Eyebrow procedure comes with risks and warnings

Doctors warning patients to do research before getting microblading prodecure

HOUSTON – When Jennifer walked out of a salon after getting her eyebrows done, nothing was originally wrong.

But then redness started setting in for Jennifer, whose real name is being concealed.

"A few days after, I noticed they were starting to get like little lumps in it," Jennifer said. 

The pain and swelling started to increase to the point where Jennifer went to urgent care and was diagnosed with cellulitis on her face. 

Unfortunately for Jennifer, things got worse and she decided to go to the emergency room. 

"When they admitted me, they put me on an IV bag antibiotic and then the next morning they started me on steroids for the remainder of the time there," she said. 

Jennifer ended up spending three days in the hospital. 

"I was terrified," she said. "My face is swelling up, my eyes are closing and I'm thinking 'I don't know what's gonna happen.'"

What Jennifer had done is called microblading.

It involves a hand tool with tiny needles to make shallow little cuts on the skin when the pigment seeps in, giving semi-permanent results. 

"Basically it gives the appearance of hair on your eyebrows instead of regular tattooing this makes your eyebrows look like you actually have hair," said Dr. Stephen Grekin, a dermatologist. 

Jennifer went to Grekin for long-term treatment. 

"This is potentially life-threatening if not treated," Grekin said. "Because what's right behind here? Sinuses. What do the sinuses communicate? Boom they go right to the brain."

Jennifer's condition is improving, but there are questions as to why she had her problems in the first place. 

"There are a lot of variables in this case," Grekin said. "So, is the patient allergic to the ink that they actually tattoo you with?  That's No. 1. Is she allergic to something they used to prep the skin? Did she get an infection by getting told not to wash her face for two days? We never tell someone 'Don't wash your face after a surgical procedure for two three how many ever days.' We wash everyday no matter what procedure you do on the skin. It's not sterile."

Jennifer is now dealing with mounting medical bills and missed days of work.

"I now regret going in there and getting it done," she said. 

Grekin suggests to not decide on a microblading procedure solely because of cost. The typical price is anywhere from $700 to $800, but Jennifer thought she had found a deal for $250.

"I think its buyer beware," Grekin said. "I think you have to do your research. I think you have to have multiple visits to make certain that you're comfortable that the place is clean, is efficiently run, (and) that this is not taken as sort of a cavalier come in and get your eyebrows waxed."

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