CONTRA INDICATIONS & CONTRA 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 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 Action

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.

Medical Conditions

ALOPECIA

What are the symptoms?

Alopecia is actually a general medical term for hair loss. Hair loss can range from a small bald patch on the scalp, to the loss of the eyelashes or all hair on the entire body. Hair loss can be characterised by different types of hair loss symptoms:

  • ALOPECIA AREATA - hair loss occurs in patches anywhere on the scalp or body.

  • ALOPECIA TOTALIS - total loss of hair on the scalp.

  • ALOPECIA UNIVERSALIS - total loss of all hair on the body.

  • ALOPECIA BARBAE - loss of facial hair.

  • ALOPECIA MUCINOSA - an accumulation of mucin in the hair, resulting in scaly patches, hair loss and scarring.

  • ANDROGENTIC ALOPECIA (male pattern baldness) - thinning of the hair, though to be hereditary.

  • TREACTION ALOPECIA - hair loss generally caused by excessive pulling or tension on hair shafts.

  • ANAGEN EFFLUVIUM - hair loss caused by chemicals, for instance, in chemotherapy treatments.

  • SCARRING ALOPECIA - a condition that leaves scarring on the area of hair loss.

  • TELOGEN EFFLUVIUM - excessive loss of hair, resulting in thinning. Unlike androgenetic alopecia, telogen effluvium is temporary and hair growth usually recovers.

What causes hair loss?

Hair loss can have many causes, including autoimmune disorders, hormonal imbalances, genetics, poor nutrition, infections, medications, physical or mental trauma, pregnancy, air and water pollution, tumours and diabetes. 

How is it treated?

Treatments vary depending on the type of hair loss and the underlying cause or causes. There's no cure for alopecia and no universally proven method of treatment. What works for one person may not work for another.

For people with less than 50% hair loss, corticosteroids are one of the most common treatments. The product can be applied topically or injected. The treatments can sometimes result in hair regrowth, however, when the treatment stops, hair loss may simply start again. Other medications used to treat alopecia include Retin-A, zinc, DPCP (diphenylcyclopropenone) and topical Minoxidil. For people with more than 50% hair loss, treatments include PUVA and UVB light treatments, and the use of oral corticosteroids and immunosuppressive medications.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

There are man types of hair loss conditions with different causes and symptoms. In terms of lashes treatment there are two main factors to consider.

1. Is the hair loss current?

2. Has the client lost their natural lashes?

If the hair loss condition is still current and the client is being treated for it, consider whether a treatment should be performed at that time. For instance, if you apply eyelash extensions and the client's natural lashes fall out, then they could hold you responsible when, in fact, they have lost their lashes as a result of their medical condition.

If a client has lost their natural lashes, they will be unsuitable for all lash treatments - apart from strip lashes - even if the lashes have subsequently grown back. Clients no longer being treated for hair loss can, in principle, have any lash treatment as long as the hair loss did not affect the natural lashes.

BELL'S PALSY

What causes bell's palsy?

It is thought that the condition results from the compression of the nerve that controls the muscles of the face.

How is it treated?

Many people make a complete recovery without treatment. Symptoms can clear up within 2-3 weeks, however, it can take up to 6 months. Steroids can sometimes be prescribed to reduce swelling of the facial nerve and eye drops in those cases involving eye problems.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

If the client can't close their eyes properly or is having medical treatment for the condition (e.g. eye drops), they would be considered unsuitable for any lash applications at that time, When a client is deemed suitable, the consultation and treatment plan should also take into account any differences in symmetry between the eyes, something that can be emphasised by the condition.

BELEPHARITIS

What are the symptoms?

Temporary weakness or total paralysis on one side of the face, eyes or mouth. The condition most commonly affects people between 15 and 45 years of age.

What are the symptoms?

This is a relatively common eye problem that causes inflammation around the rims of the eyelids, generally where the eyelashes grow. The result can be that the eyelids become red, swollen, crusty, sore and itchy. Both eyes are usually affected, although the condition is not generally considered serious. The condition is not contagious although it's chronic, meaning that people with it tend to experience symptoms periodically.

Key symptoms to look out for are:

  • Both eyes affected.

  • Sore, itchy eyelids.

