Updated: Jul 8, 2020

The permanent makeup industry has come a long way. PMU procedures are generally considered non-invasive, but whenever there is breaking of the skin, there are certain risks involved. 

Most of them are not related to the pigments (although substandard quality pigments could cause irritation and even granulomas, and unattractive fading, so make sure you check what the artist of your choice is using), but rather to the artist’s technique and the conditions under which the procedure is done.

Permanent makeup treatments are generally safe for everyone, with some exceptions related to certain conditions. Side-effects are extremely rare, and can be prevented by proper hygiene and a quick test against allergies.

Risk of infection

The number one issues that arise from PMU procedures are infections cause by artist’s unprofessionalism. Whenever the skin is broken, there’s the possibility of bacteria entering your system. This risk is minimal in a sterile environment, which is what every PMU salon should be, but the fact is, not every artist pays the same attention to hygiene. Before every treatment, all the tools must be sterilized, just like all the surfaces the tools or the client may come in contact with. The most serious consequence of using unsterilized tools is the transmission of hepatitis. The area treated should be thoroughly cleaned. The artist must wear protective equipment (gloves, mask, goggles) throughout the procedure.


A less common, but still present issue is the formation of excessive scarring, or keloids, that are sometimes formed when an area of the skin is pierced over and over. Some people have genetically have skin prone to keloids or hypertrophic scarring and are probably aware of the risks. However, a particularly aggressive technique can cause keloids even on people who don’t.

Allergic reaction

Yes, although these are very rare. Your body may react with swelling, stinging, or redness to certain ingredients in the pigment formula.Luckily, this can all be avoided by doing a patch test. If you have a concerns, please see your doctor and ask for a patch test before the procedure.

How to avoid these side-effects?

The only way to avoid all these side-effects is to carefully choose your artist. In the past few years, the number of working PMU artists has sky-rocketed and unfortunately, a large portion of them simply aren’t very skilled, and some of them may not have gone through bloodborne pathogen training. This is due to the lack of regulation in many states.

You should also take advantage of your consultation appointment to ask them anything you’re curious about. If they seem unsure, avoid your questions or don’t give satisfactory answers, maybe you should look for another artist.

Unfortunately, Permanent Makeup isn’t safe for people who suffer from certain conditions:

  • People with diabetes

  • People with serious diseases such as cancer, epilepsy or autoimmune disorders

  • People during pregnancy and breastfeeding

  • People with any bleeding disorders

  • People who take blood thinning medications

  • People who’ve recently had Botox injections or fillers (at least 2 weeks should pass before you get PMU)

  • People with viral infections or diseases

  • People who are going through chemotherapy

  • People with skin irritations or Psoriasis near the treated area

Best regards,

Rita Makmak | Permanent Makeup Artist

Your Beauty Is My Passion

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