Allergic Reaction To Eyelash Extensions: How To Treat It And What To Do
Pain, redness, swelling – such consequences scare many customers away from the treatment. Allergies triggered by eyelash extensions are extremely rare . The remaining 99% are the consequences of a bad work. It is important to know everything about allergies and the differences from the results of the unprofessionalism of the eyelash stylist. Here you will read everything you need to know about allergic reactions to lash extensions.
Allergies Can Cause Itchy Eyelashes
One of the major causes of itchy eyelashes and eyes in general is a reaction in the body caused by external irritants. Allergic reactions can cause eyelid dermatitis, which has the following symptoms:
- Swelling of the eyelids
- Itchy eyes and eyelash line
Allergic reactions to everyday products are common. Here is a list of some of the most reactive substances:
- Eye drops
It is also possible to get itchy eyelids from touching a product and then touching your eyes.
Sometimes, you will know when you are allergic to a product when you begin to use it. Other times, you can develop an allergy with use of the product. If you are experiencing reactions to specific products, be sure to refrain from use as soon as possible.
Have A Daily Checklist
There are things you can do as a lash technician to reduce the potential risk of irritation and allergies. Here are some suggestions on a few things you can do:
- Always perform a patch test before the treatment of a new client.
- Have a reliable ventilation system in your lash room and keep your lash room clean and your tools sanitized.
- Know your products and ingredients of your lash glue. Request lash adhesive MSDS from your retailer.
- Only use fresh lash glues. Throw away glues passed its shelf-life.
- The more you know about your client, the more you can reduce possible risks. Ask questions about their past lash extension experiences and her current health conditions.
- Use sensitive glue for clients with glue sensitivity.
- Place Anti-Allergy Gel by the work station.
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Can You Be Allergic To Eyelash Glue
When a client is experiencing an allergic reaction to their lash extensions, it is most often because they are allergic to cyanoacrylate. It is the base ingredient that is found in all lash adhesives. It is this key ingredient that solidifies when curing.
This creates a strong bond between the natural lash and extension. Unfortunately, it can not be left out of the adhesive. If the reaction is an actual allergy, the symptoms they are experiencing will not subside until the adhesive is completely removed from the lashes.
*Quick Lash Tip: Sensitive adhesives still contain this ingredient but in smaller doses. It is a great option for clients that have easily irritated eyes.
Make Sure The Safety Of Your Clients Is Your Utmost Priority
Ensure that your clients are well-informed, aware of all the risks before the treatment. There is no certainty that you will never encounter a client that has an allergic reaction, so you should familiarize yourself with how to understand the symptoms.
This would help you to stay professional and calm in the most critical moments like this!
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Everything You Need To Know About Lash Extension Allergies
- 4 min read
Its unfortunate, but they happen even to the clients youve been servicing for years. As a lash stylist, it is crucial to arm yourself with the proper knowledge and procedures to enact in the event of an allergic reaction after an eyelash extension service. Here, we answer all your questions about lash extension allergies, how they develop, and how best to take care of your clients.
What does an allergic reaction look like?
Clients who develop an allergic reaction to their eyelash extension adhesives will typically experience swelling and itching of the eyelids. These usually show up within the first 3 days of completion of a lash service.
What triggers lash adhesive allergies?
Reactions to lash extensions are rarely reactions to the lashes themselves. Rather, reactions occur when the adhesive is uncured , developing in response to either the carbon black used to pigment the adhesive or, more commonly, the cyanoacrylate base used in nearly every lash glue on the market. Just like with any other food or material, a person can develop an allergy at any point in their life even if theyve never been allergic before.
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What doesn’t trigger lash adhesive allergies?
Formaldehyde is not the cause of lash adhesive allergies. This is a myth! As eyelash extension adhesives degrade over time, formaldehydedoes form as a byproduct but the amount is so trace that the glue is considered formaldehyde-free.
How Does Lash Adhesive Work
Cyanoacrylates cure when it comes in contact with water. This is where the room humidity plays a major part. Adhesive will cure faster in high humidity and vice versa. Once it is cured, it is harmless as unable to act as an irritant. Cured adhesive is waterproof to a reasonable extent too and can be washed with water to calm irritated skin.
In dryer season, the adhesive will take longer to cure therefore exposure to fumes and irritants is higher. So if regular clients returns to you with allergic reaction even though treatment safety were carefully followed you need to take into account the customers health but also the environment and the time of the year.
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Soothe With A Warm Washcloth
Once you wipe off all of your makeup, especially around the eye area, place a warm and wet washcloth over your face in order to ease irritation and inflammation. This will also soften the skin. Once the washcloth has cooled, you may repeat the process or purchase a warm compress eye mask that makes the process even easier.
How Will Your Doctor Help
If at-home treatments dont work, your doctor can evaluate and diagnose your symptoms, providing treatment, and hopefully, faster relief.
To determine whats causing the itch, your doctor will try to uncover allergens in your products or environment which might be causing the problem.
