Daily Mail news item regarding an allergic reaction to eyelash treatment

Released: 01 March, 2013

The Daily Mail recently published a news item about a 42-year old woman who allegedly suffered a severe allergic reaction to the adhesive used as part of an eyelash extension
treatment at her local salon.

According to the piece published by the Daily Mail on 1 February, 2013:

Staff at the beauty salon where the treatment took place failed to carry out a patch test;

When the client returned to the salon the morning after treatment, with irritated, stinging and blood shot eyes, she was told that the response was normal;

When her GP advised her to go back to the salon and ask staff to remove the extensions, they refused to do so and recommended the client should go home and remove the extensions herself;

The salon’s insurer refused to provide cover for the incident, claiming that it had broken the terms of its policy by not carrying out a patch test.

FHT comment

It should be noted that an allergic reaction to a product or ingredient can occur in any client, even if they have been exposed to that product or ingredient once or numerous times before.

However, in order to minimise the risk of an allergic reaction to the products used in eyelash extension treatments, FHT members should:

Establish if the client has a history of allergies or sensitivity affecting the eye area

At the consultation stage clients should be asked whether they have ever had an allergic reaction to any adhesive products (e.g. household glue), or to products applied to the eye
area, such as make-up or other eye products/treatments. If the answer is yes to either question, the FHT would advise members not to carry out a patch test or treatment, due to the increased risk of an allergic reaction.

Carry out a patch test

If the client does NOT have a history of adverse reactions to adhesives or eye products/treatments, FHT members must carry out a patch test, 24 hours prior to treatment. This is a requirement of both FHT membership and insurance and applies when it is the client’s first treatment; if there has been a break between repeat applications (of more than six months); if the member changes products between treatments; and on an annual basis, as standard.

If a member of the FHT does not carry out a patch test, as required as a condition of FHT membership and insurance, it may invalidate any claims arising.

Establish if the client experienced any adverse reactions to the previous treatment

If the client returns for further eyelash extension treatments, it is important to establish whether they experienced any adverse reactions, or ‘contra-actions’, to the previous treatment – including an allergic reaction (to the glue, de-bonder or tape); erythema; burning sensations; itching or tingling around the eyes; or inflammation affecting the eye area. Any adverse reaction, no matter how mild, could be an indication that the client is becoming sensitised to the products used, and therefore repeat exposure could make the problem worse in the future. The FHT would advise members not to carry out any further eye
treatments, including eyelash tinting and perming.

Keep detailed client records

It is important that FHT members keep detailed and up-to-date records regarding treatment,
signed by both parties, covering:

  • which eyelash extension products were used for each patch test/ treatment;
  • that the client has confirmed they have no history of adverse reactions to adhesives or eye products/treatments;
  • in the event of a contra-action, what adverse reactions the client experienced and a note not to carry out any further eye treatments, including eyelash tinting and perming.

If a client has a reaction to treatment

If a client presents with a minor reaction, the FHT would recommend that the member removes all preparations and the eyelash extensions immediately; use eyebath to flush the eye; and apply a cold compress to soothe. The client should seek medical advice if symptoms persist.

If a client presents with an immediate and/or severe reaction to treatment, they should seek urgent medical attention, and take with them detailed information about the products used
(i.e. product data sheet). The FHT recommends that members do not attempt to remove the eyelash extensions, as a further chemical applied to the area could exacerbate the problem.

Should a client seek compensation as a result of an adverse reaction to an eyelash extension treatment, providing the member has insurance through the FHT and has carried out treatment in accordance to their training (including a patch test 24 hours in advance, as per the patch testing condition of FHT membership and insurance), the FHT’s insurance underwriters will defend the member and pay any compensation that is considered appropriate.

Other treatments requiring patch tests

Please note that it is an FHT membership and/or insurance requirement to carry out patch tests for the following treatments:

  • Eyelash tinting;
  • Eyelash perming;
  • Eyelash extensions;
  • Laser and IPL;
  • Waxing.

Please refer to the FHT Code of Ethics and Professional Practice (www.fht.org.uk/code) and your insurance policy documents for more information.

If a client has a history of allergic reactions, any products containing an ingredient that may trigger that allergy should be avoided, ie. nut-based carrier oils should not be used if a client has a known nut allergy.

For media enquiries or permissions, please contact Karen Young, Communications Manager:

023 8062 4376

About this Statement
© Federation of Holistic Therapists (FHT) 2013. No part of this Statement may be reproduced without the express permission of the FHT. Although the FHT has taken all reasonable steps to ensure that the information in this document is accurate, we cannot guarantee that it is free from inaccuracies, errors or omissions. The FHT shall not be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising from any information contained in this document.