  • Eyelids may look inflamed, red or swollen.

  • Discharge in the eyes may be experienced and eyes may stick together after periods of sleep.

  • Depending on the type of blepharitis, small flakes of dandruff-like skin may appear on the eyelids.

What causes blepharitis?

That exact cause of blepharitis is unclear, however, factors often associated with the condition include bacterial infections, dermatitis and rosacea.

How is it treated?

There is no cure for blepharitis, with symptoms tending to recur periodically without treatment. Conducting effective eyelid hygiene is the most important way to prevent the condition from reoccurring. Applying warmth to the area, cleansing and massaging the eyelids after cleansing are common methods used. In extreme cases in which the eyelid becomes infected, G.P.s may prescribe antibiotic ointments or drops.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Although the condition is not contagious, if a client has blepharitis its unlikely that their eyelids will be in a suitable condition for an eyelash treatment. People with it are prone to repeated episodes, plus wearing lashes could cause a flare up of the condition. For this reason, never perform a treatment on a client with blepharitis.

CATARACTS

What are the symptoms?

Cataracts are the leading cause of impaired vision worldwide. The condition is characterised by cloudy patches that appear in the lens of the eye. It's these patches that can make vision blurry or misty. Not all people experience blurred vision, however, other symptoms can include difficulties in managing changes in light contrast and adjusting to the glare from bright lights.

What causes cataracts?

Cataracts can affect anyone, however it is more common in older people, with age being the leading cause for the condition. As well as age, factors which can increase the risk of developing a cataract are smoking, a family history of cataracts, poor diet, obesity, over-exposure of eyes to sunlight, long-term use of steroid medicines, significant alcohol consumption and other health conditions such as diabetes.

How is it treated?

Whilst controversial, it's thought that certain nutrients can reduce the risk of cataracts. Vitamins E and C, certain carotenoids and omega-3 fatty acids are thought to be effective. In terms of treatment, surgery is the only treatment and is generally very successful. Statistics indicate that approximately 9 out of 10 people regain very good vision after cataract surgery. The procedure often involves removing the clouded lens and replacing it with a clear, plastic lens.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Clients who have cataracts can have any lash treatments. However, if they are on prescribed medication such as eye drops, approval from a medical professional should be requested before performing any treatment. If the client has had surgery for cataracts, eyelash treatments are possible once they are declared fully healed by a medical professional. 

CLAUSTROPHOBIA

What are the symptoms?

This condition is characterised by an irrational fear of confined spaces. Reactions can range from mild anxiety to panic attacks. Symptoms of the latter can include sweating, shortness of breath, choking sensations, nausea, dizziness, dry mouth and disorientation.

What causes claustrophobia?

Claustrophobia is often the result of past experiences that have lead people to associate small space with feelings of panic or being in immediate danger.

How is it treated?

There are various forms of conjunctivitis. The duration of the condition and treatments required therefore vary. Bacterial is the most common form of conjunctivitis and often clears up without treatment within a few days - in severe instances antibiotics may be required. Viral conjunctivitis, often associated with the common cold, can take weeks to resolve.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Clients with claustrophobia should be assed for suitability for the treatment. They should be informed of the time the treatment will take, how close the lash technician will be to them and the need to be able to open or shut their eyes upon request. It can be good practise to talk the procedure process through with the client in detail, play relaxing background music and consider additional calming measures such as a hand and arm massage (if suitably trained).

CONJUNCTIVITIS AND OTHER EYE INFECTIONS

What are the symptoms?

This common eye condition is characterised by inflammation, redness and sometimes itchiness around the conjunctiva. The eyes can also water excessively.

What causes conjunctivitis?

The condition can have a number of causes, including bacterial or viral infections, allergies to pollen or dust mites, or coming into contact with irritants such as chlorinated water or shampoo.

How is it treated?

Many people live with claustrophobia, managing the symptoms without the need for treatment. However, the condition can be treated and cured through behavioural therapy.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Conjunctivitis can be highly contagious condition and therefore you should not perform an eyelash treatment on a client with it. Once it has cleared up, they can return for a treatment. We recommend waiting a period of at least 1 month to ensure the condition is no longer present.

CUTS, ABRASIONS AND BURNS

What are the symptoms?