You might also be given a test for allergic substances, such as a patch test. This test introduces possible irritants to your skin via adhesive patches to see which ones you react to.
Your doctor will look at your eye for signs of infection. If they suspect blepharitis, you may have a swab test of your eyelid done. This will remove scabs and oil from the eyelid so they can be analyzed for allergens, bacteria, or fungi in the laboratory.
For some conditions, such as bacterial conjunctivitis, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic eye drop.
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How To Use A Warm Compress
A warm compress simply means placing a warm eye mask over your closed eyelids. You can reheat the compress as needed. This is a great thing to do at night to help alleviate the symptoms of blepharitis that hit hard in the morning. Tips include:
- Heat the mask in the microwave for 15-20 seconds and test the temperature before use.
- Lie back and place the mask over your eyes for 15-20 minutes.
- Enjoy the relief and cleanse your eyelids afterward.
Warm compresses are especially effective because they both melt the thick wax in the Meibomian glands and loosen any debris that may be leftover on the eyelid margin and eyelashes. Compresses can be anything from a sock full of uncooked rice to a boiled egg wrapped in a warm washcloth, but a dry eye mask is going to be most effective.
Warming eye masks are popular and may achieve what you desire because they are much more convenient than using a warm wash cloth.
Causes Of Lash Allergies
Eyelash extension allergies may be triggered by your bodys hypertensive reaction against any type of cosmetic product used by the lash tech. To be fair, lash allergies arent anyones fault, unlike lash irritations.
While lash allergies are rare, most arise from lash adhesives.
So, people who are allergic to eyelash extension glue or any of its ingredients may often see symptoms like redness, swelling, puffiness, and itchiness around their eyes. Moreover, cyanoacrylate allergies can take three days to show up.
Another common allergic ingredient in lash glue is carbon black. Its a dye that gives black color to the lash glue. However, its rarely allergic to people and often depends on your physiology.
Truth be told, only 3% of eyelash extension wearers suffer from allergies related to lash adhesives.
A study from way back in 2012 showed allergic reactions after eyelash extensions could also be a result of the tape used by the tech apart from the lash glue. These tapes are typically used to seal your eyes shut before working on your extensions.
But most lash extension allergies owe it to natural lashes, especially mink and silk lash fibers. The rule of thumb is to avoid mink fur fibers if youre allergic to cats, dogs, or the furs of other animals.
I always suggest choosing synthetic lashes over natural fibers. Why? Theyre durable, hypoallergenic, and require low-maintenance.
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Ive Had Eyelash Extension Done Elsewhere Can I Remove Them With You
We do not offer removals on work that was applied elsewhere, unless the client is having a new full set applied by us. In this case we offer a free removal, unless we feel that it will take longer than 20 minutes to remove the set due to poor work and/or excessive glue/build up of any residue including makeup than charges may apply. We will not be held responsible for any damage to the natural lashes that has been caused by poor work elsewhere.
We also do not remove any cluster lashes. You should go back to the person who applied it for removal. If you are unsure you can just Google bad cluster lashes and you will see what we mean. A big blob of cluster lashes stuck on with excessive glue to either one lash or multiple lashes to the whole lash line OUCH!
The Best Ways To Prevent & Respond To Adverse Reactions
Some things you can do to prevent irritation is firstly to be aware of the things that can cause them. As mentioned, most irritation from lash extensions is caused not by the lashes themselves, but by other factors such as gel pad movement or poor ventilation. Ensuring proper placement of the gel pads to prevent them from touching the eye is a vital component to eliminate the chance of an adverse reaction. If you notice the gel pads are moving throughout the procedure, take some sensitive tape to secure the gel pads in the proper position. The next thing to prevent any irritation of the eye is to ensure that your lash room has proper ventilation. As acknowledged, the fumes that come from the lash adhesive can create a chemical burn to the Sclera. Create an environment that allows these fumes to flow away from the eyes by means of a fan, nano-mister, or altering your room’s humidity level. Keeping your humidity range between 45% 60% so that excess adhesive fumes bind to water vapor in the air instead of binding to the moisture present within the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, and mouth. A nano-mister will work similarly as the tiny hydrogen droplets will immediately harden the adhesive, reducing vapors and fumes that can cause irritation as the adhesive cures.
The next time you receive this message, dont freak out, be confident in your abilities on how to handle this type of situation. If in doubt, remove the lash extensions.
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The Diagnosis Of Blepharitis
When you go to your eye doctor to talk about blepharitis and to test whether you have the condition, your doctor will evaluate your symptoms, take a medical history, and examine your eyelids and eyes. They will be able to tell you if you do indeed have the condition, and what your next steps will be.
Often, eye doctors perform a slit-lamp examination where they utilize a slit lamp microscope to determine the specific type of blepharitis and how it is affecting your eyes. A slit lamp is a microscope that is specially developed and has an intense thin-beam light source. It allows your doctor to look at the outside of your eyes and eyelids while your head is held steady as you rest your chin and forehead against supports.
