INTRODUCTION TO ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY

Medical conditions and Problems of the Face and Eyes

MEDICAL CONDITIONS AND EYE PROBLEMS

BLEPHARITIS:

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

This relatively common eye problem causes inflammation around the rim of the eyelids, generally where the eyelashes grow. The results 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 is chronic, meaning that people with it tend to experience it periodically.

Key symptoms to look out for:

  • 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, small flakes of dandruff-like skin may appear on the eyelids

WHAT CAUSES BLEPHARITIS?

The 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 reoccurring. Applying warmth to the area, cleansing and massaging the eyelids after cleansing are common methods used. In extreme cases in which the eyelids become 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 preform a treatment on a client with blepharitis.

CONTRAINDICATION SUMMARY:

Blepharitis is a total contraindication.

CATARACTS:

WHAT ARE THE SYMTOMS?

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 is 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 contrasts 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 cataract, poor diet, obesity, over-exposure of the 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 is thought that certain nutrients can reduce the risk of cataracts. Vitamin 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 eyelash treatments done. 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.

CONTRAINDICATION SUMMARY:

Cataracts are a restrictive contraindication.

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 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 are chlorinated water or shampoo.

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 – severe instances antibiotics may be required. Viral conjunctivitis, often associated with the common cold, can take weeks to resolve.

WHICH EYELASH TREATMENTS ARE SUITABLE?

Conjunctivitis can be a 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.

CONTRAINDICATION SUMMARY:

Any contagious disease is a total contraindication.

DISTICHIASIS:

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

This relatively rare condition causes eye irritation, due to the 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 temporarily 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.

CONTRAINDICATIONS SUMMARY:

Distichiasis is a restrictive contraindication.

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 conditions 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 also damaged 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 medication. 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.

WHICH EYELASH TREATMENTS ARE SUITABLE?

Clients with the 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.

CONTRAINDICATIONS SUMMARY:

“Wet” form of dry eye syndrome = total contraindication

“Dry” form of dry eye syndrome = restrictive contraindication.

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 16. 

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 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.

CONTRAINDICATIONS SUMMARY:

Eczema is a restrictive contraindication

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 its fully healed.  This is because the condition could be aggravated by any activity or procedure conducted around that area, or it could be infectious.

CONTRAINDICATIONS SUMMARY:

Eye infections are a total contraindication

EYELASH LICE (CRAB LICE)

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

Crab lice are parasitic insects that can infect 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.

CONTRAINDICATIONS SUMMARY:

Lice are a total contraindication

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 IS IT TREATED?

This depends of 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 to the 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 contraindication until the condition had been successfully treated,

CONTRAINDICATIONS SUMMARY:

Folliculitis is a restrictive contraindication for lash applications

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 IS IT 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.

CONTRAINDICATIONS SUMMARY:

Prospa Lashes, Express and Lash Lift – glaucoma is a restrictive contraindication, Strip lashes – no contraindictation

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 antihistamines, 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 the eyes, something that is not advisable whilst wearing eyelash extensions.  In the case of Lash Lift, watery eyes can affect the longevity of the treatment result.  If the client is deemed suitable for a treatment, emphasise the need for them not to touch the eye area for at least 24 hours post-treatment.

CONTRAINDICATIONS SUMMARY:

Hay fever and other allergies that cause the eye irritation are a restrictive contraindication

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 as wearing contact lenses, the herpes simplex virus and upper respiratory infections.  Forms of the condition 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.

CONTRAINDICATIONS SUMMARY:

Keratitis is a total contraindication

MADAROSIS (EYELASH LOSS)

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

This condition is symptomised by the absence or loss of eyelashes

WHAT CAUSES MADAROSIS?

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

HOW IS IT TREATED?

The treatment for this condition are dependent on the causes 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 Lift or lash extensions.  Suitability for strip lashes will be dependent on any medical conditions or allergies. 

CONTRAINDICATIONS SUMMARY:

Madarosis is a total contraindication for Lash Lift, tint and lash extension treatments

Strip lashes may be suitable, depending on the circumstances regarding the underlying cause for the condition

TRICHOTILLOMANIA

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

This condition is characterised by the compulsive urge to pull or twist hair until it breaks off.  People are often unable to stop the behaviour, and can be unaware that they are doing it.  They may pull at any hair on their body, including their head hair, eyelashes and eyebrows.

WHAT CAUSES TRICHOTILLOMANIA?

Trichotillomania is considered to be a psychological impulse-control disorder.  It is not known what causes it, but it is considered by some to be a type of addiction, form of self-harm or reflective of stress or anxiety

WHICH EYELASH TREATMENTS ARE SUITABLE?

We do not recommend lash treatments for people suffering from trichotillomania when the condition involves pulling their lashes.  If the client doesn’t pull their lashes, they may be suitable for a treatment.  If they’ve pulled at their lashes in the past, a treatment should not be performed until they’ve completed effective treatment and until their lashes have grown back fully.  A careful analysis of the client should be conducted as, even if they don’t pull at their lashes, having a lash treatment may provide a stronger urge for them to be conscious of – and potentially pull at – their lashes

CONTRAINDICATIONS SUMMARY:

Trichotillomania is a restrictive contraindication

 

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