Contra Indications & Actions

A contra-indication is a factor which will prevent you from carrying out your treatment, whilst contra-actions are things which may occur as a result of the treatment, either during or after it.

 

A contra-indication is a condition which can prevent a treatment proceeding or can delay it until such a time that the client has undergone medical treatment and has fully healed. You must be able to recognise a contra-indication in order to know when a treatment should or should not go ahead. Carrying out a treatment on a client with a contra-indication can put the client at risk by causing further harm to an existing condition as well as putting yourself and other people in the salon at risk from cross infection.

 

Contra-Indications:

  • Contagious or infectious diseases such as conjunctivitis.

  • Under the influence of drugs or alcohol

  • Infectious and non-infectious skin diseases or conditions specific to the eye and surrounding area.

  • Conditions such as Bell's palsy or recovering from a stroke, as this will make it difficult to keep the eye closed.

  • Anyone who is suffering from an infectious disease - such as flu, chicken pox or measles. Treatment can be carried out once the condition has been treated and cleared completely.

  • Alopecia as this causes hair loss.

  • Thyroid disorders can cause hair loss.

  • Blepharitis - this is an inflammation of the rim of the eyelid which can be caused by a bacterial infection or the complication of an existing skin condition. Treatment should not go ahead as there is a risk of spreading or worsening the condition and the client should be referred to their GP The treatment can be carried out once the condition has cleared completely.

  • Trichotillomania, which is a disorder causing clients to pull their hair out.

  • Chemotherapy, as those undergoing treatment may suffer from hair loss.

  • Highly strung clients, as it will make the treatment very hard to carry out.

  • Clients who cannot keep still or their eyes shut for a reasonable amount of time.

  • Stye (hordeolum) - inflammation of the eyelid, often the upper lid. This is caused by an infection in the hair follicle. There is swelling, redness and pain in the eyelid. Scratching or rubbing the infected area could cause the infection to spread. You should recommend that the client goes to the doctors for medication. The treatment can be carried out once the condition has been treated and cleared completely.

  • Weak lashes.

  • Infective Conjunctivitis - infective conjunctivitis is caused by a virus or bacteria. The most common symptoms include reddening and watering of the eyes, and a sticky coating on the eyelashes, particularly when waking up in the morning. You should recommend that the client goes to see their GP for medication. The treatment can be carried out once the condition has cleared completely.

  • Impetigo - reddening of skin, but soon becomes a cluster of blisters or pustules. This is highly contagious, and treatment would cause cross infection. You should recommend that the client goes to see their GP for medication. The treatment can be carried out once the condition has cleared completely.

  • Shingles - an infection of a nerve and the area of skin around it. It is caused by the herpes zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox. Most people have chickenpox in childhood, but after the illness has gone the virus remains dormant in the nervous system. The immune system keeps the virus in check, but later in life it can be reactivated and cause shingles. Shingles usually affects a specific area on either the left or right side of the body. The main symptoms are pain and a rash which develops into itchy blisters and then scabs over. You should recommend that the client goes to see their GP for medication. The treatment can be carried out once the condition has cleared completely.

  • Inflammation of the skin - if the client is suffering from inflammation of the skin anywhere near the eye, they should not be treated. The inflammation will mean the area is extremely sensitive and could therefore be more prone to an adverse reaction.

  • Hay fever - treatment is best avoided during the hay fever season. Watery, sensitive eyes must not be treated.

  • Localised swelling, cuts, bruises or abrasions.

  • Skin allergies, or a positive reaction to a patch test of products to be used.

  • Eye surgery (approximately six months).

  • Previous chemical eye treatments such as eyelash perming, as this may weaken the natural eyelashes.

  • Ringworm - a general term used to refer to a skin infection caused by a fungi called dermatophytes. The condition is known as ringworm because it can leave a ring-like red rash on the skin. It does not have anything to do with worms. It can affect different parts of the body. Ringworm is highly contagious. It can be passed between people through skin contact and by sharing objects such as towels and bedding. It can also be passed on from pets such as dogs and cats. You should recommend that the client goes to see their GP for medication. The treatment can be carried out once the condition has cleared completely.

  • Scabies - a contagious skin condition where the main symptom is intense itching. It is caused by tiny mites that burrow into the skin. Scabies can be spread through skin-to-skin contact for long periods of time with someone who is infected, or sexual contact with someone who is infected. Scabies can also be passed on through sharing clothing, towels and bedding with someone who is infected. However, this is less likely than getting the infection through skin-to-skin contact. The incubation period for scabies is up to eight weeks. You should recommend that the client goes to see their GP for medication. The treatment can be carried out once the condition has cleared completely.

  • Body and Head Lice - infestation of the hair and clothes with wingless insects that cause intense irritation. As they make you itch, they can make you scratch your skin and may cause a rash. They are spread by head-to-head contact and climb from the hair of an infected person to the hair of someone else. You should recommend that the client goes to see their pharmacist for treatment. The treatment can be carried out once the condition has cleared completely.

  • Contact lenses must be removed.

