Eyelash extensions are a popular beauty treatment that involve gluing synthetic lashes to natural lashes using adhesives. While they can enhance the appearance of one’s eyes they also come with potential risks such as allergies and infections.
It’s important to understand the symptoms, causes and treatment options of these risks to prevent any complications.
What is the difference between allergies and infections?
Before discussing the symptoms of eyelash extension allergies and infections, it is important to understand the difference between the two. Allergies are caused by an allergic reaction to one or more of the ingredients in the adhesive used to attach the extensions to your natural lashes. Infections on the other hand, are caused by bacteria that can enter the eye area due to poor hygiene or damaged skin.
Now that we have a basic understanding of what the differences between allergies and infections are, let’s see what the symptoms are and how you can prevent them.
What Causes an Allergic Reaction to Lash Extensions?
Eyelash extension allergies can be caused by several factors, including the ingredients in the adhesive used to apply the lashes, poor application technique, and individual sensitivity to the product.
Many eyelash extension adhesives contain cyanoacrylate, which is a chemical that can cause an allergic reaction in some people. This chemical can cause irritation, swelling, and redness in the eyes, and it can even cause the lashes to fall out.
Poor application technique can also lead to eyelash extension allergies. If the extensions are not applied correctly, the adhesive may get into the eyes, causing inflammation and irritation. Additionally, improper application can lead to eyelash breakage, which can further irritate the eyes and cause discomfort.
Individual sensitivity to the product is another common cause of eyelash extension allergies. Some people may have more sensitive skin than others and may be more prone to experiencing adverse reactions to the adhesive used for eyelash extensions.
It is important to note that even if a person has had eyelash extensions before without any issues, they can still develop an allergy to the product over time
Symptoms of Eyelash Extension Allergies:
Symptoms of eyelash extension allergies can vary from person to person, but the most common ones include:
One of the most common symptoms of eyelash extension allergies is itching. The itching may be mild or severe and can occur around the eyes or on the eyelids.
Swelling is another common symptom of eyelash extension allergies. The eyes may become puffy and swollen, and the eyelids may feel heavy or uncomfortable.
Allergic reactions to eyelash extensions can cause redness and irritation in and around the eyes. The eyes may appear bloodshot or inflamed.
Allergies to eyelash extensions can cause the eyes to become watery and produce excess tears.
Burning or stinging:
Some people may experience a burning or stinging sensation in their eyes, which can be uncomfortable and painful.
If you experience any of these symptoms after getting eyelash extensions, it is important to contact your lash technician or a medical professional for advice.
Ignoring these symptoms can lead to more severe reactions and long-term damage to the eyes.
How to Prevent Eyelash Extension Allergies?
There are several steps you can take to prevent eyelash extension allergies and reduce the risk of experiencing adverse reactions:
Before getting a full set of eyelash extensions, have a patch test to check for any allergies to the adhesive. A patch test involves applying a small amount of adhesive to the skin behind your ear or on your inner arm and waiting 24-48 hours to see if there is any reaction.
Choose the right adhesive:
Look for adhesives that are low in fumes and contain fewer rritants. Some adhesives are specifically formulated for people with sensitive skin.
Proper application technique
Make sure that the extensions are applied correctly and that the adhesive does not get into your eyes. Choose a trained and experienced lash technician who is knowledgeable about proper application techniques.
Hygiene and sanitation:
Ensure that the tools and equipment used for eyelash extensions are clean and sanitized. This includes the adhesive, tweezers, and other tools used during the application process.
By taking these preventative measures, you can reduce the risk of experiencing eyelash extension allergies and enjoy beautiful lashes without any adverse reactions.
How to Treat Eyelash Extension Allergies?
If you are experiencing symptoms of eyelash extension allergies, there are several steps you can take to treat the condition:
Remove the eyelash extensions:
The first step in treating eyelash extension allergies is to remove the extensions. This can be done by a professional lash technician or a medical professional.
Use a cold compress:
Applying a cold compress to the affected area can help reduce swelling and soothe the eyes. A cold washcloth or ice pack can be used for this purpose.
Use eye drops:
Over-the-counter eye drops can help alleviate symptoms such as itching, redness, and watering eyes. Look for drops that are specifically formulated for allergy relief.
Take an antihistamine:
If your symptoms are severe, taking an antihistamine can help reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms. Antihistamines are available over the counter or by prescription.
Seek medical attention:
If your symptoms do not improve or if they worsen, it is important to seek medical attention. A doctor or eye specialist can prescribe stronger medications or offer additional treatment options.
In general, the best way to treat eyelash extension allergies is to avoid them altogether by taking preventative measures such as patch testing and choosing the right adhesive. If you do experience symptoms, it is important to seek treatment promptly to avoid long-term damage to the eyes.
