Harmful Effects Of Eyelash Extension & Remedial Measures

Harmful Effects Of Eyelash Extension & Remedial Measures

Dr. Anchal Mitra MBBS, MS, DNB, FMRF, FICO

Consultant Ophthalmologist

Dept. Of Cataract, Paediatric Ophthalmology & Squint

Disha Eye Hospitals.


To make the lashes appear longer and fuller, eyelash extensions are semi-permanent lash treatments that require gluing strands of silk, synthetic, mink, human, or horse hair to each lash. An expert from the salon does the process. To manually adhere a fake lash to an existing lash, they employ several kinds of glue. The effect is a richer, more realistic-looking flutter. Depending on the type of fake hair used, lash extensions come in three main varieties. It falls into the categories of synthetic, mink and silk.

In extremely small amounts, latex, cellulose gum, cyanoacrylates, benzoic acid, and formaldehyde are some of the substances frequently found in eyelash extension adhesives. Among the substances present in eyelash extension removers are propylene glycol and formaldehyde.

Chemicals and other potentially hazardous or irritating substances are present in the glues used to attach eyelash extensions to natural lashes. Within two to three days, the person may feel discomfort if there is a reaction to a chemical used during the procedure.

Side effects on the skin and eyes

The usage of eyelash extensions has been linked to a variety of dangers. They are as follows:

a) Significant eye pain and redness have resulted from nylon lash extensions lodged in the conjunctiva and subconjunctival area; removal necessitates an operating room visit. It has been reported that subconjunctival haemorrhage and conjunctival damage can result from the pressure exerted on the eyes by eyelash tape and the rubbing involved in lash removal.

b) The use of different kinds of eyelash glue, eyelash tape and eyelash remover has also been linked to reports of allergic blepharitis, keratoconjunctivitis, and contact dermatitis. Eyelash glue abraded the cornea, causing serious vision-threatening conditions like hemophilus influenza keratitis, a bacterial infection of the cornea.

c) Eyelash remover solvent may cause corneal complications, specifically in patients with prior LASIK refractive surgery.

d) As lash glue ranks as one of the most toxic beauty products in the market, many variants contain a cocktail of hazardous chemicals including paraben, ammonia, formaldehyde, lead, and sodium dodecylbenzenesulfanate – all of which cause skin irritation, redness, and swelling.

e) Lash glue can cause a variety of inflammatory conditions – inflammation of the cornea and the inner membrane that protects the eyelids and blepharitis – inflammation of the eyelids that causes redness and itchiness and formation of scales.

f) Apart from allergies, these chemicals are also responsible for one of the most alarming dangers of eyelash glue: cancer. Mounting studies prove that exposure can cause brain, lung, and kidney cancer. Lead poisoning can also cause miscarriage in women and can be fatal to small children.

g) The American Academy of Ophthalmology cautions that lash glue components also lead to infection of the eyelids and the cornea. In fact, a 2012 study of 120 women found that 97.5 percent or 117 female subjects experienced dryness, itchiness, tearing, and purulent discharge – a common sign of infection – following lash glue application. Infections can sometimes also result from dirt and bacteria getting trapped in glue.

h) Loss of lashes. While a lot of people accidentally pull out their natural lashes while applying false lashes, lash glue itself can cause hair loss as well. The tension that glue and false lashes put on natural lashes can cause them to fall out – the condition is called traction alopecia. Although in many cases lashes grow back in six to eight weeks, Britain’s College of Optometrists notes that there are instances when this excessive tension damages the hair shaft and follicle that lash production does not only slow down but stops completely.

Unless one has an underlying condition that makes eyelash extensions an inappropriate choice, the following guidelines can typically help avoid these risks:

• Have a professional, certified cosmetologist or aesthetician attach eyelash extensions in a clean environment.

• Ask for a list of the ingredients used in the adhesive. Avoid adhesive that includes formaldehyde, as it is a toxin that can cause allergic reactions and skin irritation.

• If allergic to latex, ensure it is not among the listed ingredients.

• Ensure the clinician uses surgical glue and not nail glue. This is a must-avoid red flag.

• Confirm that the clinician washes their hands, sterilizes their equipment, and provides clean towels or bedding for the procedure.

• If one has sensitive skin or allergies to products like makeup, ask for a patch test to be done on the arm a few days before the eyelash extension procedure.

People with certain skin conditions probably should not get eyelash extensions unless their doctor has approved the procedure ahead of time.

Consult a doctor about getting eyelash extensions if one has:

• Eyelid Dermatitis

• Blepharitis

• Alopecia Areata

• Trichotillomania

Avoid getting eyelash extensions while undergoing medical procedures of the eye, such as LASIK surgery or chemotherapy and radiation.

To avoid allergies to glue used in eyelash extensions:

1. Use an Anti-Allergy Gel – It works wonders to keep glue allergies at check by keeping an open jar of Anti-Allergy Gel nearby. This jelly-like jar contains Anti-Allergy Gel, which absorbs fumes and cyanoacrylate before they reach the eyes and nostrils.

2. Stock glues for lash extensions that are delicate. Compared to regular lash glues, sensitive lash extension glues have substantially less cyanoacrylate. While they might not be the longest-lasting or fastest-drying glues, they are nonetheless appropriate for customers with delicate immune systems or eyes. The best adhesives for delicate eyes are BL Advanced Glue and Lily Glue.

Lash glue frequently contains ammonia and latex, two major allergies. It also frequently releases large amounts of the hazardous formaldehyde.

Blepharitis – Blepharitis typically happens due to the accumulation of bacteria on the lids, just around where lashes grow. Although everyone has some degree of bacteria around their eyes, certain things can increase the quantity of it, like using mascara, contact lens solutions, or eyelash extensions.

There is no proven treatment for blepharitis, but there are a couple of key steps that can be taken to manage symptoms, including:

• Gently washing eyelids regularly.

• Keeping eyelids clean and free of crusts.

When washing eyelids, follow these steps:

· First, make sure hands are clean by washing them with soap and water.

· Place a drop of mild cleanser on a clean, damp cloth.

· Gently press the cloth against the closed eye(s) for a couple of minutes. This will help loosen the crusts and can also open up the oil glands, preventing them from clogging.

· Using very little force, rub the cloth on lids to remove the crusts.

· Rinse the eyes with clean water.

· Repeat as needed.

Often referred to as “artificial tears,” over-the-counter eye drops can also be used to assist relieve dryness and pain. Consult a medical expert again if symptoms do not go away after a few days. An ophthalmic examination can be performed to evaluate the state.

Treatment recommendations may include the following, depending on the symptoms:

Eye Drops: Steroid eye drops are useful for reducing inflammation, redness, and pain. An earlier study from 2012 found that using eye drops and/or ointments to treat blepharitis helped 107 patients with their symptoms.

Antibiotics: A medical practitioner may recommend antibiotics if they believe that bacteria caused the blepharitis.

In some cases, an underlying condition, like rosacea, psoriasis, or dandruff, might be triggering blepharitis symptoms. In that case, you will need to treat the underlying cause. If you have lash extensions, treatment might involve getting them removed to help reduce symptoms.

To sum up, I would thus say why to have a cosmetic procedure like eyelash extensions in the very first place, when even the safe ones also come with so many side effects

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