You went to your lash appointment, you were so excited to get your lashes done! You thought there’s no way an allergy can happen to me! But it did… your eyes are itchy, swollen and so uncomfortable!
You resort to google your symptoms, but now you are confused as to if you are allergic or just have an irritation. Let’s figure this out together.
Don’t worry too much, yet…You might not have to give up your lash extensions! There are plenty of ways to get the look you love without suffering from allergies or irritations. We can help you find the right products and treatments so you can keep your lashes looking fabulous.
Let’s look at the differences between an allergy vs. irritation;
What is an allergy?
The technical term for the allergy is contact dermatitis. It’s an oversensitivity of the immune system to something that many others have normal interactions with everyday. Symptoms of an allergy to the lash adhesive may include; red puffy eyes as well as itchiness in one or both eyes. The allergy is the skin reacting to the solvent in the cyanoacrylate which is the main adhesive ingredient in lash adhesive.
Usually these symptoms will last until the adhesive is removed and can worsen with time and exposure. This is because our immune system is constantly building up antibodies to fight off allergens.
What is an irritation?
An irritation can look very similar to the symptoms of an allergy, so it can be very difficult to differentiate what is happening. Irritations are usually from the fumes given off by the adhesive as it solidifies or dries. But how?
Individual gas molecules of cyanoacrylate leave the adhesive and land around your eyes, and face that can cause red puffy eyes and make the inside white of your eyes red and itchy. The difference is that irritations usually don’t last longer than 24 hours. The symptoms should decrease as more time passes. Lash extensions can contribute to the symptoms of seasonal allergies, especially when you already have very sensitive, irritated eyes.
First off, let your lash artist know about what is happening with your eyes. They will have some input on what to do next. We are not medical professionals, please double check all information in the blog with your doctor before proceeding.
Let’s talk about our options. If you are allergic to lash extensions you will see that none of the options we’re about to list will work and subside your symptoms. If this is you, please get your lashes removed and find a medical professional if the symptoms don’t go away within 24hrs.
Irritations are the best case scenario for you if you have any symptoms because they are manageable as the symptoms lessen over time. No need to be lash-less!
Let’s dive into these further:
Using sensitive adhesive
Keep in mind that ALL adhesives use some type of CYANOACRYLATE.
Sensitive adhesive is either clear in color or classified as sensitive but still black. If you are still reacting to the clear adhesive, you are allergic to cyanoacrylate. If the clear adhesive doesn’t give you any reaction, maybe it was the carbon black, or the TYPE of cyanoacrylate that was irritating you. Sensitive adhesive only works if you are sensitive and not allergic. The goal is to find an adhesive that lessens your symptoms.
Washing your eyes after your appointment or using a nano mister
Cyanoacrylates can only fully bond with a natural lash when there is moisture present. You can ask your lash tech to do a lash bath using a lash cleanser and a nano mister. You want to do this before you open your eyes after your lash tech is done with your lash set. This will speed up the curing process and wash away any remaining solvent from the adhesive. The goal is to remove irritants from the cyanoacrylate adhesive molecules that have deposited around your eyes during the lash service. (The water will not make your lashes fall out if your lash tech is using the adhesive correctly)
Dexamethasone is a safe topical ointment/ cream for the eye area. Do not use an over-the-counter hydrocortisone ointment or cream. These are not safe for the eye area and can/will cause cataracts long term.
The best results when using Dexamethasone have been seen when the ointment is applied the night before the appointment, and immediately after your appointment. Apply the ointment lightly on your eyelid and under eye making sure it doesn’t drip into your lashes.
You can use it for one to three additional days, depending on how severe the reaction is. The goal is to subside the symptoms and control the irritation.
A combination of these 3 things is sure to help with irritation.
Regarding Patch Testing
As stated above, an allergy or irritation is not always immediately known upon first exposure. Because it takes repeated exposure. Ask your lash technician to place a few lashes in each section of your eyes. If you have no symptoms, you can proceed with caution and book a full set.
Keep in mind that all of the above are NOT INFECTIONS. Your doctor might tell you that it is, but is it? An infection only happens when unclean tools were used or if you had a reaction to the adhesive and you were picking/ rubbing your eyes with dirty fingers. It would cause micro tears at the base of your lashes, and get infected or your eye itself will get an infection from the bacteria on your hands.
Contact us today and we’ll help you with navigating your symptoms!
Contact us anytime for additional information if needed.