Any broken skin in or around the eyes.

Should I treat the client?

The skin on and around the eyes should be healthy and intact for any lash applications to proceed. If the skin is broken, discuss the causes of this with the client, as it could be indicative of other medical conditions or lifestyle factors that should be taken into account during the consultation process.

CYANOACRYLATE ALLERGY

What are the symptoms?

Cyanoacrylate is the generic name for a family of strong, fast acting adhesives. People can be allergic to these products with symptoms ranging from nose and throat problems to contact dermatitis.

What causes a cyanoacrylate allergy?

About 5% of the population are thought to be sensitive to cyanoacrylate. The allergy relates to the fumes which vaporise and can irritate the membrane of the eyes, nose and throat.

How it is treated?

In the case of cyanoacrylate allergy, avoidance of, or immediate removal of the product is advisable.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Clients with cyanoacrylate allergies will not be suitable for any lash treatment requiring cyanoacrylate-based adhesives. 

CYST (CHALAZION, MEIBOMIAN CYST)

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptom of a chalazion is a small lump on the eyelid. Occasionally, irritation or pain can occur. Chalazion cysts can become infected, becoming swollen and sensitive. 

What causes eyelid cysts?

Eyelid cysts are usually caused when the glands  under the surface of he eyelid get blocked. The glands can become filled with fluid, causing the formation of a lump. People with other eye or skin conditions can be more susceptible to eyelid cyst.

How is it treated?

Many eyelid cysts clear up within 2-6 months without any treatment. Cleansing of the eyelid can help with this process. If the cyst does not clear up, a minor operation under local anaesthetic may be needed to clear the cyst.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Since lash applications involve working in the eyelid area, it is advisable to wait until cysts have cleared before performing an treatments. Cysts can be an indicator of other conditions, such as eczema and blepharitis, so exploration of those possibilities should be considered during the consultation process.

DIABETIC RETINOPATHY

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms of diabetic retinopathy are usually not noticeable until the later stages when damage has already occurred. However, regular eye checks can identify the condition at a relatively early stage. Later-stage symptoms include blurred vision, reduced night vision, sudden blindness and shapes floating in the field of vision. The condition usually affects both eyes.

What causes diabetic retinopathy?

This is a common complication related to type 1 and type 2 diabetes. The condition occurs when high blood sugar levels cause damage to the retina.

How is it treated?

Main courses of treatment usually involve controlling diabetes more effectively. In its advanced stages, various forms of laser treatment can be undertaken.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

The condition in itself does not prevent clients from having any lash applications, however, if the client is taking any prescribed medication for the condition, approval from a medical professional should be requested.

DISTICHIASIS

What are the symptoms?

This relatively rare condition causes eye irritation due to eyelashes growing against and rubbing the eye. Symptoms include red, sore and watery eyes. Unlike trichiasis, the condition is present from birth.

What causes distichiasis?

This condition is similar to trichiasis, however, with distichiasis an extra row of eyelashes is present at the back edge of the eyelid.

How is it treated?

The condition can be temporary treated via the removal of the affected lashes using eyelash tweezers. However, because the lashes regrow, radiosurgery or eyelid surgery is often recommended.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Clients with present or reoccurring distichiasis are not suitable for any lash treatments due to the inward direction of their eyelash growth.

DRY EYE SYNDROME (KERATOCONJUNCTIVITIS SICCA)

What are the symptoms?

There are two forms of dry eye syndrome: wet and dry. The 'wet' version is when the eyes produce too many reflex tears to compensate for the lack of tears. With this people can experience blurred vision and heavy watering of the eyes. The 'dry' version is when the eyes dry out, causing dryness and irritation. The condition and its symptoms can vary dramatically in their severity.

What causes dry eye syndrome?

The condition is caused when the tear film that keeps the eye moist and lubricated does not function properly, causing the eyes to either dry out or water excessively. The condition can affect anyone, but becomes more common with increasing age. Other causes can include blepharitis, medications, illness, increased evaporation of tears and salon damage to the eyes or eyelids.

How is it treated?

