Is there a risk of wearing false eyelashes?

False eyelashes are a staple in the world of beauty. This is the secret of makeup artists and some girls to show off a more shocking look. The tendency to have them longer grew over the years. In social networks, photographs are exhibited with eyes wearing eyelashes almost out of fiction.

But what exactly are they? They are extensions made of different materials, from synthetic to natural. It all depends on the effect you want to cause and how much you are willing to pay. However, putting them on may not be a good idea. Using them can negatively influence your health.

Adverse reactions when using false eyelashes

There are different factors that can cause damage to the eyes when applying false eyelashes, especially from the procedure. They should be placed, for added safety, by a trained esthetician and practice in a hygienic environment, with safe chemicals, as advised by Dr. Rebecca Taylor, clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Failure to do so can lead to corneal damage, infection, eyelid irritation, allergies, eyelash lice and loss of natural lashes.

Conjunctivitis is one of the adverse reactions of false eyelashes.

Corneal damage

Eyelashes can cause scratches or holes in the cornea. The main culprit is the glue that is used to adhere them, as it contains formaldehyde, a substance known to cause allergic reactions. Although super long extensions also accumulate dirt and bacteria.

The cornea is an outer layer of the eye that works like a lens. It is the one that receives the light when it enters the eye, fulfilling a fundamental role in vision. But not only that; it is also the protection of the eyeball against infections and germs.

Among the most common diseases of the cornea and one of the most common complications is conjunctivitis, an infection of the inner lids of the eyelids. Being this one of the main pathologies that appear by putting false eyelashes.

Read also: 6 recommendations to fight conjunctivitis naturally

Irritation of the eyelids

In medicine it is known as blepharitis and it has different types, depending on where it appears on the eyelid, although the causes are usually the same: proliferation of bacteria, accumulation of excess fat and dermatitis. All these factors can have their origin in the bad placement of the eyelashes.

Eyelash lice

Eyelash lice are tiny organisms that feed on sebum in the follicles. Spread of these lice can occur if someone used the extensions and did not properly disinfect them after removing them.

These microorganisms receive the scientific name of Demodex and they are very contagious. Symptoms include redness, swelling, and itching.


They usually appear because of acrylates. They are salts and esters of acrylic acid, the chemical compound that is produced from propylene. When in contact with the skin it can cause redness, swelling, edema and itching. The substance is in the glue that they add to the eyelash extensions.

Glue, for some people, is an allergen. Although it is biologically acceptable and that is why it is marketed, some presentations may contain formaldehyde and cause adverse reactions.

Loss of natural eyelashes

The weight when using false eyelashes results in pressure on the hair follicle. This could lead to the fall of the natural. As a paradoxical effect, the use of this product, which is intended to add volume, would actually cause a reduction in density and thinning of the physiological elements.

What to do about the adverse reactions of false eyelashes?

Treatment depends on the reaction of the body. The main thing is to go to an ophthalmologist who can analyze what is happening. In the case of corneal injury, the approach may include removing foreign material from the eye, using patches, ointments, or drops.

For problems such as eyelid irritation, medications may be prescribed. Although the most common is that it is recommended to gently rub the eyelids daily with warm compresses to remove the biofilm and excess bacteria on the eyelid.

In the case of eyelash lice, a similar hygiene regimen is recommended to remove excess sebum that feeds the microorganisms. For allergies, you should remove your eyelashes immediately and see a dermatologist.

Aesthetic professionals are indicated to minimize the risks of placement.

Importance of materials during the procedure

When it is decided to do such a treatment it is important that the client meets with a specialized aesthetic technician. Not only that, as in any procedure that is applied to the body, the cleanliness of the materials that will be used, such as tweezers, brushes and chemicals, must be evaluated.

Always make sure that the glue does not have formaldehyde and the professional should test the client for allergies. It is not about not wearing false eyelashes, but about doing it with caution and with a professional with demonstrable experience.

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