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How eyelash extensions can induce conjunctivitis

I often see patients who have had eyelash extension glued on to their eyelashes and develop irritation along their lid margins and a sticky infection called conjunctivitis.

We all value the appearance of our eyes which express our feelings, help us look beautiful, seductive, communicative, and pretty. Women wear mascara or have their eyelashes tinted to look darker and more attractive. Often women attach temporary lash extensions on their upper lashes, as opposed to false eyelashes which are strips of additional eyelashes glued to the upper eyelid, these extentions last about 3 to 6 weeks and fall off as the eyelashes naturally fall off and then regrow.

When I examine patients with eyelash extensions and conjunctivitis I can see the sheath-like, glued-on eyelash extension extending to about 1 to 2 mm from the base of the original lash. As the natural lash grows out the distance between the sheath (which is the eyelash extension) and the skin on the eyelid gets longer and this is an area where debris from makeup, bacteria, dead skin cells and oil accumulates.

 

How Can I Avoid Conjunctivits With Lash Extensions?

Because eyelash extensions take the place of mascara, people who wear them generally look after their eyes less well. People using lash extensions should do the following to avoid conjunctivitis:

  • Scrub you eyelids and lashes twice daily with cleaning solution.
  • Vigorously use makeup remover to remove the tiniest bits of residual makeup at the base of the lashes
  • Do not fear losing the expensive and well fought for lash extensions as the alternative is conjunctivitis

Unfortunately, people aren’t doing this which is resulting in them getting episodes of conjunctivitis. Not everyone with eyelash extensions gets conjunctivitis, but a significant number do, enough to bring it to my attention at Clinica London in our urgent eye care clinic.

We see many patients with general eye problems including eyelash extentions induced conjunctivitis. our award-winning consultants Laura Crawley, Jaheed Khan and I are the three consultants who see mainly this type of problem.

Our advice is to have the lashes removed and to clean the eyelids thoroughly and regularly for a few weeks using Blephasol solution twice daily and lid wipes during the day. We also recommend a course of antibiotics to clear up conjunctivitis.

Our final bit of advice to patients is to think very carefully before attaching further eyelash extensions.

If you are considering consultancy for Conjunctivitis you can see our prices for treatment and consultation.

Read more about Conjunctivitis treatment.

Miss Jane Olver

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
Oculoplastic Eyelid & Lacrimal Specialist
Medical Director

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Mr Jaheed Khan

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
Medical Retina & Cataract Surgeon

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Ms Laura Crawley

Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
Cataract & Glaucoma Specialist

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