What is an Eyelash Extension Infection?
An eyelash extension infection is a bacterial infection that occurs when harmful bacteria enter the hair follicle of an eyelash extension, and just like an allergic reaction, can cause irritation, redness, and swelling around the affected area, and if left untreated it can spread and cause more severe symptoms.
Types of Eyelash Extension Infections:
There are three main types of eyelash extension infections:
Bacterial infections are the most common type of eyelash extension infection. They can occur when bacteria enters the eye through the lash follicles. Staphylococcus aureus is the most common bacteria that causes eyelash extension infections. Symptoms of bacterial infections include redness, swelling, and discharge.
Fungal infections occur when fungi, such as Aspergillus or Candida, grow on the lashes or in the lash follicles. They are less common than bacterial infections but can still occur if proper hygiene is not maintained during the application process. Symptoms of fungal infections include itching, burning, and crusting.
Parasitic infections are the rarest type of eyelash extension infection. They occur when parasites, such as Demodex mites, infest the lash follicles. Parasitic infections can cause itching, redness, and inflammation of the eyelids.
What Causes an Eyelash Extension Infection?
Poor hygiene practices:
Eyelash extensions require careful and hygienic application to avoid infections. If the salon or technician does not follow proper hygiene practices, it can increase the risk of infections. For example using contaminated tools or not washing hands before the application can introduce harmful bacteria or other microorganisms into the eye area.
If the eyelash extensions are not applied correctly, they can cause irritation and inflammation of the lash follicles. This can lead to infections over time if not treated properly.
Exposure to water or steam:
After the application, it is important to avoid exposure to water or steam for at least 24-48 hours to allow the adhesive to set properly. Failure to do so can cause the adhesive to weaken, leading to premature shedding of the extensions and increasing the risk of infections.
Picking or pulling at the lashes:
Touching or picking at the eyelash extensions can cause damage to the lash follicles and lead to infections. It is important to avoid rubbing or touching the lashes and to use a gentle touch when cleaning them to avoid any damage.
Eyelash Extension Infection symptoms Include :
Eyelash extension infections can be identified by observing symptoms such as:
- Redness or inflammation around the eyes.
- Swelling of the eyelids.
- Itching or burning sensation.
- Discharge or pus from the eye.
- Sensitivity to light.
- Blurred vision.
- Crusting of the lashes.
- Eyelashes falling out or becoming misshapen.
- Pain or discomfort around the eye area.
How to Treat Eyelash Extension Infections?
If you develop an eyelash extension infection, there are several steps you can take to treat it:
Removing the extensions if they are causing irritation or discomfort:
If you notice any discomfort or irritation after getting eyelash extensions, you should consider removing them immediately. Leaving them on can make the infection worse and lead to other complications. To remove the extensions safely, you can use a specialized eyelash extension remover or seek help from a professional.
Applying warm compresses to the affected area to reduce inflammation:
Applying a warm compress to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and ease discomfort. Soak a clean cloth in warm water and place it over the affected area for 10-15 minutes, three times a day.
Taking antibiotics or antifungal medication:
If the infection is bacterial or fungal, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics or antifungal medication to treat it. These medications may be taken orally or applied topically.
Using artificial tears or lubricating eye drops:
Artificial tears or lubricating eye drops can help relieve dryness or irritation caused by the infection. They can also help flush out any debris or microorganisms from the eyes.
Maintaining good hygiene practices:
To prevent further infections, it is important to maintain good hygiene practices. This includes washing hands regularly, avoiding touching or rubbing the eyes, and avoiding sharing makeup or personal items.
Avoiding wearing eyelash extensions until the infection is fully healed:
It is recommended to avoid wearing eyelash extensions until the infection has completely healed. This will prevent any further irritation or damage to the lash follicles.
Although these steps will help you treat your symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention promptly. Delaying treatment can lead to more serious complications, including permanent vision damage. An ophthalmologist can diagnose the type of infection and prescribe the appropriate treatment plan.
While eyelash extensions can provide a stunning look, it’s important to understand the potential risks and take proper precautions to prevent any complications. By following the prevention tips and safety guidelines, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience with your eyelash extensions.
It’s crucial to choose a reputable technician who uses high-quality products and follows proper hygiene practices. You should also make sure to keep your eyes clean and dry and follow proper aftercare instructions.
If you experience any symptoms of an allergy or infection, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Your healthcare provider can provide you with a proper diagnosis and treatment plan to relieve your symptoms and prevent any further complications.
Overall by being informed and taking the necessary steps to ensure safety and hygiene, you can enjoy the beauty of eyelash extensions without any worries.