Allergies and irritations do happen and we as lash artists can be quick to jump to the conclusion that the lashes must be removed. A sensitivity or irritation can easily mirror an allergy, but if your client does have a reaction it doesn’t necessarily mean they are allergic. Although I like to eer on the side of caution, it is important to understand the difference in order to help and educate your client.

The symptons of an irritation may include excessive watering, itching, blood shot eyes, slight puffiness, or a red sclera. Typically, the culprit for these sensitivities are the fumes that are given off while the glue cures, but it can also be from misplaced gel pads or tape. One of the main differences in an irritation is that it will generally not last longer than 24 hours. An allergy is your body reacting to a non toxic chemical as if it is a toxic chemical. The symptoms can include swelling, itching, discharge, or redness. Unlike an irritation, the symptoms will get worse with an allergic reaction until the lashes and adhesive are removed. Unfortunately, certain individuals can have a delayed reaction that starts as an irritation, but overtime  with continued exposure it can become a severe allergic reaction.

The most important thing we can do as lash artists is eliminate the possible causes of a reaction. Here is a list of tips to limit sensitivites:

1.  Use the correct amount of adhesive. More glue= more exposure to irritating fumes.

2. Cure the lashes throughout application.

3. Apply lashes in a well ventilated area. If working in a small room open windows, or run a fan.

4. Clients’ eyes should remain closed throughout the entire application. A client could potentially suffer from a chemical burn if their eyes stay open.

5. Be very careful to not bruise the client’s sclera which can happen when the eye pad is placed too high during application.

6. Make sure the adhesive is not being applied too closely to the skin

And as always, when there is a medical related issue, always refer the client to a licensed physician. 

Kourtnie Warden