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The Risks of Eyelash Glue for Extensions

a pair of false eyelashes on a pink background with heart-shaped glitter beside them

The adhesive in eyelash glue and the solvents used to remove it can cause poisoning and serious injury. Side effects include allergic reactions and cornea damage. In addition, eyelash extensions increase your risk of bacterial and fungal eye infections.

Can Eyelash Glue Damage Your Eyes?

Eyelash glue can damage your eyes. If the glue gets into your eyes, it can scratch the cornea and lead to possible scarring. The vapors of certain glues can also cause burning and itching of the eyes. Allergic reactions in and or around the eye can occur. These reactions have similar symptoms to bacterial and fungal infections, and you should not ignore them.

How to Prevent Eyelash Glue From Damaging Your Eyes

There are ways to prevent eyelash glue from damaging your eyes. The most important thing to do is to keep your eyes closed during the application. This will minimize the chance of glue getting into your eyes and also protect them from the adhesive’s vapor. If you suffer from allergic reactions, read the ingredients used in the adhesive before applying.

Mistaking Eyelash Glue for Eye Drops

It is important where you store your eyelash glue. It can easily be mistaken as eyedrops and accidentally applied into the eyes. This can occur if the products are in the same location, such as in a purse. When applying eye drops, the person should be in a well-lit area, and not distracted when the product is being used.

Can Eyelash Glue Hurt Your Real Lashes?

False eyelashes can hurt your real lashes. Temporary eyelashes are attached above the natural lashes, while semi-permanent eyelashes are attached to the natural lashes of your eye. Many of the semi-permanent eyelash adhesives use chemicals found in Super Glue like cyanoacrylate. Adhesives can pull out your natural lashes or cause them to fall out. If this happens, it can take up to eight weeks for your natural eyelashes to grow back.

Hands holding a temporary eyelash in one hand while dabbing eyelash glue on the edges.

What to Do if You Get Eyelash Glue in Your Eye?

Your eye is made up of delicate tissue. If you get eyelash glue in your eye, you will need to flush your eye immediately with lukewarm water for 5-10 minutes. If your eyelids become glued together, do not try to force them apart. Contact the Missouri Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222 who will help to advise your treatment. Sometimes an eye professional will need to remove any remaining glue or treat your eye for any abrasions.

How to Remove Temporary Eyelashes

It’s possible to safely remove temporary lashes. Dabbing the tops of your lashes with warm water, eye makeup remover, or eyelash remover will help loosen the adhesive’s grip. Once you have loosened the adhesive, gently pull slowly from one end of the false eyelash, peeling it away from your skin. If you feel it snag or pull too much, stop pulling and continue dabbing more liquid over the eyelashes.

How to Remove Semi-permanent Eyelashes

Removing semi-permanent lashes by yourself at home can lead to your natural lashes being pulled out. But if necessary, try loosening the adhesive used for semi-permanent extensions with an oil-based eye makeup remover or another oily substance like coconut oil. If you can, do not try to remove semi-permanent eyelashes by yourself. You should seek a licensed professional makeup artist to help remove your semi-permanent lashes. They will know how to do this procedure without damaging your natural lashes.

a tray of false eyelashes sit beside a container of eyelash glue and pliers used to apply false eyelashes to the eyelid.

What if Someone Eats Eyelash Glue?

Wipe the person’s mouth with a soft rag and have them wash it out as best as they can before giving them some water to drink. Doing this quickly enough may prevent the bonding of the lips and mouth tissues. Rarely is there enough cyanoacrylate in the adhesive that it’s not likely a person’s airway will be blocked if ingested or inhaled. This is a life-threatening situation. Call 911 right away if the person is having difficulty breathing.

Allergic Reactions to False Eyelashes

Allergic reactions from eyelash glue can affect the eye or the skin around the eyes. If you do not know if you’re allergic and are considering applying temporary or semi-permanent eyelashes for the first time, try a skin patch test to make sure no symptoms occur before using them around the eye.

Common allergic reactions to eyelash adhesive include:

  • Burning of the eyes or skin around the eyes
  • Itching of the eyes or skin around the eyes
  • Rash on the skin around the eyes
  • Pain where the false eyelashes are applied
  • Swelling or inflammation of the eyelid or the eye

What Can Cause Side Effects?

Some adhesives used to apply temporary or semi-permanent eyelashes have ingredients that are known to cause allergic reactions. These common ingredients include:

  • Formaldehyde
  • Cyanoacrylates
  • Latex
  • Benzoic acid
  • Cellulose gum

If you consider applying false eyelashes and know you have allergic reactions to one or more of these ingredients, read the eyelash glue ingredients closely and let the makeup artist know.

Treatment for Side Effects

If you or someone you know are experiencing mild reactions to eyelash glue, you can do a few things at home to alleviate the discomfort. Applying a cold compress can help to soothe your eye if it is burning or inflamed. Over-the-counter eye allergy drops will help with itching and burning but check with your healthcare provider for recommendations.

If you are concerned about the side effects you are experiencing, contact your doctor or call the Missouri Poison Center.

When to Seek Professional Care

If you or someone you know got eyelash glue in their eye, rinse the eye, and call the Missouri Poison Center right away. If an allergic reaction occurs and lasts longer than 24 to 48 hours, contact your healthcare provider. Allergic reactions and infections can create similar symptoms, so it’s important not to ignore any possible responses you may experience.

If you think someone has gotten eyelash glue in their eye or swallowed some, call the Poison Help Line at 1-800-222-1222. Specially trained nurses and pharmacists are available 24/7/365 to answer your questions. The service is free and confidential.

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