Options for False Eyelashes

Chemotherapy can make you lose your eyelashes

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Many patients undergoing chemotherapy for cancer lose their eyelashes. This can be a devastating side effect of cancer treatment for many women, making them feel not quite themselves and less feminine. For most people eyelash loss is temporary, and they will grow back after chemotherapy treatments are over. Whether chemotherapy is just beginning, is ongoing, or just finished, this guide may help find ways to enhance bare eyes.

 

False Eyelashes During Cancer Treatment

There are dozens of false eyelashes for sale at makeup counters, beauty stores, and online. Many women are attracted to false eyelashes, as their eyelashes begin shedding during cancer treatment. However, there are several things to keep in mind if you are considering false eyelashes during chemotherapy:

  • False eyelashes are usually applied with an adhesive glue. Women who are undergoing cancer treatment shed their natural eyelashes very easily, so this adhesive glue can grab onto the eyelashes you have left and pull them out.  
  • Adhesive glue used to apply fake eyelashes can irritate sensitive skin, especially in cancer patients who often have dry skin. Additionally, some people are allergic to adhesive glues, which could cause an allergic rash on delicate skin around the eyes. Look for “hypoallergenic” eyelash glues, as they might be more gentle on your skin.
  • False eyelashes come in many colors, thicknesses, and styles. If you choose to try out false eyelashes during chemotherapy, look for false eyelashes made of sterilized, 100% human hair. Some brands exist that make eyelashes specifically for cancer patients.
  • If false eyelashes don’t work for you, you can also define and enhance your eyes with fun eyeshadows and eyeliners!
  • It is very important to check with your doctor or cancer nurse before using false eyelashes.[1]

Tips for Applying False Eyelashes

  • Trim the false eyelashes to be close to the same length as your eyelid.
  • Before you apply the eyelashes, it may be a good idea to apply some of the glue and remover solutions to your hand or arm and wait to see if you have any sort of irritation or allergic reaction.
  • Do not wear your false eyelashes to bed.
  • Always apply false eyelashes and eye makeup with clean hands to prevent the spread of infections to your eye area.

 

Eyelash Options After Cancer Treatment

In addition to readily available false eyelashes, there are more options for eyelashes as you begin regrowing your eyelashes when you are done with chemotherapy.

  • Eyelash extensions – this service is typically done at salons, takes around two hours, and can be expensive. This service consists of a certified technician applying single lashes one at a time to the base of your own natural lash with a semi-permanent glue. These lashes also come in many different lengths, styles, and colors. People typically require touch-ups of a few lashes here and there every four weeks, and a full set of lashes lasts around 8 weeks in most people.[2]
  • Eyelash growth solution –  a medication called bimatoprost is approved by the FDA to treat “inadequate eyelashes” and can be purchased at many dermatology offices. This product is effective at promoting growth, darkness, and thickness of your natural lashes with daily use, but can cause skin redness and skin darkening of the eye area in some people.[3] However, if you are undergoing chemotherapy, this medication may not work and may be best to use after you are done with chemotherapy. This should be discussed with your doctor prior to use. 
  • Be gentle! – refrain from rubbing your eyes to prevent from pulling out your new baby eyelashes. Consider avoiding waterproof mascara and eye makeup, as this may be too harsh on your delicate eyelashes.

* This Website is for general skin beauty, wellness, and health information only. This Website is not to be used as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any health condition or problem. The information provided on this Website should never be used to disregard, delay, or refuse treatment or advice from a physician or a qualified health provider.

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References

1.    Eyelashes - how to define your eyes, Accessed September 10, 2017.

2.    Akai C. Tips for maintaining beautiful lashes during chemotherapy, Accessed September 10, 2017.

3.    Gibson LE. Is there a medication to thicken eyelashes?, Accessed September 10, 2017.