Woman warns others about eyelash extension dangers after severe allergic reaction

A woman is speaking out about the dangers of eyelash extensions after developing a severe allergic reaction to the treatment.

Ottawa resident, Isabelle Kun, had a new set of false eyelashes applied by an esthetician at a spa last Tuesday. By Thursday morning, Kun says her eyes were swollen almost complete shut.

“My girlfriend had slept over and I couldn’t even see her. And, I was having a hard time swallowing and even breathing,” she told CTVNews.ca by phone.

The 20-year-old was rushed to the hospital where she was admitted immediately.

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“They took me right in within seconds when they saw my face. My eyes are swollen both above and under and my tonsils were apparently really inflamed,” she says.

Kun had been getting eyelash extensions every few weeks for the past year without incident. But last month, she says she noticed her eyes became slightly swollen after a session and believed she was having a reaction to the adhesive used. Eyelash extensions are applied one at a time and secured to the lash line using an instant adhesive.

When she went back, Kun said she asked the esthetician what kind of glue they were using. Some people can develop severe allergic reactions to the cyanoacrylates in instant adhesives, which are used in other beauty services like fake nails.

Kun said the esthetician didn’t “know the name of the glue” being used, but told her she “should be good.”

“So I said okay. I continued with it when I really shouldn’t have. I shouldn’t have done it when I heard she didn’t even know what glue she was using or what the ingredients were or anything,” Kun says.

At the hospital, Kun was administered an antihistamine and steroid intravenously to reduce the swelling. She was eventually sent home with antihistamine pills, but says the swelling hasn’t gone down.

“My eyes are actually even worse now. There’s like a sac of fluid under my eye now. It’s so gross,” she said.

The beauty salon, Sara Beauty iLash Lounge, Kun went to states on their website the possibility of an allergic reaction to the lash adhesive.

Sara Du, the owner of the beauty salon, told CTV News that her business doesn’t test every client for allergies, but will if the client requests it.

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Kun said she was unaware that people could develop sudden allergies – and wants to encourage other women to allergy test before getting any procedures.

“Also be very careful where you go. These people are dealing with your eyes, with your vision. I mean, this morning I woke up and I wondered if I would ever be able to see again,” she says.

Though Kun is unsure how her recovery looks at this time, she still would like to get eyelash extensions again.

“I would want to do them again, but I will be going for allergy testing first, because I do love getting fake eyelashes.”