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Q. Can infection be contracted from unsterilized makeup brushes?

Answered by
Dr. Sagar Ramesh Makode
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on May 10, 2018 and last reviewed on: Nov 23, 2022

Hi doctor,

I want a professional and honest answer. I suffer from anxiety and OCD. Yesterday, I was dealing with patients post them having cosmetic injectables. There was pinpoint blood from the needle insertion points. I am thinking of the worst-case scenario and not saying this happened, but my mind is playing with me. What would happen if I applied makeup to that person with a brush and double dipped into the color without sterilizing, then used the brush again on another person, and so on? Could that contract an infectious disease? I am worried sick.

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Hello,

Welcome to icliniq.com.

Our main concern here is regarding the transmission of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus), hepatitis B, and C. Now, in the scenario you are explaining, it is less likely for any virus or infectious disease to transmit to others, but a small risk of transmission remains. There are two reasons.

Considering you are applying makeup on intact skin, in that case, it is unlikely for any infection to transmit. Secondly, if you are applying it on the skin where you have given injections, then a small possible risk is there, but the risk is further reduced by the deactivation of viruses by colors.

So overall, there is a minute risk that may be less than 0.1 percent, which is really small. So, I think you should stop worrying about it and use a separate container next time.

Hope this clears your doubt get back if you have any doubts.


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