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Artificial Eyelashes, Nails, Eye Contacts Dangerous 

By Ethel Edimo, Jeradine Jevem & Ariane Kueko*

CameroonPostline.com — Most girls now prefer wearing artificial things, rather than the natural endowments of creation. They use artificial eyelashes or nails or tinted moisturisers, as they are carried away by the whirlwind of reality TV, with screens awash with Essex lashes, goodie tans and souse brows. The beauty industry is booming with sales of fake eyelashes that have increased since 2010 by 249 percent, while false nails sales have soared by 567 percent.

The quest for longer, fuller eye lashes and nails has caused some women to draw more attention to their eyes and nails than they bargained for, the glue used in eyelash extension as well as solvent used to remove them have been reported to cause allergic reaction and a potential for eye infections. Added to these, the glue used to fix the lashes can pull natural eyelashes out as the fake set is removed. If repeated frequently, this can completely stop the growth of new lashes.

For nails, the glue used, if not appropriate, will lead to fungal infections and even, complete removal of the nails and also cause fungal infection if left for too long. Eyelash extensions are simple synthetic fibres that look like eyelashes. They are glued one by one to natural eyelashes. The glue used to fix them in place is commonly formaldehyde-based, rather than rubber latex or some other type of biologically acceptable glue.

Allergies can occur from contact with the product. Despite these mentioned effects, aestheticians argue that eyelashes and nails have little or no effects on the human parts concerned. A Sandpit Buea saloon owner, who preferred to be identified as Kazia, says she is engaged in the trade because of her love for it and, most especially, for the income it generates.

She added that her customers have never complained of any side effect caused by the fake nails or eyelashes. A former artificial eyelash user, Sandrine Ngwa, says she stopped wearing them because her natural lashes were dropping off as a result of constant application of glue and that, most saloon owners used inappropriate glue leading to after-effects.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mbua E. Menyoli, a refractionist at the Buea Regional Hospital Annex told The Post that the constant wearing of contact lenses causes allergic conjunctivitis, Blepherities (dandruff of the lashes), induced asticmalism. Girls are also known to wear contact lenses to change the colour of their eyes. Dr. Mbua said medical help is needed to clean properly before and after usage. He added that the eye is the most fragile sense organ of the body, so it should be taken proper care of.

Also, the wearing of make-up by woman infects the eyes, thereby making the conjunctivitis (the white part of the eyes) brownish, so it should not be won constantly. Contact lenses can be won at anytime but not by anyone, because, they need to be managed properly and are expensive to maintain. Note should be taken that it is not advisable to sleep with contact lenses on because, while sleeping, they can be displaced in the eyes and can cause conjunctivitis.

However, eyelash extensions cannot lead to blindness as many people think but they could be dangerous in that they can enhance blepherities. Although fake nails and fake eyelashes have adverse side effects, consumers turn deft ears and blind eyes to warnings on excessive usage. Most of them are more prone to the beautifying satisfaction they gain from the products rather than the after-effects they might cause on their eyes and fingers, experts say.

*(ASMAC & UB Students on Internship)

First published in The Post print edition no 01461

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