Q&A: Is there a test for eyelash extension allergies?

Ask A Doctor Question: 

I was wondering if there is a allergy test that can be performed to figure out why my eyelids react a certain way to eyelash extensions. I had been getting eyelash extensions for 6 months and had to stop because all of a sudden my eyelids kept getting red, swollen, flakey, and itchy about 10 hours after application. I took a 3 months break, and tried again, and than took a 3 months break again, and tried them again, and the same reaction occurred (although less severe). Thank you for your time.

- Tiana


Andrew Hirsch, MD -

This is most consistent with a contact allergic dermatitis reaction. You are either allergic to a substance in the lash or the adhesive. The adhesive is more likely the allergen. Contact allergy tests are done by patch testing. The material tested is put on a piece of tape and kept on your skin (usually the back) for at least 2 days. You can perform your own patch test unofficially  by putting the lash on your ankle or other skin area under medical tape or a band-aid for 2 days and see if the reaction occurs. If an adhesive is used separately for your lashes you can self patch that as well. If a self patch test shows a reaction you can find what ingredient is the culprit by more extensive patch testing at an Allergist or Dermatologist.

--Andrew Hirsch, MD
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