Take Caution With Eyelash Extensions To Avoid Potential Health Risks

Important Tips for Eyelash and Optical Safety

SAN DIEGO, June 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- While women have long been enhancing their eyelashes since the days before Cleopatra, this practice has grown in popularity in recent years, with singers such as Adele, Rihanna, and Katy Perry sporting longer lashes to enhance their appearance. While more and more people are catching on to this latest trend, many consumers may not be aware of the risks that eyelash extensions can pose not only to your eyelashes but also to your eyes. A recent study by Consumer Reports reveals that eyelash extensions can pose health risks such as allergic reactions, bacterial or fungal infections, or corneal irritation.

Dr. Sandy T. Feldman, an ophthalmologist and corneal expert at Clearview Eye & Laser Center in San Diego, warns consumers that eyelash extensions can pose serious problems to your natural eyelashes - and even your eyes - if not properly applied. Dr. Feldman and other ophthalmologists both here and abroad are reporting an increased number of patient consultations due to eye irritation and infection caused by eyelash enhancements.

"With the cornea and surrounding areas being so fragile, any exposure to chemicals such as formaldehyde - which is often found in the adhesives used to attach the extensions - can cause irritation and infection," says Dr. Feldman. "What results is an infection or swelling of the eyelids, infection of the cornea, and possibly traction alopecia, a condition where the natural eyelashes begin to fall out when the extensions are removed. This falling out of eyelashes can either be temporary or it can become permanent."

Because of the potential health risks, Dr. Feldman offers the following tips for individuals who are considering eyelash extensions: Make sure that the aesthetician who is applying the extensions is certified and works at a reputable establishment. Make sure the aesthetician practices proper hygiene and washes his or her hands thoroughly. Before getting the extensions, inquire about the adhesive ingredients to ensure that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients. The consumer should be aware that beauty enhancing procedures have risks and benefits and should not be treated as a commodity.

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