The Dangers of False Eyelashes with Dr. Sherry Ingraham

False eyelashes are popular among women everywhere for length and volume. However, they can also cause unwanted reactions and spread infections. Watch as Dr. Sherry Ingraham, award-winning Houston dermatologist explains more. The glue is the most harmful part. The most common chemical in glue that can be problematic is formaldehyde. Also, the lashes may come from animal hair. Both are possible allergens that can cause your delicate eyelids to swell, itch, scale, and cause you to lose your eyelashes entirely.


News Reporter 1: They're popular among women everywhere. False lashes. They give length and volume. But they could also... That's not funny. They do. They give length and volume.

News Reporter 2: They do. Yeah.

News Reporter 3: I just love that you're saying it.

News Reporter 1: They can also cause unwanted reactions. And apparently, spread infections. Gross.

News Reporter 2: Yeah.

News Reporter 3: Owen's checked out now.

News Reporter 2: Owen's like, "I'm going to go continue checking my email." All right. Hey, Leigh. What's going on with this?

News Reporter 3: So, Owen, I know you're really interested. But the most dangerous part of this is the glue. The most common, sometimes harmful, chemical in the glue, it's formaldehyde. And what you may not know is that the lashes can come from animal hair. Both of these are allergens that can cause delicate eyelids to swell, itch, scale, and maybe even cause you to lose your lashes entirely.

Dr. Sherry Ingraham: How long ago did you apply these?

News Reporter 3: 22 year old Deasha Tillis knows eyelash extensions are all the rage. And she likes this look. But she's seeking a consultation at Advanced Dermatology on how to keep using them, even though she's prone to bad reactions.

News Reporter 4: MY skin around my eyes got really puffy and red. And then I started developing styes on my eyes.

News Reporter 3: Dr. Sherry Ingraham says as false eyelashes gain popularity, she's seeing what was once a rare allergic reaction to formaldehyde becoming more common.

Dr. Sherry Ingraham: It can develop at any time. So you may ask, do you have a formaldehyde free, or a low formaldehyde, product to use?

News Reporter 3: Shara Lang had a severe reaction.

News Reporter 6: I thought I was going blind.

News Reporter 3: Although hers was different than an allergy.

News Reporter 6: My eyelid was shedding skin. And I didn't know it. And it was going into my eye. Your normal eyelashes protect you from getting stuff in your eyes. But when you have extensions, and they're so full, they can't do their job.

News Reporter 3: As a result, she lost the look she was aiming for entirely.

News Reporter 6: My eyes were so inflamed, they had to cut them out. So I had no eyelashes. It was just awful.

News Reporter 3: It was a shocking realization, after she paid a popular boutique a pretty penny to apply them for her. But Dr. Ingraham warns her patients that no matter the cost, or the kind, heavy extensions could damage your natural lashes.

Dr. Sherry Ingraham: It's too heavy. It's too much. So when they take them off, you've lost several of your normal, healthy lashes. And then, you want to fill them even more.

News Reporter 3: So, it's a vicious cycle. For everyone who really prefers those store bought lashes, the key to safely using those, Dr. Ingraham says, is to use a sensitive glue. And only use it on the lash line. And then, when you take them off, use a mild cleanser to remove the dirt every day. Or you have to throw them out, and get new ones. So things to worry about. You've got an allergy. You've got the weight that can pull your lashes out. And then, the bacteria. So that's why you really want to either wash them every day with a mild cleanser. Or throw them out, replace them with new ones.

News Reporter 2: Yeah.

News Reporter 3: It's an expensive hobby. Yes.

News Reporter 1: That's serious business, y'all.

News Reporter 2: It's a big commitment. I'm always jealous of people who have them. But I'm like, oh another commitment. It's too much.

News Reporter 7: Yeah. To put everything into it.

News Reporter 2: And now, you're giving me more homework.

News Reporter 3: I know. But they do look beautiful.

News Reporter 2: They look amazing.

News Reporter 3: I don't blame people for wanting them.

News Reporter 7: But there is a lot that goes into it.

News Reporter 1: You guys have great lashes.

News Reporter 3: A lot of these people don't know that the reactions are coming from them.

News Reporter 2: Yeah.

News Reporter 3: Thanks.

News Reporter 1: You guys don't need them.