Optometrists Warn About Gross Hygiene Issue From Eyelash Extensions

Many of us are fans of a full set of eyelash extensions, particularly with party season around the corner.

But you might want to consider a gross side effect that optometrists warn is on the rise and can be transferred from person to person in beauty salons that provide the service.

Optometrists have concerns following the increase in cases relating to Demodex, a medical condition that is colloquially referred to as 'eyelash lice'.

The increase in cases relating to eyelash lice has largely been attributed to a failure to clean eyelash extensions properly, leading to bacterial growth that can cause eye infections as well as a higher risk of developing Demodex.

Demodex on the eyelash. Image: Facebook

Demodex are live organisms that live on the hair follicle, feeding off the dead skin cells and oils associated with the area with symptoms including: itchiness, redness, burning, scaly or rough skin and eczema.

What's worse is that they can be transferred from person to person in a variety of ways, such as through direct contact as well as the sharing of eyelash products such as false lashes and eyelash glue.

Demodex can cause itching and discomfort. Image: Facebook

Dr Sairah Malik told ABC7 that cleaning your eyelids is important to ensure Demodex does not develop.

“Generally the idea when you have eyelash extensions is that people are afraid to kind of touch them or wash them because they’re afraid the eyelash will fall out," she said.

We recommend Tea Tree base cleanser. Any cleanser that has a diluted form of Tea Tree, and it is a good idea to use on a daily basis.

Further to not cleaning the eye area properly, women who visit a salon where staff do not clean their tools properly can be at risk of having Demodex transferred to them from another client.

Demodex is diagnosed by taking a small skin sample which is analysed under a microscope. Topical creams which kill the mites are usually prescribed for treatment.

Featured image: Facebook