How to Combat Eyelash Extension Glue Allergy
We all have been there. That heart-sinking text from a client saying that “my eyes are red and swollen, is this normal?”. Yes, this can happen to any lash technician. What should one do in this situation instead of panicking?
We say, assess, treat, and minimize. This post is about eyelash extension glue allergies and eyelash glue allergy treatment.
What is eyelash extension glue allergy?
An allergy is our body's natural response to ordinarily harmless substances (like pollen, peanuts) known as allergens. Why certain people's body reacts to certain allergens is unfortunately unknown.
When someone's body starts to react against certain allergens, the human body produces fighters called 'antibodies' to fight these allergens.
The more your body is exposed to an allergen, and your body will fight even harder to the allergen. Hence, more exposure, a more severe allergic reaction can happen.
What causes eyelash extension glue allergy?
In most cases, Cyanoacrylate (the main component of lash glue) is known to be the substance that causes the glue allergy.
You’ve probably learned that eyelash extension glue cures by its reaction to humidity (to be specific, Cyanoacrylate does). So, the nature of Cyanoacrylate is to attach itself to any humidity it can find.
And where is the most humid part of our face? Eyes and nostrils. That’s why the glue allergy starts from these places with symptoms like watery eyes and runny nose.
What are the symptoms of lash extension glue allergy?
Symptoms of glue allergy may vary from person to person but here are the most commonly known symptoms of eyelash glue allergy:
- Stingy, watery eyes
- Runny nose, blocked nose
- Sort throat
- Swelling, itching eyelids
Is lash extension glue allergy dangerous?
While a small percentage of clients develop an allergic reaction to eyelash extension glue, this allergy itself is not especially dangerous. Symptoms will disappear once the eyelash extensions are removed.
However, the allergy might happen again if eyelash extensions are applied even after some time out. (The body keeps a memory of the allergy once developed)
Note that this doesn’t only limit to the clients, and it can also happen to lash artists, too, who are constantly exposed to extension glue fume. Lash artists can develop glue allergy from inhaling strong lash glue fume for a lengthy period of time.
What if my client takes some time off from the lash extension and gets lashes again?
Unfortunately once the body creates an antibody against an allergen, it won't go away. Your client is likely to have a stronger reaction to eyelash extension glue next time. Even if your client really wants them, it will not be worth it.
How to treat lash glue allergy
When such an unfortunate situation arises, always remember that you are not a doctor, and the best advice you can give is to direct the clients to medical professionals.
In the case of severe symptoms that persists for more than 24 hours, they should visit urgent care. As licensed professionals, we can only help in advising how to treat mild discomfort and reactions.How to treat mild symptoms of eyelash extension allergy
- Cold Compress - Put on a cold compress (ice packs, frozen peas, or whatever options that are available at that time). This is, however, not a treatment but more like a Band-Aid that reduces discomfort.
- Cortisone Cream - If your client is experiencing mild irritation, redness, or any pain, you can suggest putting on a tiny amount of cortisone cream to relieve the symptoms. This cream can be bought over the counter, and it is a topical alleviant that can assist in mild allergic reactions.
- Lash Extension Removal - It's best to remove the lash extensions straight away. In such circumstances, make yourself available for them to come in for a complimentary removal as soon as possible.
How to prevent eyelash extension glue allergy?
Use an Anti-Allergy Gel
To prevent developing the glue allergy, placing an open jar of the Anti-Allergy Gel is very effective. Anti-Allergy Gel captures the fume (and cyanoacrylate) in this jelly-like jar before it reaches the eyes and nostrils.
Stock sensitive lash extensions glues
Sensitive lash extension glues contain much less amount of Cyanoacrylate than the normal lash glues. They may not be the fastest drying or longest retention glues but they are for the clients with sensitive eyes or immune systems.
Find out what's The Best Lash Extension Adhesive for Sensitive Eyes.
Always consult your clients before the appointment.
One of the leading causes of glue allergy that many technicians overlook is the health condition of the lash client.
If the client’s immune system is weak, she is likely to get infections more frequently and severely than most other people. The weak immune system can be caused by many reasons, such as illness, stress, alcohol, smoking, or unbalanced nutrition.
Therefore, consult with your client thoroughly about her health condition on any noticeable illness, medication, stress, change in sleep pattern before the appointment and make sure to inform the risk of allergy development depends on her condition.
Have a daily checklist
There are things you can do as a lash technician to reduce the potential risk of irritation and allergies. Here are some suggestions on a few things you can do:
- Always perform a patch test before the treatment of a new client.
- Have a reliable ventilation system in your lash room and keep your lash room clean and your tools sanitized.
- Know your products and ingredients of your lash glue. Request lash adhesive MSDS from your retailer.
- Only use fresh lash glues. Throw away glues passed its shelf-life.
- The more you know about your client, the more you can reduce possible risks. Ask questions about their past lash extension experiences and her current health conditions.
- Use sensitive glue for clients with glue sensitivity.
- Place Anti-Allergy Gel by the work station.
Make sure the safety of your clients is your utmost priority
Ensure that your clients are well-informed, aware of all the risks before the treatment. There is no certainty that you will never encounter a client that has an allergic reaction, so you should familiarize yourself with how to understand the symptoms.
This would help you to stay professional and calm in the most critical moments like this!
Learn more about the care for lash clients and adhesives here:
Healthy lashing, everyone!