  • Dry eye syndrome - this occurs when not enough tears are produced or oil glands become blocked which can lead to the inflammation and irritation of the eye. The client would not be suitable for treatment as the drops used to lubricate the eyes would cause the lash extensions to clump together.

  • Eczema – appears on the skin as a red rash that sometimes is raised and can be itchy and there may be blisters. The skin can weep and crack and scaling of skin can occur. Do not carry out treatment over any area on the body that is affected by eczema. If the client has very severe eczema it is best for them to obtain a GP’s consent prior to treating as certain products may irritate the condition further.

  • Herpes Simplex - this is the 'cold sore virus'. It is highly contagious and can be easily passed from person to person by close direct contact. Once someone has been exposed to the virus, it remains dormant most of the time. However, every so often the virus is activated by certain triggers, causing an outbreak of cold sores. The triggers that cause cold sores vary from person to person. Some people have frequently recurring cold sores, two to three times a year for example, while others have one cold sore and never have another. Some people never get cold sores because the virus never becomes active. The client should be recommended to go to a local pharmacy for advice. Treatment can be carried out once the condition has cleared completely.

  • Psoriasis - dull red papules appear on the skin that are covered in silvery scales that can become infected. You can work on areas of the body that are not affected, however, if there is any sign of infection or weeping you must not offer treatment and the client should take advice from their GP.

  • Epilepsy - when discussing this illness with your client, you have to be very careful not to offend the client and be accused of discrimination on the grounds of disability. We recommend that you ask the client if they know what brings on a seizure and how often they experience them. If they have any more concerns about whether they should go ahead with the treatment, you should recommend that they seek advice from their GP If the client decides to go ahead with treatment you should ensure that you have a contact number for their next of kin recorded on their consultation card and you should discuss with the client what action you should be required to take in the event that they have a seizure whilst with you. It is for this reason that we strongly recommend that all therapists undertake a first aid training course to ensure that they are able to know how to help someone that may have an epileptic seizure whilst visiting the salon or indeed any other medical emergency. Contact your local Red Cross or St Johns Ambulance service for more information.

  • Contact dermatitis - as well as taking care of the client, you should also make sure that you think about yourself. You should be aware that as a therapist you may be vulnerable to contact dermatitis or allergies. If this is the case, follow the procedure as you would with a client, and take precautions during further treatments. Disposable gloves worn during some treatments can cause contact dermatitis in some therapists.

  • Glaucoma - the optic nerve is damaged which can lead to a loss of sight. Refer the client to their GP for written consent prior to treating.

  • Folliculitis - infection of a hair follicle caused by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. This is an acute inflammation which occurs with pus formation. You should recommend that the client goes to see their GP for medication. The treatment can be carried out once the condition has cleared completely.

  • Boils - a boil is a painful, red bump on the skin usually caused by an infected hair follicle. As white blood cells fight the infection, pus forms inside and the boil grows larger. Eventually, it will rupture and the pus will drain away. Boils usually occur on the neck, face, thighs, armpits and buttocks. You should recommend that the client goes to see their GP for medication. The treatment can be carried out once the condition has cleared completely.

Guidelines for offering treatments to diabetic clients

It is possible to offer an eyelash extension treatment to a diabetic client whose condition is controlled by medication or diet, as long as written consent is obtained from their GP prior to treatment going ahead. If you are unsure whether it is safe to proceed, it is best to refer the client to their GP for advice. Beauty therapists are not trained to diagnose.

 

GP’s Written Consent

Please be aware that some GP’s refuse to write letters for their patients, whilst others may charge a fee for this service. If you cannot get a GP’s letter then you would not be insured to carry out the treatment and this must be made clear to the client. Some salons ask their clients to sign a disclaimer to say they are willing to go ahead with the treatment without the GP’s letter or without having taken a sensitivity patch test. However, disclaimers are not guaranteed to stand up in court if a personal injury claim is pursued. If you are not certain whether to treat a client then you should always refer them to their GP for a letter prior to offering them a treatment. Beauty therapists are not qualified to diagnose medical conditions or understand about different medication that a client is taking and so if in doubt, do not treat. If you explain to the client why you require a letter, for example, you do not want to offer them a treatment that could have an impact on their health, they are usually happy to go to their GP.

Contra-Actions:

A contra-action can occur during or after any beauty or holistic treatment.

 

A common contra-action associated with eyelash extensions is an allergic reaction. The adhesives can contain ingredients which may cause an adverse reaction. Before your treatment, check whether the client is aware of any allergies, or has suffered any reactions in the past. You will also be required to perform a sensitivity test before offering a treatment which should help to rule out the risk of an allergic reaction. If the client does suffer an allergic reaction after treatment they should be referred to their GP.

 

The skin may suffer from sensitivities which could appear on the face. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include itching, swelling, inflammation, blistering at the site of contact followed by weeping, dryness and flaking of the skin. Symptoms of an allergy are not always immediate, and may take up to 48 hours to surface.

 

If a client does react to any products during treatment, remove the substance immediately with water and apply a cold water compress. Make a note of the reaction and your response on the client’s record card, and advise them to seek medical advice.

 

If the client experiences any irritation to their eyes during the treatment, or they get any adhesive in their eyes, you should seek medical advice immediately.