If eyelash extensions aren’t expertly applied under hygienic conditions, things can go wrong. I’m not just talking about patchy, clumpy, or messy results. Sloppily applied extensions can do something worse. They can trigger eye infections, irritation, or allergies. What about your eyelids? Can eyelash extensions cause blepharitis?
Properly applied and maintained eyelash extensions don’t cause blepharitis. However, procedures using glue that releases high levels of fumes can cause allergic blepharitis. Lacking eye hygiene after getting extensions can lead to lash mite overpopulation, which can also cause blepharitis.
Red, itchy, swollen eyelids are no fun. But you don’t need to avoid lash extensions to protect your lids from blepharitis.
I know how to keep your lids healthy while rocking extensions, and I’m about to share this must-know info with you – keep scrolling!
Disclaimer:Although I have been doing eyelash extensions for years, I am not a doctor. All content and information in this post are for informational and educational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Always seek the advice of your own Medical Provider regarding any questions or concerns you have about your specific health before implementing any recommendations or suggestions from our Website.
Can Lash Extensions Give You Blepharitis?
Extensions can give you blepharitis if you’re not careful.
How? It’s complicated.
Blepharitis is connected to too much bacteria on your lids, too many lash mites hanging around the bottom of your lashes, and irritated or blocked oil glands.1 Blepharitis can also be an allergic reaction to the glue used during a lash extension procedure.2
In this short video, Dr. Martín Santalucía shows an example of a patient with blepharitis and inflation of the eyelid.
Symptom check! Signs of blepharitis include watery, red eyes; a gritty or stinging sensation in the eyes; itchy, red, swollen, greasy-looking eyelids; sticky, crusted lashes; and light sensitivity.3
Here’s a closer look at lash extensions’ link to these causes and tips to keep your lids safe.
Cause #1: Too Much Bacteria on the Eyelids
Dirty hands or tools can introduce bacteria to the lids while they apply extensions. These nasty organisms can cause an infection that triggers blepharitis.
Keep lids healthy! Only have your extensions done by a licensed, certified lash tech with high hygiene standards.
Cause #2: Too Many Lash Mites
You also need to keep things clean! Skimping on eye hygiene can cause a lash mite infestation, potentially resulting in blepharitis.
Keep lids healthy! Gently cleaning your lashes washes away dead skin cells, oil, and grime to keep lash mites in check. Make lash-cleansing a daily thing.
Cause #3: Irritated or Blocked Oil Glands
If extension fibers aren’t skilfully applied, lash glue can end up on your skin. Misplaced glue globs can block your oil glands, possibly bringing on blepharitis.
Keep lids healthy! Get your extensions done by an expert lash tech with an excellent application technique.
Cause #4: An Allergic Reaction
Lash glues emitting high fumes can trigger blepharitis as an allergic reaction.4
Keep lids healthy! Ask your lash tech if they have a low-fume glue option. Plus, you can have a patch test to see how your body deals with the extension products.
How to Treat Blepharitis if You Have Eyelash Extensions
The first thing to do is to remove your eyelash extensions as soon as possible. You should contact your lash tech so that they can remove them professionally. Do not try to remove them at home by yourself.
Next, you need to cleanse your lashes and eyelids using a fragrance-free, hypoallergenic cleanser. Gently massage your lashes with your fingertips for about 30 seconds to loosen any debris.
You should also see your optometrist or ophthalmologist for a definitive diagnosis and treatment plan. They may prescribe medication, such as antibiotic ointment or drops, to help clear the infection.
Before getting lash extensions again once the infection is gone, you need to understand what caused it in the first place (see 4 common causes above) and correct it.
The Bottom Line
Puffy lids and crusty lashes take the shine off fabulous extensions, amirite?
So, keep your eyelids blepharitis-free by getting your extensions done by a licensed, certified lash expert who won’t settle for anything less than tip-top hygiene. If you’re worried about an allergic reaction, ask your lash tech to check how your body tolerates the products before having the procedure. And clean your lashes at least once a day to stop those mischievous mites from taking over!
- Kierstan Boyd – medically reviewed by James M Huffman, MD (2022). What is Blepharitis? Retrieved from https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-blepharitis#causes (Accessed on 5 October 2022)
- Yuki Amano et al. (2012). Ocular Disorders Due to Eyelash Extensions. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22134404/ (Accessed on 5 October 2022)
- Mayo Clinic Staff (2022). Blepharitis. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/blepharitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20370141 (Accessed on 5 October 2022)
- See reference 2