After the examination, your doctor will the recommend treatment. Treatments will depend on the cause and on the severity of your symptoms.
How To Treat An Allergic Reactions To Eyelash Extension Glue
If it is clear that a client has suffered an allergic reaction to eyelash extension, as much as you will want to help them, remember that you are not a doctor.
As licensed professionals, we can only help by providing reassurance and advising how to treat mild discomfort and reactions. In the case of severe symptoms, that persist for more than 24 hours, recommend that they visit urgent care.
In the case of mild symptoms, suggest that the client takes an antihistamine and make urgent arrangements to bring them in, so that you can remove the lashes.
Anti-inflammatories will also help reduce the swelling.
Other methods you can recommend are:
- Use a cold compress to reduce discomfort and swelling .
- Use a small amount of cortisone cream.
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Treating Itchy Eyelashes At Home
There are a number of treatments you can try at home. These include:
- Antihistamines. Over-the-counter allergy eye drops work by reducing the amount of histamine in the eye. You can try using these on their own or combine them with an oral antihistamine.
- Cleansing. Keeping your eyelids clean can be beneficial in all cases. Dont use a drying soap, especially if you have dermatitis. If you have blepharitis, massage your eyelids gently with a cloth to stop oil from gathering in your eyelid glands. You can also try gently washing your lids with diluted baby shampoo or an eyelid cleanser designed for this purpose.
- Corticosteroid creams. Some of these creams, such as 0.5 to 1 percent hydrocortisone, are mild enough for use on your eyelid. These may help alleviate itching caused by eyelid dermatitis. Dont use strong products, as these can thin the skin of the eyelid. Make sure you dont get the cream into your eye.
- Liquid tears. These eye drops can also help reduce itching caused by conjunctivitis and dry eye syndrome.
- Moisturize the area. Use an unscented moisturizer to soothe and nourish eyelid skin, especially if you have dermatitis.
- Warm or cool compresses. If you have a stye or viral conjunctivitis, warm compresses can help soothe the area, helping it heal. Warm compresses can also be beneficial for removing any crusts caused by blepharitis. Applying a warm compress can help encourage excess fluid to circulate out of your eyelid area.
Cons Of Eyelash Extensions
While the perks of eyelash extensions are many, including the potential to complement or improve your appearance, there are also downsides to having extensions applied to your lashes.
According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, some dangers of using eyelash extensions include infection or swelling of the eyelid, infection of the cornea and temporary eyelash loss. Some of the more common drawbacks include:
Find more tips for preserving and caring for lash extensions below, under Caring for lash extensions.
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What Causes Adhesive Reactions
Allergic reactions to eyelash extensions are caused by an allergy to the cyanoacrylate base that is virtually in every eyelash extension adhesive. Cyanoacrylates are a family of strong and fast-acting adhesives used in many different industries. As with any chemical or substance, individuals can become allergic at any time. You can see a reaction after the first application or even years down the road. It should be noted that reactions are not due to formaldehyde, because formaldehyde is not an added ingredient to eyelash adhesive, although it has been publicized otherwise.
Reactions are also not caused by the fumes or vapors of the adhesive. Allergies occur when the adhesive has had direct contact with the skin. The more often the adhesive makes contact, the more likely a reaction will occur. The more prolonged the exposure, the more likely a client is to eventually react. I saw many more reactions in my clients during my early lashing days for this reason. As a newbie, I was using an excess of adhesive, as well as definitely getting too close to the lash line. This resulted in far more reactions than I see today. Since then, as an industry , we have realized that less is more. This is imperative to help cut down on reactions.
Signs Of Eyelash Extension Allergies
If your client is experiencing an allergic reaction to their eyelash extensions, you’ll want to remove the extensions and allow the reaction to clear. Unfortunately, an allergic reaction won’t clear up until the allergen is removed from the skin and eye area. In some cases, signs of an allergic reaction won’t reveal themselves for up to 48 hours after the lashes are applied.
Allergic reactions to eyelash extensions can cause the eyelid to swell, become red in appearance, or feel itchy. Your client’s eyes and corneas may also become red. Their eyes will also typically tear.
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How Eyelash Extensions Are Applied
The number of extensions you want determines how long your first appointment will be however, its recommended to block off two hours for the appointment.
Heres what you can expect during your lash extension appointment:
The technician will ensure youre comfortable before gently cleansing both of your eyes.
Your lower lashes will be taped to your skin using surgical tape. This keeps the technician from accidentally gluing your lower lashes to the upper ones.
Using tweezers or a similar tool, the lash specialist will separate and isolate your natural lashes.
A single artificial lash fiber will be dipped with a tiny bit of glue and attached to the top of the isolated natural lash.
The process just outlined will be repeated for the entire eyelid of each eye.
The eyes will remain closed for the entire process and possibly a few minutes afterward to allow the glue to thoroughly dry. During your appointment, your technician may have music playing in the room, or you can choose to pop in your earbuds and listen to your favorite music or podcast.