Biological hazards associated with microblading and evaluation of its infection control procedures and wound care
Background: Microblading is emerging as one of the fastest growing beauty trends, appearing in tattoo shops, hair salons, and even in private home studios. The procedure uses a tool with single blade to penetrate the upper layer of the dermis and deposit semi-permanent pigments to mimic hair-like strokes. This study compares the risks of microblading to those in tattooing and analyzes the similarities in order to determine the biological hazards associated with microblading. Currently, there is a lack of knowledge on microblading practices specifically, and the purpose of this study was to evaluate the level of infection control knowledge and practices in place, as well as the attitudes towards regulations in British Columbia. Method: Self-administered electronic surveys created on Google Forms were distributed to microblading establishments in B.C. through email. The survey assessed the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of microbladers in B.C. through a series of questions regarding demographics, infection control, and wound care. A list of 130 microblading establishments were contacted and asked to participate in the online survey. Results: Among the 130 microblading establishments contacted, 41 agreed to participate. The majority of microbladers had a college certificate or diploma, 1-5 years of experience, and have taken a bloodborne pathogen course. Over 31% of the participants operated both in microblading as well as permanent makeup, 27% operated solely as microbladers, and 22% of the participants had both microblading and spa operations. The most prevalent form of training was a microblading course that lasted a week or longer, and 78% of the participants felt that there should be more training required for becoming a microblader. There was no association between the years of experience and level of pathogen knowledge according to the Chi square test (p=0.78), and no association between the attitude towards regulations regarding microblading and the number of infection control measures in place (p=0.38). However, there was a statistically significant association between taking a bloodborne pathogen course and knowing the correct bloodborne pathogens of concern. Conclusion: Microbladers in British Columbia are fairly new and thus only have 1-5 years of experience, and minimal training of week-long microblading courses. A majority of them feel that more training or certification should be required and that there should be more regulations regarding microblading. The results indicated that education and training provide the most knowledge rather than years of experience. This suggests that health authorities should focus on providing more access to education for microblading, such as offering a TattooSafe program for tattooing microblading, and permanent makeup, similar to FoodSafe, and developing more material to inform microblading fact sheets.