You’ve just noticed you have a bump on your eyelid after getting eyelash extensions. I hate to say it, but there is a chance you’ve developed a stye or chalazion.
In this article, I’ll cover how you can differentiate them, what causes them, and more importantly how to treat them.
Let’s get started!
Disclaimer: Although I have been doing eyelash enhancement treatments 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.
Styes vs Chalazia
It’s easy to confuse a chalazion and a stye since there’re both eyelid bumps. However, they have different symptoms, causes, and treatments.
What Are Styes?
A stye (hordeolum) is an infected lash follicle or oil gland. If your bump is painful, you’re likely dealing with a stye.1 You can identify a stye from the redness and swelling near the eyelashes. In severe cases, the infection can spread to other regions of the face.
What Are Chalazia?
A chalazion is a small, hard lump that forms on the eyelid. A chalazion usually occurs when the oil glands in the eyelid become clogged.2 They are not usually harmful but can be painful and unsightly.
Your risk of developing a chalazion (whether you get extensions or not) is higher if you have blepharitis (inflamed eyelids) or a skin condition like rosacea (red, acne-prone skin) or seborrheic dermatitis (flaky, red, itchy skin).3
Do I Have a Stye or Chalazion?
Since they look very similar, it might be difficult to tell the difference. If you have a stye, you might have symptoms such as:4
- Pain on the eyelid
- Itchy sensation
Because a chalazion is not caused by infection, it’s generally not painful or itchy. However, a chalazion will feel firmer to the touch and can grow larger in size when compared to a stye.
Stye From Lash Extensions
Can Eyelash Extensions Cause Styes?
Yes, eyelash extensions applied under unhygienic conditions can introduce bacteria to the eye area, increasing stye risk. Lacking extension aftercare can also contribute to the development of styes.
So, while extensions and styes are linked, it’s an indirect link.
Here’s what happens…
Bacteria might have contaminated the hands, tools, or products. The bacteria then spread to your lash line, where they can trigger an infection in your hair follicle or oil gland. And then – bam – out pops that dreaded bump!
If the bacteria infects your hair follicle, a stye will grow from the base of your lash, and if the bacteria make it to your oil gland, you’ll get a stye under your eyelid.5
You might also experience pain and unattractive symptoms like a swollen, red, crusty eyelid.
Your risk of getting a stye from unhygienic extensions soars if you’ve got blepharitis, diabetes, a skincare condition like acne rosacea seborrheic dermatitis, or you’ve had a stye before.6
Must-know! Anytime you or someone else touches your eyes with dirty hands, you risk getting a stye. It’s not the extensions that give you a stye, but the bacteria covering unwashed hands and tools.
How to Avoid Getting a Stye From Eyelash Extensions
Here’s your 4-step plan for escaping styes when getting extensions:
Step #1: Go to a Pro
Licensed and certified lash techs wouldn’t even think of coming close to your eyes with unwashed hands, dirty tools, or expired products.
Ask to see a tech’s qualifications and find out about their disinfection procedures before you make an appointment with them.7
Step #2: Follow Aftercare Instructions
Listen to your lash tech’s advice for looking after your extensions, especially cleaning your lashes daily with a gentle, oil-free cleanser.
Step #3: Don’t Wear Expired Eye Makeup
Bacteria love old makeup, so toss your expired eyeliner, eyeshadow, and mascara!
Plus, don’t wear makeup overnight – not even the freshest.
Step #4: Don’t Touch Your Eyes With Dirty Hands
Avoid touching your eyes, but if you must (for example, when putting in and taking out contact lenses), wash your hands well before you do.
How to Treat a Stye With Eyelash Extensions
- Apply warm compresses a few times a day for 10 minutes at a time.
- Use over-the-counter topical antibiotic ointments.
- Wash your eyelids frequently.
- Don’t wear makeup.
- Contact your doctor if the situation persists after a few days.
Chalazion From Eyelash Extensions
Can Eyelash Extensions Cause a Chalazion?
Yes, getting eyelash extensions can increase your risk of developing a chalazion. The glue used to affix extensions to the natural lashes may block oil glands in the eyelid which can lead to a chalazion forming.
So, it’s a stretch, but eyelash extensions can cause a chalazion.
