Eyelash Extension Allergy vs Irritation: How to Distinguish and Treat

Eyelash Extension Allergy vs Irritation

Eyelash enhances the beauty of your eyes and isn’t it sad when most women don’t have a lot of them naturally? A lot of women love eyelash extensions to fill the gap, but there can be adverse effects from this external addition. Have you recently opted for an eyelash extension service and now your eyes are itchy and swollen? It might make you wonder how eyelash extension allergy vs irritation differs in the sensitive eye area.

It is natural to get confused between an eyelash allergy and an eyelash irritation. How do you know what’s the reason behind your discomfort and what should you do about it?

Knowing the exact issue is crucial if you want to get relief. So, read this article till the end to learn everything about eyelash allergies, irritation, and the best remedies.

Allergy from eyelash extensions

An allergy is a condition when your immune system revolts due to the introduction of a foreign substance to the body.

Eyelash extension allergies refer to reactions in the body after an eyelash extension appointment. It might happen due to the presence of certain materials or ingredients used in the eyelash extension procedure.

Eyelash extension allergies are common and the main reason behind them is the glue with which the extensions are attached. Glue is mandatory to attach the artificial lashes to your natural lashes.

These lash glues contain cyanoacrylate and you might be allergic to it. The allergy can also be due to the presence of two other ingredients, namely, hydroquinone and carbon black dye.


Do you experience discomfort after having eyelash extensions? Then you need to have a clear idea about eyelash extension allergy vs irritation.

Allergy symptoms from extensions can make you feel extremely uncomfortable. Some of the common symptoms include:


Have you noticed redness around the eyelids? Sometimes, not just the lids but even the eyes can turn red. This is a sign that you might be allergic to the adhesive or glue used by your aesthetician in the application process.


Some people complain of having swollen eyelids after wearing eyelash extensions. If that happens, it will be difficult to keep your eyes open.


Itchiness around the eyelids is the most common symptom of allergy. You will constantly have an urge to rub your eyes, but refrain from doing that.

Puffy eyes

Your eyes might become puffy and red if you have allergies. This is similar to the swelling and redness described before.

If you have one or more of the symptoms mentioned above, don’t ignore it. Your ignorance might worsen the situation and add to your discomfort. Consult an ophthalmologist to help your eyes heal quickly.

Eyelash Extension Allergy vs Irritation

How to reduce the chances of an allergic reaction to lash extensions

Are you going to get an eyelash extension service for the first time?

You can avoid allergic reactions by following these guidelines:

  • Finalize a lash artist after reading reviews submitted by previous clients
  • Enquire about the products your lash artist uses and specify if you are allergic to some substances
  • Request the lash technician to proceed only after performing a patch test
  • Patch test involves applying a small portion of lash glue on your skin and checking for allergies
  • Instruct the lash artist to use products tailored to meet the needs of sensitive skin if you have this skin type
  • Be careful so that the fumes released from the lash glue do not reach your nostrils or eyes

Eyelash extension irritation

To distinguish eyelash extension irritation vs allergy, first, you have to understand what is irritation. Knowing the issue accurately will help you take the right steps to prevent such an occurrence in the future.

Eyelash extension irritation is defined as a reaction to lash adhesives that anybody may have. Irritation is not the same as allergy as in most cases, it’s in your hands to avoid it.

You simply have to ensure the process takes place in a clean and well-ventilated environment. Having skillful hands is also needed to apply lashes like a pro.

Eyelash Extension Allergy vs Irritation

Eyelash extension irritation and its symptoms

The key to recognizing the eyelash extension allergy vs irritation dissimilarities is to observe the symptoms:


The first prominent sign of irritation everyone notices is redness around the eyes. The color change may or may not be accompanied by an itchy feeling. The swelling can occur not just on the eyelid but even on the eyes.

The white part of your eye will turn red if the irritation affects the inside of the eye. It can become swollen and you will feel something is stuck in your eye.


Tearing is another symptom of eyelash extension irritation. It can be a natural reaction of your body to the adhesive present in the extension. So, it might be a bit difficult to keep the eyes open due to the heaviness as well.

When should you see a doctor for lash extension irritation?

If you aren’t a fan of extensions, your eyes will need some time to adjust to the fake lashes. If it is only an irritation and not an allergy, the symptoms will subside within a day. But if the itchiness, swelling, or redness does not improve, book an appointment with an ophthalmologist.

The doctor will know if the signs are mere irritation or some allergic reaction. Meanwhile, do not touch your eyes even if you have the urge to rub them. Applying over-the-counter drops to the affected area with provide relief when you are in excessive discomfort. But you should verify the medicine before applying it.

Wondering how to decide eyelash extension allergy vs irritation?

Stay tuned as it’s essential to know the difference for your safety and comfort.

