This is becoming quite a common misconception by long term extension wearers, even clients who have been visiting our salons for years... but glue reactions usually occur almost immediately after lash application, are very uncommon and we haven't changed adhesive or lash products in over two years, so we started to investigate what may be causing this to occur...

One of the scariest things we hear from clients is that they do not wash, and in some extreme cases, WET, their lashes... AT ALL.  

The natural function of our eyelashes is to protect our eyes by catching and trapping pollen, dust and other allergens that threaten that area, so having extensions applied is like super sizing that function, that is why keeping those little super filters clean should be of utmost priority to extension wearers.  When you don't keep them clean, you run the risk of developing Blepharitis.

 

Ewww What is Blepharitis

This scary sounding medical condition that can develop from an overload of bacteria around the eyes, it could be caused by a lot of things including lack of eye hygiene, using a lot of makeup and not removing it correctly or from using products that are not meant to be used on the eye area and thus upsetting the delicate balance of the skin in that area. It could also be a sign of an allergy to a new shampoo/cleanser/product.

When you wear eyelash extensions and have this issue, it is generally that the eyes have not been washed properly and the build-up of dust, dirt, pollen and makeup have caused bacteria to flourish.

It is up to you if you choose to remove your lashes while you treat this condition, it will make the treatment slightly easier for you if you do, but can definitely be treated with a bit of extra care with extensions still on. If you choose to remove, you are free to replace your extensions when your eye area is calm and clear of problems.

 

What does it look like?

Blepharitis can look like dry skin, or flaking on the eyelid and along the lash line.  It can also involve redness or itchiness and very mild swelling from you scratching the itch.  You may have one of these symptoms or a combination of them.

It is very important to resist rubbing or itching the affected area.  You can make it worse by irritating an area that is already sensitive, or even accidentally scratch the skin with your nails and cause a wound.

 

Treatment

Apply warm (not hot) compresses to the eye area to help soften any dry, flaking skin and to encourage the pores to open so they can be cleaned properly of any blockages. Use a clean wash cloth or a cotton pad for this, soak in the warm water, wring out and then hold on the area for a few minutes. You can do this morning and night, or more often if you like.

After the compress, mix one part baby shampoo to ten parts water (one or two drops shampoo in a half cup of  warm water should do it) then using cotton tips gently clean around the lash line on the top and also the bottom lashes, avoiding getting any in your eyes.

Rinse clean with cool water and pat gently dry. You may wish to apply a tiny bit of plain cream suitable for eczema/psoriasis (for example brands like egoderm or QV) on the eyelid to help relieve any itching or dryness on the skin. Avoid getting too close to the lash line, you do not want the cream too close to your eye. You may like to apply the cream with a cotton tip to make it easier not to go too overboard with the amount of cream.

For any itching, swelling or discomfort you can try a non-drowsy antihistamine tablet to relieve these symptoms.

Once your symptoms have cleared, it’s a good idea to keep up with a gentle lash cleansing routine. Lash care co foaming facial cleanser is safe to use around your extensions and eye area, and is gentle enough not to irritate whilst keeping your eye area clean and healthy.  Wash your eyes specifically daily to remove any dirt, dust and makeup that may have built up to avoid further issues with bacteria.

Please note that this advice is of a general nature only.  If you are concerned about your condition please see a pharmacist, doctor or a dermatologist for specific advice for your condition.

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