How To Reduce Swelling After Permanent Eyeliner [answered]

Permanent eyeliner can help emphasize the natural beauty of your eyes, but the procedure can sometimes cause swelling and irritation. In this article, I show you just how easy it is to reduce swelling after permanent eyeliner.

How To Reduce Swelling After Permanent Eyeliner

The best way to reduce the swelling is to apply an ice pack on your eyes for 10 minutes every hour for the first 4-6 hours. You can also use cold tea bags or a cold compress. Taking ibuprofen can help with any pain you may experience.

What To Expect After A Permanent Eyeliner Procedure?

Permanent eyeliner is fast becoming a popular beauty procedure for those who want to look their best with minimal effort. 

Although it’s called permanent eyeliner, it’s really more semi-permanent and lasts anywhere from four to six weeks depending on how well you care for your eyeliner.

If you get permanent eyeliner, you’re essentially undergoing a tattooing procedure. As such, there can be some swelling and soreness after your appointment – this is totally normal.

First thing’s first – if you’re hoping to go for a permanent eyeliner procedure, and are researching what you should expect from your appointment, then you need to know if you’re even okay to book one.

If you are pregnant or nursing, then you can’t get an eyeliner tattoo but you can use regular eyeliners.

Similarly, if you’re diabetic, have glaucoma, or have had any kind of eye surgery, then you need to confirm that you can attend the appointment with your physician.

Provided that you don’t fit any of the above requirements, then you’re okay to book a permanent eyeliner procedure. 

This is what you can expect following your appointment:


When you get permanent eyeliner, you’re tattooing around the fragile area of your eyelids. 

As such, you can definitely expect swelling around the area, and you may look puffy-eyed as a result, as if you have been crying. 

The swelling can be managed in a number of ways (see below on this), and shouldn’t last for more than two days or so.

Redness, tenderness, and bruising

With the swelling will come redness, tenderness, and maybe even bruising. 

The skin around your eyelids is particularly thin and is, therefore, more prone to sensitivity and soreness following the procedure. This is normal, and to be expected.


As your body attempts to heal the skin around your eyeliner tattoo, you’ll likely experience itchiness. 

You need to avoid itching as this may disrupt the healing process and even cause infection. 

Scabs will form following your appointment – these are normal! 

You need to wait around 4 – 5 days for these to fall off (but note that this varies between people). After this time, the color of the eyeliner will deepen.

How To Reduce Swelling After Permanent Eyeliner

woman undergoing a permanent eyeliner tattoo procedure

The best way that you can reduce swelling after a permanent eyeliner appointment is through the application of an ice pack. 

You should use the ‘ten minutes on, ten minutes off’ approach for the first four to eight hours, swapping around your ice pack once they’re no longer cool. 

Remember that you can cause frost burn through repeated or excessive exposure to cold, so take care to manage the amount of time that you use the ice packs.

If you don’t have ice packs, cold tea bags may help, or any other cold compress.

Taking ibuprofen can also help to manage and reduce swelling after the appointment.

There’s some anecdotal reporting that sleeping on an incline can also help to manage swelling in the day following your procedure. 

At the least, if you can sleep on your back or on a silk pillow, this will help to minimize friction and any tearing that may consequently occur.

You need to keep the area moist with a healing ointment so that your skin’s outer layer can heal. It’s best to ask your technician what they recommend for this.

Do not rub, scrub, or scratch the area of your eyeliner tattoo. Doing so may cause infection and disrupt the healing process. 

You do need to keep the area clean, however, and should only touch it with a lint-free Q-tip and clean hands! Use a blotting motion and gentle soap – nothing that contains any oil.

Why do we experience swelling after permanent eyeliner?

Whenever you have a tattoo, whether it’s a piece of body art or for a procedure like permanent eyeliner, you’re essentially inflicting a kind of wound on your body. 

In order to heal and in response to this process, your body may cause the area around your tattoo to swell up. This happens regardless of how well you care for your tattoo.

However, if you experience any persistent redness, swelling, puffiness, or any prolonged itchiness and oozing liquid, then it may be a sign that your tattoo isn’t properly healing. If you suspect something has gone wrong with your eyeliner tattoo, then you need to seek medical help immediately.

Can I Take Ibuprofen After Getting An Eyeliner Tattoo?

You can take ibuprofen after getting an eyeliner tattoo. Doing so will help to manage the swelling, which should go down within anywhere from two to three days. 

It’s also a good idea to apply an ice pack to the swollen area, too (we detail more on this below). 

However, you need to avoid medication like ibuprofen, aspirin, and niacin for a minimum of 72 hours prior to your appointment. 

This can thin the blood and may cause complications with the procedure. 

If you’re on regular prescription medications and have any questions about how this might interact with the procedure, you should seek the advice of your physician.

If you have a low pain tolerance and feel that you need to manage that, you can take Tylenol before your appointment.

How To Best Prepare For Permanent Eyeliner Tattoo

a woman is half way off screen and looking into the camera.

There are many things you can do to prepare yourself for your permanent eyeliner tattoo appointment:

Take Tylenol

If you have a low pain threshold and feel that you would benefit from something to offset this, then you can take Tylenol before your appointment. 

Do not take ibuprofen or other medications which may thin your blood.

Take antihistamines

If you take antihistamines such as Benadryl, this can help to reduce swelling before the procedure. 

It can also help minimize any eye-watering, which will really help your technician.

Remember, if you do take Benadryl, this may make you drowsy, so you should ask a friend to pick you up from your appointment for the sake of safety.

Avoid alcohol

Do not drink alcohol for at least 48 hours prior to your appointment. Alcohol can thin the blood and may impact the healing process

It’s also best avoided for a period following your procedure, too.

If you can avoid caffeine, this is also a good idea, for the same reason.

Test for any allergic reaction

Not all salons will offer allergy testing, but it’s a good idea to do it before your procedure so that you go in knowing that you’re safe. 

They’re very rare, but they can occur, and it will help you to approach the appointment with confidence.

Avoid certain herbs

Fish oils, vitamin E, and herbs including St. John’s Wort, Valerian, Willow Bark, Melatonin, and Chamomile can increase your risk of bleeding and swelling. 

It’s, therefore, best to avoid consuming these in the period before your appointment.

Head to your drugstore

If you can purchase ice packs, lint-free Q tips, makeup remover wipes, brand new cosmetics, and sun cream before your appointment, you’re putting yourself in good stead. 

You’ll need to use SPF around your eye area following your appointment as the skin will be more sensitive, and it’s also best to wear sunglasses, too. 

The other products will help you to manage any cleansing of your eyes and the surrounding area following your procedure. 

You need to use brand-new products around your eyes (mascara, for example), so as to reduce risk of cross-contamination. 

Remember that you need to avoid an oil-based makeup or makeup remover, and steer clear of heavy creams.

Don’t undergo a chemical treatment

For a minimum of 48 hours prior to your appointment, you need to avoid any chemical treatments like dye or a perm getting anywhere near your eyelashes. 

This will interact with the tattooing and may cause repercussions.

You can tint or perm your eyelashes once two weeks have passed.

Don’t wear contact lenses

Contact lenses are not your friend either during the procedure or for 24 hours following. 

Your eyes may be bloodshot and light-sensitive for the period following your tattoo, so you need to take care of them as best as possible, which means avoiding your contact lenses.

Once you’ve gone 72 hours after your appointment, you can wear clean contact lenses.