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Micropigmentation (Permanent Makeup)

printable fact sheet for operators

What is the health risk? 

Instruments and equipment used for micropigmentation may become contaminated with blood or body fluids carrying blood-borne diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C or other infectious agents such as bacteria or fungi.

You do not have to see blood or body fluids on instruments for an infection to occur.
Clean and disinfect or sterilize instruments between clients.
Both the worker and the client can develop or spread an infection
during micropigmentation.

  • Avoid micropigmentation within 6 inches of skin that is inflamed, infected or has a rash.
  • Thoroughly wash your hands before and after each client using liquid soap and warm water and use disposable paper towel.
  • Single-use, disposable gloves must be worn for each client and discarded after each client.  Gloves must also be discarded at breaks when treating the same client.  Wash hands before and after using gloves.
  • Once the procedure has been completed, immediately discard used needles into a labeled sharps container.  Never overfill, empty or touch contents of a sharps container.
  • Do not discard sharps into the municipal garbage. Sharps containers must be picked up by a licensed biomedical waste hauler.
  • Get vaccinated. Hepatitis B vaccination is strongly recommended.
  • Needles must be single use, sterile and disposable. Needles must never be reused, even on the same client.
  • If skin must be shaved, single-use, disposable razors must be used and immediately discarded into a sharps container after each client.
  • Clean skin with an antiseptic, like 70% alcohol, using a clean disposable swab.
  • Stencils must be discarded after each client.
  • Single-use applicators must be used to dispense all creams, lotions or ointments. Do not “double dip” as this can cause infections.
  • Disposable ink caps must be cleaned with soap and water and then disinfected with an intermediate level disinfectant, like 70% alcohol for 10 minutes of contact time, and be discarded after each client.
  • Reusable ink caps must be cleaned with soap and water and then sterilized, using an approved sterilizer, between clients. 
  • Tissues, wipes and jelly should be dispensed prior to starting each service. Unused items or portions must be discarded after each client.
  • Equipment, such as light fixtures and parts of the micropigmentation machine, that cannot be cleaned and disinfected must be covered with a single-use plastic wrap and changed between clients or wiped down with a low level disinfectant, such as 1tsp of bleach with 10 cups of water and given 10 minutes contact time, between clients.
  • Work surfaces, such as chairs and tables, must be cleaned and then disinfected using a low level disinfectant, such as 1tsp of bleach with 10 cups of water and given 10 minutes contact time, after each client. 
  • If surfaces become contaminated with blood or body fluids a high-level disinfectant, such as 6% hydrogen peroxide and given 45 minutes contact time, or ¼ cup of bleach with 2 ¼ cups of water with 10 minutes contact time, must be used.
  • Keep client and accidental blood and body fluid exposure records for 5 years and on-site for a minimum of one year.
  • Clients should be provided with verbal and written aftercare instructions.

Adapted from and used by permission of the Durham Region Health Department and Toronto Public Health

Operator Services

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Revised: Friday April 03 2020

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