8 on Your Side Examines Dangers of Eyelash Extensions - 8 News NOW

8 on Your Side Examines Dangers of Eyelash Extensions

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LAS VEGAS - The Hollywood elite, the fashion famous and even reality stars have them: long, thick, beautiful eyelashes. Not everyone was born with them, however. Eyelash extensions are all the rage. Some extensions now last weeks, instead of one night.

Stores across the valley promise the look of beauty and glamour with one application, but this top trend may not be safe. Doctors say eyelash extensions can provide risks.

"I have heard reports of infections along the eyelid margin, infections of the cornea, which is the clear covering of the eye, as well as irritation in the conjunctiva," said Dr. Emily Fant, an ophthalmologist with Shepherd Eye Center.

Dr. Fant says allergic reactions can also happen, something actress Kristin Chenoweth knows. She spoke of her ordeal on "Late Night with David Letterman".

"I got them yesterday, and it looks like I have lips on my eyelids," she said.

An allergic reaction can happen in numerous ways. The glue, for example, can be an irritant. Cosmetologist Kayla St. Vincent, who is certified to apply lash extensions, explains.

"You are basically using crazy glue on your eye," she said. "It is literally super glue. It is crazy glue for your eyes."

One of the ingredients in crazy glue is formaldehyde, a chemical used to embalm bodies. Much worse can happen if you go to the wrong person.

"You could glue the client's eye shut. You could also stab them in the eye with your tool," said Kayla, a trained eyelash professional.

Trained professionals know how to avoid these mishaps, which is why the American Academy for Ophthalmology still allows eyelash extensions on the market. If you are in good hands, Dr. Fant says eyelash extensions are safe.

"I really think the risks are small," she said.

A trained professional, however, comes with a price.

"You do get what you pay for," Kayla said. "If somebody is charging thirty dollars for a two-hour procedure that is tedious, you are more than likely not getting the proper technique on your eye."

Before you hop on the Hollywood bandwagon with this latest trend, do your research. Mistakes can be painful and potentially life changing.

If you have a problem you want investigated, call 8 on Your Side at 702-650-1907.

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