Selecting the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) depends on the procedure being performed. Permanent makeup procedures require the appropriate use of gloves and a mask to protect the permanent makeup artist and their clients. Non-sterile gloves are single-use items that are made of latex, nitrile or vinyl. If you are using latex gloves, verify the client does not have an allergy, and always keep another type of glove handy. Ensure gloves fit snugly and are made of good quality material that will last for procedures that may take a few hours (CDC, 2004). Always wash your hands before and after applying gloves, and limit touching surfaces at your stations as to not contaminate the client, the surface or yourself. Change your gloves when they are torn or become heavily soiled, even if you are still working on the same client. Never wash or reuse your gloves or apply hand sanitizer to them as it makes them more prone to tears. When removing your gloves, pinch the cuff and turn the first glove inside out. Holding the discarded glove in your gloved hand, slide your bare finger under the glove and flip it inside out. Both gloves should be in a ball with the dirty side enclosed for your safety. Immediately discard the gloves and wash your hands using proper technique. Clients cannot transmit disease through their sweat or tears. However, you should use standard precautions and treat all clients as if they have an infectious disease, especially in light of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Masks are made of a few layers of non-woven fabric that should fit snugly across the nose and mouth to prevent fluid penetration and condensation. When preparing for a permanent makeup procedure, apply your mask then gloves. When the procedure is complete, remove your gloves then mask before immediately washing your hands (p. 30). In order to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus, healthcare providers are using N95 particulate respirator masks. These masks were previously reserved for Tuberculosis patients, and require a medical evaluation and fit test to ensure they will work properly. People with claustrophobia or lung disease have difficulty wearing these masks for long periods since they can be difficult to breathe through. The safety precautions permanent makeup artists must take to prevent the Coronavirus when we are allowed to return to our shops remains unclear. N95 respirators will not be as effective in the tattoo shop setting because there is not a negative pressure filtration system to draw the viral particles out of the space. Gowns and goggles, which would have previously been considered overkill for a permanent makeup procedure, may also be necessary to prevent the transmission of the Corornavirus until a vaccine or medication is created to combat this deadly disease. How will your permanent makeup procedures change to ensure that you and your clients are properly protected in the future?
CDC. (2004). Guidance for the Selection and Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in Healthcare Settings. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved March 23, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/hai/pdfs/ppe/ppeslides6-29-04.pdf