Lash Education: Eye Infections

October 23, 2017 by The Lash Professional. 

School is in session, lash babes! Today we are going to learn about different types of eyelash extension infections and how to lower the risk of infection.

When the eye or surrounding eye area is exposed to certain bacteria or organisms, eye infections can occur. Lash education is vital: as a lash professional, you must educate your clients on the importance of hygiene to keep their beautiful eyes free of infection.

If your client displays any of the following symptoms of an eyelash extension infection, we recommend not proceeding with the service until the client has been treated by a healthcare professional, and symptoms have cleared.

However, it is up to you and your best judgment. In some cases, when the symptoms are not contagious, (such as with allergic conjunctivitis,) it can be safe to proceed with written permission from a healthcare professional (basically, a doctor’s note).

Listed below are the most common types of eyelash extension infections you may see and their symptoms.

Lash Extension Infections

There are several common types of eye infections you might encounter with your clients. It’s important to know the difference between them and know when it’s safe to proceed with your service.

I will briefly outline each of these lash extension infections so you can stay educated, girl!

1. Allergic Conjunctivitis

When eyes are exposed to allergens, (such as pet dander, pollen, dust, mold, etc,) it causes eyes to become watery, red, and itchy. This is the most commonly occurring infection among clients and can be tricky. Although allergies and allergic reactions are not contagious from one client to the next, applying lash extensions to already irritated eyes can worsen the symptoms a bit, or sometimes drastically.

2. Blepharitis

Blepharitis is when lash follicles are red and inflamed. This is caused by bad hygiene,

allergies, mites, dandruff, and certain medications. We recommend not proceeding with the service for this eyelash extension infection, as the reaction/symptoms are likely to worsen.

3. Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is an eye infection that inflames the conjunctiva of the eye, causing the eye to turn pink or in some cases, red. Commonly known as Pinkeye, this contagious infection is easily spread. Do not proceed with the service until the client is treated, and symptoms have fully cleared.

4. Demodex

Parasites found inside pores and hair follicles can cause infection and inflammation. These are called eye mites. Mites live inside pores and can be hard to spot or distinguish. However, if eyes are irritated or inflamed at all, it could be Demodex and we recommend not proceeding with lash extensions.

5. Stye

A stye is a bacterial infection of the sebaceous glands, causing a red, painful bump or inflamed area of the eye. Styes can occur when the hair follicle is clogged and irritated. Although not contagious, styes require hot compresses in order to clear up. We recommend not proceeding with the service until the stye has cleared.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can eyelash extensions cause styes?

Technically, yes. Eyelash extensions can cause cross-contamination to happen and styes to form. This is why it is crucial to never do lash extensions on a client with a stye. You don’t want to transfer the eye infection to another client.

How do I get rid of an eye infection?

We recommend you seek help from a medical professional or eye doctor if you or your client shows signs or symptoms of an eye infection.

How do I prevent eyelash extension infections?

Prevent eyelash extension infections by keeping your tools and station sanitized at all times. Do not proceed to do lash extensions on any client who is showing signs of infection. This will protect your other clients and yourself from catching an eye infection.

Avoid Eye Infections at Your Salon

It is your job to ensure that your station, tools, and hands are free from bacteria that could spread infection or disease. Remember to never apply lash extensions to clients who show any signs of these infections. We also recommend having all new clients sign a waiver and release form to protect yourself. This form is vital to your lash business, as it is a form of insurance and can protect you from certain liabilities that could occur. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!

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