Think before you ink: Permanent makeup comes with serious health risks

Health inspectors find salons put customers at risk with unlicensed employees

MIAMI – The art of tattooing has grown exponentially over the last several years and so have its beauty trend spinoffs.

The most popular when it comes to permanent makeup is microblading, a technique that requires a small tool with tiny needles to add semi-permanent pigment to the skin in the eyebrow area to create an illusion of fuller brows.

Liseth Lopez is among the experts in Miami-Dade County who believe consumers really need to do their homework before they decide to get inked.

“You are exposing yourself to a risk of contracting Hepatitis, HIV, MRSA, any skin contact, it shouldn’t be taken lightly,” said Lopez, of the Pirate’s Cove, which offers tattoos and piercings in Sweetwater.

Lopez teaches a training on Bloodborne Pathogens for the Florida Department of Health. The training is required for every tattoo and permanent make-up artist to get a state license.

“We’re taught that if we see anything wrong with the person’s skin, it’s best not to work on them just for safety of cross-contamination and the public as well as the tattoo artist themselves or the customer,” Lopez said.

In just the last six months, the Miami-Dade Department of Health inspectors have filed dozens of unsatisfactory inspections. Everything from improper sanitization to artists working without a license.

Records show Samir Beauty Enterprises at 5737 SW 8th St., in Flagami, near Coral Gables, was among the offenders. According to a November inspection, the salon’s microblading technician didn’t have a Florida license.

(UPDATE: Local 10 News learned that Samir Beauty Enterprises has received a satisfactory inspection in the time since our initial report.)

Records also show J.R. Browboss Beauty & School at 15805 Biscayne Blvd., in North Miami Beach, also didn’t pass inspection. At the location, there was a notice saying the facility hadn’t paid rent in three months.

“People in Miami are really more concerned about price more than anything else,” and this Lopez said is dangerous, because the consequences “could be life or death.”

For more information about license verification, visit the department of health’s database.

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