Large, luscious eyelashes are all the rage. We see celebrities sporting them on every red carpet, and even non-movie stars have begun wearing them daily. But did you know they pose serious health risks to your eyes? As the false eyelash trend becomes more and more popular, ophthalmologists are seeing a rise in patients with problems related to the trend. Many people have false eyelashes attached to their eyes at “eyelash bars,” many of which are not regulated or licensed in any way.
These eyelash extensions are held to the eye with glue or sewn on, and this can cause irritation or allergic reactions. Glue can sometimes contain formaldehyde, which specifically can result in burning, stinging, swelling, and a rash upon contact or even up to a week later. They are also usually affixed at places that may not be very hygienic. Bacteria and fungus can get trapped under the glue and lead to infection, which causes swelling, redness, and a lot of pain around your eyes. The lashes themselves can even irritate the cornea, and when the glue thickens, it can fall off and scratch the cornea.
These eyelash extensions can also seriously damage your natural eyelashes. In some cases, the weight of the glue and the false lashes can damage the hair follicle making it difficult to grow back your natural eyelashes. Temporary false eyelashes can also cause similar complications, and when people pull off their false lashes at the end of the night, they take many of their real eyelashes with them. Eyelashes are necessary to keep dirt and bacteria away from the eye, and when they are damaged, your eye is at risk for infection.
Unfortunately, when women experience hair loss from false eyelashes, the progressive thinning only perpetuates the cycle and they become convinced to continue using false eyelashes. In turn, these false eyelashes can trap the same dirt and bacteria that natural eyelashes are intended to protect your eyes from.
Treat your eyelashes well and stay away from harmful faux lashes. Long eyelashes may be trendy right now, but beautiful eyes and clear eyesight are always in style.