If you are feeling eyelash pain, you have to know the cause to treat it properly. You might ask yourself, “Why do my eyelashes hurt?” Well, first things first: Your eyelashes don’t actually hurt. Made of dead cells mainly consisting of keratin, your eyelashes cannot sense pain because nerve signals are unable to travel through their cells.
However, each eyelash strand has a base that’s covered in nerve fibres. When the base is painful, these nerves can sense it and it can feel like the actual eyelashes are hurting. If you think your eyelashes are painful, the pain actually comes from the area beneath and around them. So what you are really feeling is pain along eyelash line.
To treat your painful eyelash line safely and properly, you have to determine the cause first. Here are some possible causes:
Trichiasis, or ingrown eyelashes, is one of the common causes of pain in the eyelash area. When you have ingrown eyelashes, your lashes grow towards your eye, rubbing against your eye and inner eyelid. The friction causes irritation, pain, redness, tearing, photophobia or sensitivity to light, and a feeling like you’ve got something in your eye.
Blepharitis is eyelid inflammation. It happens when bacteria spreads along the skin of your eyelash line or when your eyelid oil glands become blocked. It causes redness, itchiness and a burning sensation, watery or foaming eyes, dryness as well as crusty eyelids or eyelashes, and light sensitivity. Because the eyelid is swollen and painful, it feels like your lashes are hurting, too.
A stye is a painful bump on the eyelash line. It forms when one of the oil glands in your eyelid gets blocked, allowing bacteria to grow inside the gland so it gets filled with pus like a pimple or a boil. Because of the pressure, the eyelid becomes red and swollen, and your eyes may become watery as well.
Two types of mites can live on human skin: Demodex folliculorum and Demodex brevis. These mites can affect follicles on any part of the body, even on the face and eyelashes. Mites on your lashes can cause eyelash dandruff and crusting, making your eyelids itchy and inflamed. You can also have a burning sensation and a feeling that something is in your eye. Because of the swelling, you may have watery eyes and blurry vision.
Eyelash lice, another cause of eyelid pain near eyelashes, is rare but anyone can get it. Eyelash lice, or Phthiriasis ciliaris, are minuscule, crab-like parasites that stay on your lashes. It can happen when you touch hair that is infested with the pubic lice Phthirus pubis, then you touch your eyelashes. A sign could be brown or black spots along your eyelashes. Because eyelash lice cause itchiness, your eyelids can also swell and redden. There can also be a burning feeling and grittiness.
Entropion is when your eyelid folds inward and makes your eyelashes rub against your eye. Your eye gets irritated, giving you eye and eyelid pain. Your eye can be red, watery, and sensitive to light and wind. You can also have crusty eyelids, mucus discharge, and a feeling that there’s something stuck in your eye.
If you have eyelash ptosis, either the eyelashes on your upper eyelid bend downward or your lower lashes bend upward. This causes your eyelashes to touch and brush against the surface of your eye, causing painful irritation. You can also experience eye redness and mucus discharge, floppy eyelids, and the sensation that there’s something in your eye.
A rare cause of eyelash root pain is distichiasis or double eyelashes. As the name suggests, double eyelashes is having two rows of eyelashes in an eyelid. It can be caused by a genetic mutation, trauma to the eyelid, or eyelid inflammation. Because of the extra lashes, the eye gets irritated and aside from pain, you can get drooping eyelids, a stye, conjunctivitis, and light sensitivity.
These conditions can be serious and can affect your overall health. If you think you may have any of these illnesses or you are not sure what is causing the pain in your lash line, you should visit a doctor so you can get a proper diagnosis and treatment.
But maybe you are not suffering from any of these conditions and your lashes are completely healthy. The pain along your eyelash line may be caused by cosmetic products or procedures. Here are two of the most common cosmetics that can cause pain in the eyelash area:
It is also possible that your mascara irritates eyes. All eye makeup, including mascara, contains a blend of different chemicals. While the chemicals they use are tested and considered safe for the eyes, you can be sensitive or even allergic to certain ingredients.
