Contraindications – Ultimate Guide to Lash & Brow Artistry | Ruthie Belle
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Contraindications

by Martin Pork

During a consultation it’s vital to ensure that your customer does not have any contraindications to the treatment. 

Here are the most common contraindications for lash and brow related treatments. Most of them are infectious, so if in doubt, do not perform the treatment and recommend seeing a doctor.

Infectious contraindications

Blepharitis

Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid) is the most common lash disease, experienced by approximately 30% of all adults. It is even more common among wearers of lash extensions. Blepharitis is characterized by one or more of the following symptoms: 

  • Redness of the eyelids
  • „Peeling“ skin on the eyelids
  • Crusty, gunky eyes – especially upon waking up
  • Small cysts on the edge of the lid
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Feeling of something being in the eye
  • Itchiness or a burning sensation in the eyes 

Blepharitis usually looks as if the customer has forgotten to wash their eyes in the morning – the lashes are stuck together and partially or entirely covered with crust. Many are not even aware that it is a disease and think that they simply have crusty eyes.

Actually, the inflammation has three underlying causes: 

  1. Blockage of sebaceous glands of the eyelid 
  2. Demodex mites 
  3. Acne or seborrheic dermatitis, i.e., disturbance in the function of sebaceous glands 

 The first two causes are more common among wearers of lash extensions, as customers sometimes avoid washing their lashes thoroughly, thinking that it would shorten the life of the extensions. This is also one of the reasons why you should explain the proper cleaning of the lashes during the consultation. The truth is that daily washing with a proper lash foam will increase lash retention, not the other way around. 

Sebum and impurities are also an excellent environment for Demodex mites living in lash follicles (even in healthy individuals!). If Demodex mites begin reproducing en masse due to favorable conditions, it will lead to blepharitis. Instruct your customers in proper lash care.  

Lash extensions should be removed after contracting blepharitis, as the disease deteriorates lashes and causes them to fall out as the follicle is infected. 

It is much easier to prevent blepharitis than fight it once it appears. 

The most effective products against blepharitis are: 

  1. Hormone ointment (doctor’s prescription is required) 
  2. Chrissanthie gel in an undiluted form

Conjunctivitis (“pink eye”)

Conjunctivitis is characterized by: 

  • Redness of the sclera and the inside of the eyelid 
  • Tear secretion 
  • Pus secretion from the eye 

 Causes: 

  • Virus 
  • Bacteria
  • Allergy 
  • Chemicals affecting eyes 
  • Smoke and other eye irritants 

Chalazion and stye

A stye is an acute inflammation of sebaceous glands on the edge of the eyelid. It can be identified by the characteristic red, tender bump near eyelashes. A stye is a bacterial inflammation, and you should not do a Lash Lift during it.

A chalazion is a small, usually painless lump or point of swelling that appears on your eyelid. A blocked meibomian or oil gland causes this condition. It can develop on the upper or lower eyelid and may disappear without treatment.

Chalazia is the term for multiple chalazion. A chalazion is sometimes confused with an internal or external stye. An internal stye is an infection of a meibomian gland. An external stye is an infection in the area of the eyelash follicle or sweat gland. Styes are usually painful and chalazia typically aren’t. Chalazia may develop after styes.

You should see your eye doctor if you think you have a chalazion, especially if it blocks your vision or if you’ve had chalazia in the past.

Head lice

The head louse (Pediculus capitis) is a parasite visible to the naked eye that exclusively lives on the human scalp and feeds from blood sucked through the scalp. The notion that lice infestation is caused by poor hygiene is false. One may get lice from direct contact with someone’s head or by using someone’s comb, hairbrush, hat or scarf. Anyone may contract head lice. 

Head lice may also move from hair into eyebrows and eyelashes without the individual being aware of them. If you discover head lice in a customer’s hair/eyelashes/eyebrows, always inform the customer about it. It is important to explain to the customer that these parasites are not caused by poor hygiene but may be contracted by anyone and virtually anywhere. Advise the customer to visit a pharmacy where special products against lice are available. 

When the customer has left, clean (disinfect) ALL surfaces that the customer may have touched (pillow, bed, fleece blanket, tools, etc.) with extreme care. Wash the towels at a very high temperature! 

 How to identify lice: 

  1. Even one live louse that moves freely on the skin is a sign of an infestation! Adult female head lice are light brown and approximately the size of a sesame seed. 
  2. Lice eggs are firmly attached to hair, usually near the scalp. They are oval, with a diameter of 1-2 mm, whitish or yellowish; new pinhead-sized lice hatch after eight days and leave pearly white eggshells attached to the hair. If you notice that a customer has lice, be discreet when talking to the customer about it: the customer is very likely extremely embarrassed, so you should not increase this embarrassment even more. 

 NB! Head lice spread VERY easily, so make sure to follow all disinfection rules if you spot even one louse on your client!

Contraindications that are not infectious

Alopecia areata (partial hair loss)

Alopecia areata is a common autoimmune disorder that often results in unpredictable hair loss. In the majority of cases, hair (including lashes) falls out in small patches around the size of a quarter. For most people, hair loss is nothing more than a few patches, though in some cases it can be more extreme. Sometimes, it can lead to the complete loss of hair on the scalp (alopecia totalis) or, in extreme cases, the entire body (alopecia universalis). 

Lash Lift is not recommended if hair loss is present, however slight. 

Lash Lift is not recommended if hair loss is present, however slight.