Eyelash extensions are synthetic fibers glued one by one to the top of your lashes. They can last up to three weeks, and application can take anywhere from one to two hours, depending on the length and thickness of the natural lashes.
However, some people have reported experiencing mild to severe allergic reactions every time they put on eyelash extensions. So, what causes these reactions, and how can you prevent them? In this post, we will provide all this information.
What causes eyelash extension allergic reactions?
Well, the actual cause of eyelash extension allergies is unknown; yet it has been suggested that some of the ingredients found in most brands of adhesives may be to blame. These include formaldehyde-based derivatives, aminomethyl propanol (AMP), and methyl pentane diol diisocyanate.
Of all the adhesives, formaldehyde-based derivatives account for most eyelash extension allergies. Studies have shown that formaldehyde-based is more likely to cause allergic reactions than aminomethyl propanol and methyl pentane diol diisocyanate.
What symptoms show you are allergic to eyelash extensions?
Allergies can cause redness, irritation, itching, burning sensation in the eyes and along the lash line. They are usually associated with watery eyes, swollen eyelids, or even difficulty breathing. The allergic reaction starts 10 to 15 minutes after application when you start feeling discomfort in your eyes.
It is also advisable to be aware of the symptoms of anaphylactic shock, which is not common with eyelash extensions. Anaphylaxis can lead to difficulty in breathing, tightness in the chest, and tongue swelling. This can be fatal if left untreated.
How do you know you are allergic to eyelash extensions?
There are varying degrees of intensity when it comes to allergies, and you may be mildly or severely allergic. If you have sensitive skin and lashes, the chances are that your eyelids may react to various chemicals in the adhesives used for eyelash extensions. Pure latex is not enough at times, and preservatives such as thiomersal become a problem.
Eyelash Extension Allergy vs. Irritation: What’s the Difference?
Unfortunately, many people are not aware that they suffer an allergic reaction to eyelash extensions. Instead, they mistake the unpleasant side effects for something more benign, like eye irritation or discomfort.
This is dangerous because your body reacts adversely to the chemicals of eyelash extensions. And it can lead to some very serious consequences if you don’t take the right steps to remedy the problem.
Some of the most common side effects associated with eyelash extensions include:
• Itchy eyes; swollen, red, or watery eyes; burning/stinging eyes; crusty eyelids; inflamed lids; and blurred vision.
• Blisters around the eyes; blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid); puss-filled bumps around or under the eyes; red, scaly skin on the lids; and eye pain.
• Hair loss; dry, cracked lashes; thickened lashes; dark circles under your eyes caused by under-eye puffiness.
These effects are usually due to poor application of the lashes. You must find an experienced lash professional that knows how to apply with minimal discomfort and can give you a set that looks beautiful but doesn’t damage your natural lashes.
Can You Be Allergic to Eyelash Glue?
Most lash glues (also known as adhesives) are latex materials. If you’ve had an allergy to latex in the past, the most common warning sign is redness and itchiness around your eyes, but more severe reactions can include:
• Rash; hives; swollen eyes or face; difficulty breathing.
You may think you have developed an allergy to lash glue, but a reaction this severe is rare.
If you’re still concerned about having an allergic reaction, consult your doctor before getting lash extensions. Your doctor can test for allergies before treatment and recommend the best options for your situation.
Treating an Eyelash Extension Allergic Reaction
If you experience an allergic reaction to lash glue, the symptoms will usually fade within a few hours. However, if left untreated, they can grow more severe and cause Lumps around the eyes, blurred vision, eye pain or pressure, dizziness.
So treat the allergies with:
- Eye drops
- Cold compresses
- Hydrocortisone cream or ointment
Your doctor may refer you to a dermatologist to treat your condition with steroid medications in rare cases. Steroids will reduce the swelling and inflammation you experience, allowing you to begin recovering from an eyelash extension allergic reaction.
To prevent lash-related allergies, make sure you’re never exposed to glue for long periods (more than 10 minutes at a time). The longer you are exposed to the glue, the greater your risk for having an anaphylactic reaction to it.
Make sure you also ask about what materials are being used on you during your first lash appointment if you haven’t before. Different allergies can be had to dyes and metal tins holding the glue.
How to Create Lash Looks for Sensitive Eyes
If you have very sensitive eyes and contact lenses are too painful, the best solution is to avoid eyelash extensions.
But, if lash extensions would look amazing on you, try these tips:
- Ask about what products your stylist is using during the application process; some brands of glue may be less bothersome than others.
- Some salons also offer premade lash extensions that they’ve already tested on themselves, so it might be worthwhile to ask if your salon offers the option of premade lashes.
How to Prevent Eyelash Extension Allergic Reactions
- Only have the eyelash extensions installed by a qualified cosmetologist and should have ample experience carrying out the procedure.
- Ensure to close the eyes when the eyelash extensions are installed to prevent glue and other lash residuals from getting in the eyes.
- If you are allergic to any eyelash extensions adhesives, avoid them at all costs.
Eyelash extensions help to accentuate a woman’s beauty, but one needs to be careful when applying for these extensions. Be keen on how you react after installation to see if you have an allergic reaction to the extensions. Choosing a qualified cosmetologist to carry out the procedure is the best decision to ensure the process is done right and in a clean environment. In case of any allergic reaction, be sure to visit a doctor for treatment and more tests.