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Fake Eyelashes Can Cause Cancer

Full and long eyelashes are every woman’s heart’s desire and have been made more accessible by eyelash bars and most beauty salons.

On the back of World Sight Day (12 October) Rudine Diedericks, senior optometrist at Mellins i-Style says, “If you already have eyelash extensions or are considering swopping your mascara for eyelash extensions or false eyelashes, there are a few things to remember in order to protect your eyes and vision.”

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The danger of eyelashes

Between 40 and 100 synthetic lashes are glued with specific glue to the eyelids, on top of your natural lashes, either one for one or in small groups. “The biggest problem with eyelash extensions is the glue that’s used in the process,” says Rudine. You can develop an eye infection because of the glue or, if you have a sensitive skin, a rash can develop on the eyelids. Some women can lose their eyelashes temporarily, or even permanently, as a result of damage to the hair follicles responsible for eyelash growth and maintenance. Bacteria can also cling to the lashes that increase chances of an eye infection.

The eyelash glue

Most of the glue used for eyelash extensions and some false eyelashes contains formaldehyde that is not only toxic, but also a confirmed cancer-causing agent or carcinogen. Sodium dodecylbenzenesulfanate on the other hand is a skin and eye irritant that can cause permanent damage to your eyes. If some of the glue accidently ends up in the eye, it can cause severe irritation, burn and even permanently damage the cornea.

Ingredients such as latex can cause an allergic reaction, resulting in swollen eye lids, possible irritation or infections of the conjunctiva and cornea. Forceps wounds can also occur, including reactions to solvents used to remove the extensions and reactions to the tape that may be used to hold eyelids closed during the procedure. “Some patients also complain of dry eyes,” adds Rudine. “The reason could be that long and fuller eyelashes create a fan-like effect with each blink, increasing air flow on the surface of the eye that results in dry eye symptoms.”

Important tips to remember when having eyelash extensions:

  1. Ensure that the aesthetician is certified to do it correctly and safely.
  2. Ensure that the aesthetician works hygienically, wears latex gloves and disinfects the tweezers.
  3. Always check the eyelash adhesive ingredients
  4. Should you develop a reaction as a result of the glue, stop immediately, and if any glue accidently lands in your eye, see an eye specialist straightaway.

Source: Mellins i-Style. Images: Pixabay

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