There is no cure for dry eye syndrome, however, the condition can abate if the factors causing the condition are changed - for instance, changing medications. Mild cases can be treated with eye lubricants or gels. For long-term conditions, anti-inflammatory treatments such as corticosteroid eye drops can be used to treat inflammation around the eye. Surgery can be used for severe cases that do not respond to regular treatments.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Clients with wet form of the condition are not suitable for eyelash treatments as their results would not last long. This is because the adhesive would be continually flushed with reflex tears or eye drops. 

Clients with the dry form of the condition may be suitable for treatments. An evaluation of the severity of the condition is required. If the client repeatedly needs to apply eye drops, this would make any lash treatment inadvisable because the solution can make the lashes moist and cause the adhesive to be less effective.

ECZEMA

What are the symptoms?

There are various forms of eczema, however, the most commonly encountered is atopic eczema (also known as atopic dermatitis). This condition can cause the skin to become dry, cracked and red. It occurs most frequently in children, however, symptoms can continue into adulthood.

What causes eczema?

The exact cause of atopic eczema isn't known, however, people with allergies and conditions such as asthma and hay fever appear to be more susceptible to it.

How is it treated?

Moisturising treatments and topical corticosteroids are two of the primary methods used to treat atopic eczema. In 65% of sufferers, the condition clears up by the age of 6.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Clients with severe eczema are not suitable for any lash applications. Even if the outbreak is not in the eye area, they are far more likely to suffer allergies and therefore potential reactions to the products used during the application. If the eczema is mild and not in the eye area, they can be considered for a treatment.

EPILEPSY

What are the symptoms?

Epilepsy is a brain disorder that can cause people to have seizures, lose consciousness, experience strange sensations or behave out of character.

What causes epilepsy?

The causes of this condition are various and sometimes unknown, they include illness, brain damage and other form of disruption to the brain.

How is it treated?

There is no cure for epilepsy. In the vast majority of cases medication can be successfully used to control seizures. In some cases, surgery can e effective.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

People with epilepsy can have any eyelash treatment. However, it would be restrictive if they were to have an episode immediately prior to or during the treatment. Always get relevant information from the client about their condition and who to contact in the event of an episode. You may wish to consider not working with a mag light directly over the client should the treatment take place.

GENERAL EYE INFECTIONS

What are the symptoms?

Redness, weeping, swelling, irritation and infection in or around the eye.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

If a client has an eye infection, they shouldn't have any lash treatment until it's fully healed. This is because the condition could be aggravated by any activity or procedure conducted around that area, or it could be infectious.

EYELASH LICE (CRAB LICE)

What are the symptoms?

Crab lice are parasitic insects that can infest the whole body, including eyelashes. They are not dangerous, however, they are contagious. Someone with an infection may experience sudden itchiness around the eyelid margin, feeling ill or tired, conjunctivitis, redness around the eyes, and potentially have irritated spots from lice bites around their eyes.

What are eyelash lice?

Eyelash lice are considered to be a manifestation of a pubic louse infestation. These are generally spread due to sexual activity between individuals.

How are they treated?

Due to their position around the eyes, the treatment for eyelash lice involves physically removing the lice with fine tweezers. Antibiotics are sometimes prescribed.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

You should not treat any clients with lice due to the risks of contagion. Once the client has been treated and lice are no longer present, they can have eyelash treatments.

FOLLICULITIS

What are the symptoms?

Infected hair follicles, often appearing red, irritated or pus-filled.

What causes folliculitis?

A range of causes are possible for this condition, including excessive sweating, shaving, bacteria from hot tubs, acne, skin infections and ingrowing hairs. 

How are they treated?

This depends on the extent of the problem and the underlying cause. It is possible for folliculitis to clear up without treatment and with some simple measures - such as using antibacterial soap - symptoms can be improved.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Clients with localised and minor folliculitis are considered suitable for lash treatments, subject tot he condition not being present on the eyelids. In rare instances, the condition can lead to more severe skin infections, in which case the client would be contraindicated until the condition had been successfully treated.

GLAUCOMA

What are the symptoms?

Glaucoma refers to a group of eye conditions that can affect vision. The condition usually affects both eyes. On average, about 1 in 50 people aged over 40, and 1 in 10 people over 75 years of age have glaucoma.

What causes glaucoma?

