By Barbie Carpenter

Full eyebrows have been on-trend for years now, and they're not going anywhere. They really frame the face and lend a youthful look. If you're not genetically blessed with naturally thick brows, there are all the products in the world, from brow pencils to mascaras to powders, to let you fake it. Permanent brow tattoos are even an option for those who really want to commit and not have to bother with daily brow maintenance. After a permanent eyebrow procedure, expect a healing time of about three to 10 days, depending on how your skin reacts.

Permanent makeup. Tattooing of eyebrows
credit: Lyashik/iStock/GettyImages

Healing: Immediately After the Procedure

After permanent eyebrows are applied, the area may be puffy, red, crusty, itchy and even slightly swollen. These symptoms are normal and do not require medical care; they should dissipate after a few days. Cold packs can help ease discomfort and minimize swelling. If crusting occurs, avoid picking, scratching or washing off the crust; otherwise you could remove some of the tattooed ink and slow down the healing process.

After-Care Treatment

To make sure your brows heal properly, it's absolutely essential to follow the after-care instructions outlined by your technician.

  • Moisture: Using a clean cotton swab, apply a skin-healing ointment on your permanent eyebrows 4 times a day to keep the area well hydrated.

  • Makeup: Wait 3 to 5 days to wear makeup on the newly pigmented eyebrows.

  • Washing: Avoid washing permanent eyebrows with soaps, facial cleansers or plain water for 5 days.

  • Sun exposure: Avoid direct sun exposure as your permanent eyebrows heal.

Long-Term Care

Newly tattooed permanent eyebrows likely heal within 10 days of application, but they still need long-term care to keep them looking their best. Protection from the sun's harmful rays is especially important to keep the brows from fading. Apply sunscreen to the area daily.

Schedule a follow-up appointment with your technician about three weeks after application. At that point, you can assess the color of your brows and determine if any touch-ups are needed. Touch-ups may also be in order about one to two years after the first session.

Healing Issues: When to Call a Doctor

When your reactions to permanent eyebrows go beyond the typical slight swelling, redness and crusting, you may need to contact your doctor. In some instances, allergic reactions to the dye in the tattoo ink can occur; so if swelling and irritation persist for more than a few days, contact your doctor. If you notice any extreme reactions like blistering, scarring or developing granulomas, which are masses inside your skin tissue, contact your doctor immediately.