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In one of my previous posts I covered chemical burns and today I want to share advice on allergic reactions. (please note that medical advice CANNOT be given by a Lash Artist and must only come from a medical professional)

What is an allergic reaction?

Reactions unlike irritations to lash extensions are rare and can show up in different ways from mild to extreme such as;

• Swollen and inflamed eyes/eyelids

• Redness of the cornea

• Itchiness/discomfort around the eye area

Symptoms usually show up within the first 48hours of having them applied and generally worsen over time.

Reactions are likely to become worse the more the client is exposed to the allergen. Irritations (that can also cause redness/itching) on the other hand usually subside quickly.

Most often than none, it is Cyonacrylate (the main ingredient in adhesives) that the client is allergic to.

If a client has an allergic reaction you must not provide further treatment as it can make it much worse and recommend them to seek advice from a medical professional.

Patch testing:

You should always offer your client the option of a patch test. They are carried out to check for allergies to products, however this is significantly less than the amount you’d use on a full treatment therefor it’s not 100% accurate.

Note: you must always check with your insurer with patch testing guidelines.

How to treat it?

The (non medical) advice you can give your clients when they have a reaction to help ease or prevent from worsening are to apply a cold compress to the eyes and avoid rubbing or removing them.

If the reaction is severe it’s best for them to take the reaction down (with whatever has been given by a medical professional) and then have them removed. This avoids further discomfort. Never advise clients to remove lashes themselves.

Who can get these?

It’s possible for new clients to have an allergic reaction however reactions to chemicals are usually accumulative. This means the reaction is building up over time and your body is rejecting it. You’re more likely to have your client of 5 years suffer an allergic reaction than someone having lashes for the first time.

How can we prevent it?

Even if a client has taken a break because of an allergic reaction they may still react in future. Once they’ve had a break and another patch test, there are a few troubleshoots you could try;

A sensitive adhesive for clients who are experiencing sensitivities (such as discomfort, irritation, itching on the lash line, swelling, redness around the lash line)

Apply less amount of lashes or reduce the time spent to decrease the level of exposure.

Ditch other products that may cause allergic reactions such as primer

Use a fan during the appointment to fan away lingering fumes.

Use a nanomister/superbonder after the treatment to cure the adhesive.

Perform a post wash (after the adhesive has set) to wash away lingering fumes that are surrounding the skin.

Can a client have lashes again after a reaction?

It’s best not to but if your client is adamant and the initial reaction was not severe then wait 6 months and patch test again. This is something you must check with your insurers as an allergic reaction is considered a contraindication to the treatment. A break will not guarantee that an allergic reaction will not happen.

Note: Because of the unknown of a client having an allergic reaction, never do a full set of lashes for a client before an important occasion such as their wedding day, always do it a week before and then infil if need be.

Thank you for reading

Sahar Lash & Makeup Artistry

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