Glaucoma occurs when the drainage tubes in the eye become blocked, causing problems with eye fluid drainage. This causes pressure to build, which in turn can damage the optic nerve and nerve fibres in the retina.

How are they treated?

Some forms of glaucoma can be treated with eye drops, laser treatment or surgery. Early treatment can be effective but if left undiagnosed, damage and vision impairment can occur.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Approval from a medical professional should be sought before treating clients with glaucoma; the exception being strip lashes which can be applied. If the client has had recent laser treatment or surgery, their eyes should be fully healed from the surgery before having any treatment.

HAY FEVER (ALLERGIC RHINITIS)

What are the symptoms?

Common symptoms of hay fever include a runny nose, blocked throat, sneezing, itching, watery eyes and red eyes.

What causes hay fever?

Allergic reactions to pollen, house dust mites, animal skin dust, etc.

How is it treated?

A variety of medications, for instance antihistamine, can be used to treat allergic rhinitis. Other products such as corticosteroid nasal sprays, drops and tablets can help to relieve symptoms.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Clients who are suffering from allergies that cause their eyes to water or itch may not be suitable for any lash treatment whilst their symptoms are active. This is because they may be tempted to rub or itch around their eyes, something not advisable whilst wearing eyelash extensions. 

HERPES SIMPLEX EYE INFECTIONS

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of a herpes simplex eye infection are redness of the eye, mainly around the cornea, aches or pains in the eye, discomfort when opening eyes in bright light, watering of the eye or blurring of vision.

What causes herpes simplex eye infections?

The type 1 herpes simplex virus, which can cause cold sores in the mouth, frequently causes herpes simplex eye infections. Nearly everyone is exposed to the virus in childhood, after which the virus stays inactive in the root of a facial nerve. The virus can the get reactivated either spontaneously or by trigger factors such as a weakened immune system, fever and exposure to strong sunlight.

How is it treated?

Mild occurrences of the infection can get better in a matter of weeks, often without any treatment. In other cases, antiviral eye drops, ointments or tablets can be used to help prevent the infection returning. Although the condition can be treated, the virus will always remain present and further outbreaks can occur.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Treatments must not be performed if the herpes simplex is active. If dormant, a treatment can be performed. However, always work with caution around the area.

HIVES (URTICARIA)

What are the symptoms?

Hives occurs when the immune system attacks healthy body tissue by mistake. The body releases high levels of histamine and other chemicals, causing the blood vessels to open up, resulting in swelling and itchiness. The cause for the reaction is not often obvious, however, some triggers are known such as alcohol, caffeine, stress and warm temperatures.

How is it treated?

Potential allergens and triggers should be avoided. In most cases, no treatment is needed and the rash can clear up in a few days. Persistent cases of hives can require treatment.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Clients with hives are likely to have an immune system that is prone to overreacting. For this reason, it is not advisable to perform lash applications whilst they have the condition.

HYPERSENSTIVE SKIN

What are the symptoms?

Hypersensitive skin can feel extremely sensitive - and even painful - to the touch. The skin may feel as if it has been scolded. Hypersensitivity can occur on any part of the body, most commonly in patches.

What causes hypersensitive skin?

Hypersensitive skin can be indicative of various conditions and can have various causes. Migraines and complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) can be two such conditions, however, the phenomenon is a complex one.

How is it treated?

Treatment is highly individual depending on the symptoms and causes.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Clients with hypersensitive skin could be more prone to skin sensitivity and allergies, plus they could have underlying medical conditions. For this reason, it's recommended not to perform any type of lash application on these clients.

KERATITIS

What are the symptoms?

Inflammation of the cornea, often associated with itchiness, pain and impaired eyesight.

What causes keratitis?

The condition can have multiple causes, as varied wearing contact lenses, the herpes simplex virus and upper respiratory infections. Forms of the conditions can be bacterial, fungal, amoebic or viral.

How is it treated?

Various treatments are available, depending on the causes and nature of the condition.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Keratitis can be infectious and therefore clients with this condition should not receive any lash application until the condition has been successfully treated and all symptoms have ceased.

MADAROSIS (EYELASH LOSS)

Clients with over hanging lids may not be suitable for some lash applications because the eyelid may obstruct the lashes and therefore make the end result undesirable. An assessment of the severity of the condition and likely impact on the final result should be made during the consultation.

