Can you develop an allergic reaction to eyelash extensions?

An allergic reaction to eyelash extensions may occur in one or both eyes. In both cases, it may be more serious in one eye than in the other. Typical symptoms include redness, itching and swelling that occur in the eyelid or in the eye itself. Allergic reactions to eyelash extensions are very rare.

It's hard to find exact numbers, but the most common adhesive allergen is latex, to which only about 1% of the population is allergic, and that adhesive is not commonly used in professional extensions. By comparison, short-term irritation is much more common. Sudden allergic reactions, as well as some general allergic reactions, are known as “contact dermatitis”. Fortunately, allergic reactions to the adhesive for eyelash extensions are rare, but they do occur.

If an unfortunate event occurs, it's our responsibility as eyelash artists to recognize the telltale signs and to know how to help our clients. Normally, eyelash extensions accentuate the eyes with a natural and elegant design. However, some people may experience an allergic reaction to eyelash extensions under certain circumstances. If an allergic reaction occurs, an eyelash professional should immediately remove the eyelash extensions and the symptoms should be treated.

Allergic reactions are rare, and experienced eyelash artists will ask their clients if they have any known allergies before administering treatment. However, something unexpected can happen and people develop allergies at different stages of life, leading to unpleasant surprises. Eyelash extensions themselves do not cause allergic reactions, but if placed too close to the eyelid, the adhesive gets too close to the skin and the eyeball. Just as not everyone is allergic to everything, there are a wide range of allergies to eyelash extensions with various symptoms and reactions that occur differently in different people.

You must have the confidence to advise your customers on the difference between a reaction and an irritation, which will happen. While customers often associate any reaction as an allergic reaction to eyelash extensions, they're more likely to actually experience irritation. Customers who develop an allergic reaction to eyelash extension adhesives often experience swelling and itching on their eyelids. If you didn't know, almost eyelash glue currently contains a substance called formaldehyde, a known cause of conjunctivitis, which is inflammation of the cornea and conjunctiva.

There's no adhesive formula for eyelash extensions that works for everyone, so it's worth finding out exactly which of these ingredients you're allergic to. Addressing the customer's problem of reacting to eyelash extensions is probably the worst thing for an eyelash artist. Avoiding allergies and eyelash irritations, such as redness or blood injection, is easier if you're worried about a few things. Being exposed to strong vapors every day, for long periods of time, can cause technicians to become allergic to the adhesive.

Cyanoacrylate is the main ingredient found in eyelash adhesive and ensures that eyelash extensions last as long as possible. Allergies worsen over time, affect one or both eyes and last longer, while irritations come and go quickly. Fortunately, latex allergy doesn't have to stop anyone from enjoying eyelash extensions, as a latex-free adhesive is easily available. Allergic reactions usually occur within the first 24 hours or several hours after applying eyelash extensions.


Mattie Cournoyer
Mattie Cournoyer

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