Tips to prevent irritation when attaching lash extensions

You can reduce lash irritation during the application process by being mindful of the following things:

  • The most important thing is to find a skilled lash technician who is adept at attaching eyelash extensions
  • It is essential to select products of high quality as the eye is a delicate organ
  • Knowing the right way of applying lashes is crucial to decrease irritation as it will minimize the risk of damaging natural eyelashes
  • Ask the technician to follow standard hygiene practices to keep eye infections at bay

If you have a history of irritation from eyelash extensions, share this information with the person. Most lash glues have cyanoacrylate and as per the FDA, cyanoacrylate allergies are rare. But in case of a known allergy, remind the technician to use an alternative to cyanoacrylate.

How to keep irritation at bay after applying lash extensions?

Once your beautician has applied the eyelash extensions successfully, they will give some aftercare instructions.

Additionally, do these things to remain irritation-free:

  • Avoid rinsing your face for some hours after the application of the lash
  • Not maintaining cleanliness in fear that the lashes will come off is another cause of irritation
  • Clean the lashes and eyelids regularly with a mild cleanser to get rid of dirt and dust particles
  • Use a cold compress when you feel uncomfortable to alleviate the discomfort
  • Place a cold cloth on your eyes to soothe
  • Don’t pull on the extensions or rub them as the resulting unnecessary pressure will irritate your eyes
  • Use an eye cream to keep the area surrounding the eyes moisturized

Can you tell the difference?

Knowing the difference between eyelash extension irritation and allergy is crucial for your eye health. Irritation and allergy can be similar in terms of appearance. Still, they need varied approaches in treatment and prevention.

An allergy generally occurs due to the glue used in applying lash extensions. Cyanoacrylate is the ingredient that may trigger immune responses in some people.

If that happens, you will notice swelling, watery eyes, itchiness, and redness. Studies have also revealed that latex allergy is another possibility.

If it is not an allergic reaction to eyelash glue, it is only irritation. It occurs as a reaction to the process of attaching the extensions. Sensitivity to adhesives instead of an immune response can also be the reason behind your irritation.

Discuss them with your makeup artist so you are fully aware of your situation.

The symptoms are similar but the redness or swelling will be mild if it’s irritation. However, a runny nose is one symptom that you will experience only if you have an eyelash extension allergy. But there is no link between a runny nose and eyelash extension irritation.

To determine if it is an allergy or irritation, take note of the intensity, duration, and onset of the symptoms. Allergic reactions appear rapidly and symptoms will be more severe. Irritation, on the other hand, emerges slowly and goes away without any intervention.

Eyelash Extension Allergy vs Irritation

Why are you suddenly having allergies after applying eyelash extensions?

Are you confused because you have recently become allergic to fake eyelashes?

Even if you have been using eyelash extensions for years, being suddenly allergic to eyelash glue is not uncommon. There is no reason to panic or think something is wrong with your body.

Various factors can contribute to this alteration in your body’s reaction to store-bought lashes. For instance, your skin may have become more sensitive to several products. This can be due to exposure to irritants, hormonal fluctuations, or certain medications.

When your skin is sensitive, your eyes may react strongly to any adhesive present in the artificial eyelash glue. Cross-reactions are another possibility. Have you recently become allergic to substances/products? Then there are high chances that lash extensions will trigger an allergic reaction in your eyes.

That’s how the human immune system functions. If it doesn’t like the presence of one allergen, it will be triggered by other substances similar in structure. However, it is important to remember that all reactions to attached lashes may not be allergic reactions. If your eyes are sensitive in general, you may feel irritated after wearing lashes.

What to do when you are unsure of the condition?

Now you have learned everything about eyelash extension allergy vs irritation. It can still be challenging to identify what has happened. Both irritation and allergy can result in itching, discomfort, and redness in the eye area. So, it is crucial to monitor the symptoms and how long they last.

If the symptoms subside once you take off the eyelash extensions, it is nothing more than irritation. However, if you expose your eyes to the same allergen repeatedly, the irritation will persist. Then you may have the impression that it’s an allergy.

It is best to seek medical assistance in such cases. Remember that your makeup artist is not a doctor. She might be experienced, but visiting a doctor is the best way to rule out complications. An eye specialist will detect the problem and tell you how to get relief.

Final thoughts

Lastly, when it comes to keeping your eyes safe and healthy, you cannot afford to take any chances. Hope this detailed explanation of ‘eyelash extension allergy vs irritation’ proved useful to you. Now it won’t be difficult for you to figure out if you have allergy or irritation. Whatever the problem, visiting a doctor will be wise.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the difference between eyelash extension irritation and reaction?

Lash extension allergy and irritation have the same symptoms like redness, itchiness, and swelling. However, a major difference is that an irritation will be cured after a good night’s sleep. But allergies might get worse if not treated.

2. How do you know if you are allergic to lash extensions?

If your eyes become puffy, itchy, or red after applying eyelash extensions, it means you are allergic to lash adhesives. A swollen eye even after 24 hours of application is a sign of allergy.

3. Can eyelash extensions cause allergy or irritation?

While eyelash extensions look gorgeous, women often experience an allergic reaction to lash extensions. Irritation at the time of application and afterward is equally common if not applied properly.

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