What causes madarosis?

The causes for madarosis are varied and can include chromic disease, tumours, burns, alopecia, psoriasis, trichotillomania and infections such as lupus, syphilis and leprosy.

How is it treated?

The treatments for this condition are dependent on the courses of the condition.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Clients with madarosis are likely to have an underlying medical condition. Without lashes, a client can't have lash extensions. Suitable strip lashes will be dependent on any medical conditions or allergies.

OVERHANGING EYELIDS

What are the symptoms?

The condition is symptomised by the absence or loss of eyelashes

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

If the skin doesn't rest on the lashes, a client will typically be suitable for lash extensions.

PREGNANT OR NURSING 

Whilst there's no evidence that eyelash treatments themselves can be a problem for pregnant or nursing mothers, we recommend that no treatment - aside from strip lashes - be undertaken for these clients until approximately 6 months post-birth. This is because if any complications arise for any reason, the client may look for someone to blame. Likewise, pregnancy can cause heightened allergic symptoms and reactions: some women find their allergies reduce, others find they increase. This could mean that a client might be highly sensitive to the products used during a treatment.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Strip lashes can be applied, however, the client should be advised to remove the strip lashes if any signs of irritation occur.

PSORIASIS

What are the symptoms?

Symptomised by red, crusty, flaky patches of skin, psoriasis can appear anywhere on the body. It's thought to affect approximately 2% of people in the UK. Around the eyes, psoriasis may appear as scales covering the lashes, red and crusty eyelids, inflamed or upturned eyelid rims.

What causes psoriasis?

The condition is caused when the process by which the body produces skin accelerates. This can result in a build- up of skin cells - the cause of the scaly, flaky skin patches associated with the condition.

How is it treated?

Whilst there's no cure for psoriasis, a range of topical treatments can improve the symptoms of the condition. Vitamin D and corticosteroids are often particularly effective. In very severe cases, oral or injected medications are used.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Psoriasis is not contagious and so the condition is a relative contraindication for all eyelash treatments. A treatment must not be performed if the condition is present in the treatment area - for instance, on the face or around the eyes.

ROSACEA

What are the symptoms?

The skin condition can cause redness, spots, burning and stinging sensations and increase visibility of small blood vessels in the skin. These symptoms occur most commonly (but not exclusively) on the face. The condition is relatively common, with 1 in 10 northern Europeans thought to suffer from the condition. Often, people do not know they have it. It occurs most commonly in women.

What causes rosacea?

The exact cause of rosacea is not known, however, it's thought that abnormalities in the blood vessels of the face and a potential reaction to common mites may be factors. Some triggers for the condition have been identified. These include: exposure to sunlight, stress, strenuous exercise and extremes in temperature, hot drinks, alcohol and caffeine. Rosacea can also be associated with menopause.

How is it treated?

There are a variety of treatments for rosacea, each depending on the symptoms and severity of the condition. Oral or topical medications are available. Occasionally, laser treatment may be recommended to remove visible blood vessels etc. Lifestyle and environmental changes can also be effective in helping to ease symptoms.

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Clients with either severe rosacea or rosacea triggered by allergic reactions are not suitable for any lash applications. Due to the risk of heightened allergic responses, the condition can be triggered in the eyelid area of some clients with the condition following eyelash extension applications, even if the client does not suffer from the condition on the face. Clients with mild rosacea triggered by the menopause or mild stimulants such as sunlight etc. could be considered suitable.

SCABIES

What are the symptoms?

It's possible for eyelashes to be infected with scabies. The condition is symptomised by severe itching and rashes. The rash itself consists of small red spots, where the scabies mites have buried into the skin.

What causes scabies?

Scabies is a type of mite. It is contagious and easily spread. Once it inhabits a host, the mites multiply and burrow underneath the skin in order to feed.

How is it treated?

Creams and lotions are often used to treat scabies. It can take approximately a month, sometimes more, for all the mites to be killed and the immune system to cease reacting to their presence and droppings. 

Which eyelash treatments are suitable?

Clients with scabies on any part of their body, including eyelashes, should not have any lash treatment until the condition has been successfully treated and no symptoms are present.

SEIZURES