The 'dos' and 'do nots' of eyelash extensions

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - I've worn eyelash extensions for a year and I've never been injured by them. However, a series of pictures posted on Facebook in March 2017 made me rethink and question how safe they really are.

The other question I have is who's in charge of regulating who is licensed in case something does go wrong.

The pictures, posted by Truvonna Tamiel, were alarming. She described an allergic reaction to the glue used for lash extensions.

"They are taking a synthetic fiber and they are gluing it to your lash," says Dermatologist Melissa Piliang with the Cleveland Clinic. "The glue often contains formaldehyde and many people are allergic to it."

The post went viral. It was shared over 20,000 times. The allergic reaction forced her eyes to be shut for a week. Blurred vision, pain, and swelling were just some of the symptoms mentioned.

It is a procedure that's regulated by the Ohio Board of Cosmetology. The state run agency adopted a policy mandating that eye lash extension services only be performed by a licensed estheticians or cosmetologists in an approved facility.

The following policy statements were adopted by the Ohio State Board of Cosmetology on March 14, 2017:

The Ohio State Board of Cosmetology is now tasked with regulating the practice of eye lash extensions, which has been added to the scope of practice of esthetics. Statute now requires individuals providing eye lash extension services to be licensed as estheticians or cosmetologists, and requires that these services only be performed in facilities licensed by the Board. Having now provided persons impacted by these new requirements six months to become educated in the relevant laws and rules and come into compliance, the Board will now focus on the continued education of businesses and individuals engaged in eye lash extension services, and on issuing compliance warnings for first-time violators, and progressive sanctions, as warranted, for repeat violators.

You can get an allergy test to make sure you aren't allergic to the glue used.

A full set of lashes can cost anywhere from $200 and refills thereafter can be as high as $75 every two or three weeks.

"It puts pressure on your own eyelashes, so if you are going because your lashes are thin to begin with, you may end up in a much worse situation,"
said Dr. Piliang.

Not everyone experiences symptoms, but there are some dangers to look out for.

If you don't clean them properly, the bacteria could build up around the eye increasing infection.

If the synthetic lash is too heavy it could thin out your lashes or cause traction alopecia.

"If you are not experiencing symptoms or pain you probably won't ruin your eye," said Dr. Piliang.

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