Microblading, as we know, is a process where feather-like incisions are made on the eyebrows; this allows pigment to be inserted into the skin, thus creating a defined shape and full look for the brows.
As we are opening the skin, there are potential health risks involved. But bloodborne pathogens and microblading, as with any other tattoo-like procedure, can be controlled and prevented with proper preparation. A successful artist will take all steps and precautions necessary in order to eliminate the risk of any potential disease transfer.
I’ve put together an exposure control summary for you, the artist, to reference when it comes down to dealing with the risk of bloodborne pathogens during microblading. With the proper knowledge, education, and procedures, artists can achieve beautiful tattooed brows while minimizing the health risks.
What Are Bloodborne Pathogens?
Bloodborne pathogens are tiny microorganisms that are present in human blood, and can be transmitted causing disease in humans. Examples of bloodborne pathogens are Hepatitis B, HIV, and other infectious diseases transmitted by blood. Any occupation that involves open skin and the presence of blood is at risk for exposure.
Sounds Risky.. So How Does Transmission Occur?
The most common way bloodborne pathogens are transmitted is when the infected blood comes in contact with another person’s mucous membranes or an existing wound.
Not only is the artist at risk for exposure, but transmission from client to client is also a risk; depending on the pathogen, some may stick around on dry surfaces for up to a week! For example, Hepatitis B can survive in dried blood for up to 7 days.
Cross-contamination can be sneaky; that’s why strict sterilization standards should be your priority. Legally, it is also your responsibility as the artist to make sure your client(s) are safe throughout your procedure!
Being extremely cautious when it comes to surface sterilization is so important. For example, a client may touch her eyebrow after the procedure, as she is admiring your work; then, she touches the side of the microblading table as she leaves. If the table is not properly sterilized post-procedure, the next client is at risk when they touch the table.
This goes for anything that comes into contact with your clients’ open skin, whether it be the client’s hand, your gloves, your tools.. These are all potential risks for cross-contamination.
How Do I Prevent This?!
The best way to deal with bloodborne pathogens is to prevent cross-contamination altogether.
Taking a training course for bloodborne pathogen certification is critical before even setting hand on a client. Having the proper knowledge about bloodborne pathogens will help you develop the safest practices and transmission prevention for your business. The client will also be more assured that you are trustworthy in terms of health standards knowing that you’re certified.
It’s also highly recommended to re-take your bloodborne pathogens training annually, to stay up to date and refresh your mind on the risks and safe practices.
It’s a good idea, especially in terms of health and safety, to use as many disposable tools and products as possible. From microblading tools, to table sheets, to barrier films, and face masks – changing all of these diligently will help minimize the risks of bloodborne pathogens hanging around.
Always keep in mind that your gloves should be removed prior to EVERY time you touch something new after touching your client’s brows.
Keeping only disposable items on your tray will make a huge difference in keeping things sanitary.
Always dispose of your needles in your sharps container ONLY.
On top of these preventative practices, disinfecting all surfaces is mandatory in keeping a sterile studio space.
There are a few different practices that should be implemented in order to maintain the cleanest equipment possible. Wash your hands often whenever your gloves are removed; clean your non-disposable tools well; and disinfect all surfaces in between client with a hospital-grade disinfectant.
Having a high-quality disinfectant is crucial for stopping bloodborne pathogens in their tracks. I recommend CaviWipes or PDI Sanicloth Plus for disinfecting surfaces; both of these brands are highly used in the industry and will provide the sterilization you’re looking for.
Be sure to read the label, as some spray disinfectants must sit on the surface for a length of time in order to be effective. Remember to sanitize every piece of reusable equipment, including bed surface, mirror handles, sink handles, and your whole microblading tray.
Additional Tips And Procedures
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND CLIENTS
- Take universal precautions; treat all blood and bodily fluids as infectious.
- Adhere to a strict hand hygiene protocol.
- Wear the appropriate protective equipment. This always starts with gloves, but masks, gowns, and eye protection will aid in preventing any bodily fluids from coming in direct contact with your skin or mucous membranes.
- Use sterile, single-use microblading tools for each client.
- Use a high-quality disinfecting solution on your equipment between all procedures.
- Make sure you’re up to date on all of your vaccines.
- Always dispose of needles in your sharps container.
- Take your bloodborne pathogens course annually, to keep up to date on all procedures and information.
- Aim to achieve the highest standard possible when it comes to health and safety.
Knowledge Is Power
Having the knowledge on how to handle bloodborne pathogen exposure will greatly reduce the risks. Even though we’re working in an industry that involves opening the skin on a daily basis, much of the uncertainty you and your clients may have will be diminished once your health standards are in place and in full effect.
Please note that this summary is not intended to replace a bloodborne pathogens course. It is intended for reference and additional information only.
With the proper tools, education, and practices, you will be able to grow your microblading business safely and your clients will know they are in good hands!
If you have questions about bloodborne pathogens and microblading, please let me know! Drop a comment down below, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to happy, healthy brows!