I will say this though, a good lash tech will use just the right amount of adhesive to secure the extension to the natural lash. The glue should never touch the skin of the eyelid.
That’s actually quite a rookie mistake and can lead to all sorts of problems.
Also, your oil glands can be blocked while you’re getting extensions or after you’ve left the salon. if it’s after, improper aftercare might be an issue.
What Causes a Chalazion With Extensions Extensions and How to Avoid It?
You can unknowingly set the scene for developing a chalazion during your extension procedure if you don’t check out the lash tech and salon before making an appointment.
Here are 4 eyelid threats you can come up against:
#1: An inexperienced, unqualified individual. Untrained beginners can make mistakes like attaching extension fibers to your skin instead of your lashes. We call this slip-up a nailhead. Pro lash techs work super carefully to avoid nailheads because misplaced glue can block an oil gland. The blocked gland can then swell into a chalazion.
#2: Unhygienic conditions. Lacking cleanliness can invite bacteria onto your eye area. The bacteria can get trapped in a lash follicle and trigger an infection and the development of a stye. If you don’t treat the stye, it can become a chalazion.8
#1: Not cleaning your lashes daily. Oil, dead skin cells, dirt, and makeup residue fall at the base of your lashes throughout the day. Suppose you don’t wash off this gunk at the end of the day. It will settle down and potentially block your oil glands. You’re really asking for trouble if you sleep in your eye makeup!5
#2: Applying eyeliner to the inside of your lash line. Lining the skin between your lashes and eyes can clog your oil glands.9 Plus, wearing expired eye makeup can give you a stye, which can turn into a chalazion.
How to Treat a Chalazion With Eyelash Extensions
- Apply warm compresses a few times a day for 10 minutes at a time. This will open up the oil gland for drainage.
- Gently massage the gland (no hard pressure).
- Clean your eyelid frequently.
- Contact a doctor if you don’t find relief after a few days.
Can I get eyelash extensions with a stye?
No, that is not possible because of the cross-contamination risk between clients. Additionally, it’s best to hold off from lash extensions until the infection fully clears up.
Can i get eyelash extensions with a chalazion?
No, it’s not recommended to get eyelash extensions if you already have a chalazion because your oil glands are blocked and the eyelash adhesive may further irritate the area.
Do I have to remove eyelash extensions if I get a stye?
Chemicals used during the removal process may further aggravate the condition. For that reason, it’s usually best to wait for the treatment to fully get rid of the stye before touching the lashes again.
The Bottom Line
Carelessly applied extensions, missing hygiene (at the salon or home), and lining the inside of your lash line can cause chalazia.
Eyelash extensions are only a stye risk if they expose your eyes to bacteria-contaminated hands, tools, or products.
Zero out this risk by having your extensions applied by a licensed, certified lash pro with spotless hygiene standards. Then clean your lashes daily and keep dirty hands and expired makeup off your eye area.
Avoid these no-nos to keep lumps and bumps off your lids!
– Asako 🙂
Further Readings on DivineLashes.ca: If you want to know more about potential risks and how to avoid them, check out my articles about red eyes from lash extensions, allergic reactions, and if eyelash extensions hurt.
- Cleveland Clinic (2021). Chalazion. Retrieved from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/17657-chalazion (Accessed on 13 October 2022)
- See reference 1
- See reference 1
- Mayo Clinic. Stye (sty). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sty/symptoms-causes/syc-20378017 (Accessed on 13 October 2022)
- Kierstan Boyd – medically reviewed by Odalys Mendoza, MD (2022). What Are Chalazia and Styes? Retrieved from https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-are-chalazia-styes (Accessed on 12 October 2022)
- See reference 5
- Board of Barbering and Cosmetology. Eyelash Extensions Safety Tips. Retrieved from https://www.barbercosmo.ca.gov/forms_pubs/eyelash_safetytips.pdf (Accessed on 12 October 2022)
- American Optometric Association. Chalazion. Retrieved from https://www.aoa.org/healthy-eyes/eye-and-vision-conditions/chalazion?sso=y (Accessed on 13 October 2022)
- Nicole Hollimon – medically reviewed by Whitney Seltman, OD (2020). Makeup Tips for Dry Eye. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/makeup-tips-dry-eye (Accessed on 13 October 2022)