblading, body piercings, plastic surgery and other elective procedures all have their pros and cons. You need to do your homework before you decide what is the right choice for you. Unlike plastic surgery, tattoos and piercing can be a spur of the moment decisions which can lead to regret. The most common complication from getting a tattoo is no longer wanting the tattoo. This has become so common that tattoo removal is a billion dollar industry in the United States.


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Meet the author: Board-certified and practicing dermatologist, Dr. Heather D. Rogers, MD, is the founder of Doctor Rogers Skin Care and Modern Dermatology in Seattle, Washington. She studied at Stanford, University of Washington School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center. She lectures nationally, is well published, and an active member of the American Academy of Dermatology. Highly respected among the skin care community, Dr. Rogers has been annually named “Top 1% of Most Honored Doctors in the US” by Castle Connolly.

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