False eyelashes are basically artificial lashes made out of human or synthetic hair that are glued to the eyelash area. Women use these fake lashes to have fuller and thicker eyelashes.
A medical practitioner, Dr Ayopo Adeyemi, warned women against the use of artificial eyelashes, commonly used to enhance beauty, in view of its grievous consequences.
There are a lot of different kinds of false eyelashes. The most basic and the most common kinds are Individual Eyelashes or Flared Eyelashes and Strip Fake Eyelashes. There are also three-quarter falsies that are not known but are just as effective in giving you that sultry and mysterious look.
According to her, natural eyelashes had its natural way of preventing dirt, sweat, bacteria and other foreign materials from entering into the eye by trapping and keeping out anything that comes near.
Adeyemi, a practitioner at Mushin General Hospital, Lagos, said false eyelashes would accommodate the dirt, thereby causing different forms of allergy and infections.
Adeyemi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the health implications of fixing false eyelashes included corneal abrasions or ulcers, damage of the natural eyelashes, eye sensitivity, amongst others.
She said fixing of artificial eyelashes had become an increasingly popular trend in the fashion world as most ladies, regardless of the health implications, seek perfection and glamour.
The major side effect is an allergic reaction to the glue used in sticking false eyelashes, it contains potentially harmful chemicals. Some of the chemicals used to make these glues include formaldehyde, latex, ammonia, and pthalates, all of which can trigger serious allergic reactions. Formaldehyde have been listed as a carcinogen (cancer-causing substance) by the National Cancer Society (NCS).
“The use of harmful chemicals on the eyelashes can cause them to fall out quicker than they naturally would and it is also dangerous when tools to be used come in close proximity to the eye.
“Artificial eyelashes can cause trauma to the eye either through the glue and other materials used or unprofessional operators; there could be introduction of microbes into the eye causing conjunctivitis of all types.
Other common health risks associated with wearing fake eyelashes:
- Accidentally ripping off your natural eyelashes when taking off the glue you used in fixing the fake ones.
- Weakening of the roots of your eyelashes by some of the chemicals in the glue which can result in a temporary or permanent inability to keep or grow your natural eyelashes.
- You can have conjunctivitis due to the irritation of the eyes by harmful bacteria or dirt trapped in the fake eyelashes.
- Your eyes are more likely to dry out because fake eyelashes expose them to too much air.
“The lashes themselves can cause allergic conjunctivitis trapping and retaining dirt around the eye,” she said.
Always do a patch test before applying glues to your sensitive eye area. You can easily do this by applying a small amount to your hands and observing it for any adverse effects, if it doesn’t react then you’re good to go.
Adeyemi advised ladies to minimise the rate at which they fix false eyelashes if they must retain healthy natural ones.