What is in mascara that irritates the eyes? Some of the common irritating ingredients in your mascara are preservatives such as parabens and formaldehyde, pigments like carbon black, and fragrances. Mascaras also often use the mineral bismuth oxychloride as a thickener, which you can be allergic to.
If you are experiencing mascara eye irritation, you may be having an allergic or sensitivity reaction and that may be causing the pain in your lash line. Stop using your mascara and opt for a mascara that doesn’t irritate eyes.
To choose a mascara that won’t irritate eyes,
1.Look for the hypoallergenic label to know it is formulated for sensitive eyes.
2.Check the list of ingredients and avoid the product if it contains known irritants like parabens, formaldehyde, and fragrances.
3.Consult your dermatologist or ophthalmologist to get a recommendation and find a mascara that’s safe for sensitive eyes.
4.Read reviews of people with sensitive eyes online to get an idea of which mascaras worked for them.
While hypoallergenic mascaras are your best bet to not cause eye irritation, you should still do a patch test before using your new mascara to be safe. Apply a small amount of the mascara to the inside of your wrist first and wait to see if there is any reaction within 24 hours.
If you are experiencing eyelid itchiness and swelling, dryness, a burning sensation, or eye pain and redness after eyelash extensions, it is most likely that the cause is indeed your lash extensions. Because eyelash extensions are false lashes glued to the base of your real lashes, it affects the eyelid.
Eye pain from eyelash extensions can be caused by:
- Allergic Reaction and Irritation
Eyelid itchiness, redness, and pain after eyelash extensions can be due to an allergic reaction to the materials used or ingredients in the adhesive such as cyanoacrylate. The adhesive or glue used in eyelash extensions may also contain ammonia, latex, and formaldehyde which can also irritate and inflame the eyelid, leading to contact dermatitis or blepharitis.
Your eyelid may be infected because of improper maintenance of your fake lashes, which causes pain and discomfort. If you do not clean your lashes properly, dust, debris, and oily or heavy products you use around your eyes can stay on your eyelash line. Overusing or wearing your eyelash extension for a prolonged period can also cause an eyelid infection. Clean your lashes properly and get regular touch-ups to avoid eye pain after eyelash extensions.
Improper application like putting the extensions too close to the eyes or not being adequately distanced, can hurt the eyelash line. Fake lashes can also cause trauma as they put pressure on the eyelid, causing discomfort, pain, and tenderness.
Prevent Eyelash Line Pain
To avoid pain in the eyelash line, you must prevent the conditions that cause it. Here are some lifestyle steps to keep your eyelids and eyelashes healthy:
- With mild soap or your trusted cleanser and water, remove dirt and crusts on your eyelids daily.
- Before touching or eyes or handling contact lenses, wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap.
- Do not wear contact lenses if your eyes are already irritated.
- Choose hypoallergenic eye makeup and other eye products. If any product irritates your eyes, stop using it immediately.
- Do not share eye makeup and other products with others.
- Stop using an eye makeup or product after 3 months or beyond the indicated period of use.
- Remove makeup and clean your eye area thoroughly before sleeping.
- Reduce dry eyes and irritation with artificial tears.
- Stop getting eyelash extensions. If you want longer and fuller eyelashes, grow them naturally with an eyelash growth serum for sensitive eyes.
Eyelash line pain is usually due to eyelash growth problems or conditions that cause eyelid irritation and inflammation. To treat pain in the eyelash line, these causes must be addressed first. If eye pain or swelling persists or there are vision changes, increased redness, and difficulty opening your eyes, see a doctor and get medical help.
Of course, prevention is better than cure so practice lifestyle measures to keep your eyes and eyelashes clean and healthy. You should avoid eyelash extensions. If you want longer, thicker eyelashes, use a trusted eyelash growth serum specially formulated for sensitive eyes.