Are Cosmetic Eye Products and Procedures Safe?

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We all want to look good, but we shouldn’t risk the health of our eyes to do so!

Below are some common cosmetic products and procedures that we get asked about in our office.

Colored/Cosmetic Contacts

Many consumers consider decorative contact lenses a fashion or costume accessory. In reality, these lenses still pose the same potential safety and health risks as corrective contact lenses, and require a prescription.

All contact lenses need to be prescribed and monitored by a doctor to make sure they fit properly and provide a healthy environment for the eye. Lenses are medical devices that affect the health of the eye

This includes people who don’t need sight correction, but just want to change their eye color.

Remember, never share contact lenses with friends! This poses a tremendous risk of transmitting infection, no matter how much the lenses have been cleaned.

Tattooed/Permanent Eye Makeup

Proceed with extreme caution here.

There really needs to be a significant reason for this procedure to be performed, like a disfiguring injury, because of the risk of a serious allergic reaction.  You won’t know that until the tattoo is already there and once it happens, it can be very difficult to reverse. They have to remove the dye that was injected, and that is not an easy task.

Also, the iron used in the injected paint might interfere with an MRI should you ever need one. If you are determined to do this, research where it will be done. The facility should have a business license and a board of health certificate. Make sure a fresh needle is used for every color.

Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Lifts)

Your insurance will only pay for this procedure if it is medically necessary, such as if your lids are obstructing your vision. In this case, the limited field by the lid must be documented with automated peripheral vision testing, sometimes photography and other measurements.  Otherwise, the procedure will be consider cosmetic and you will have to pay for it on your own.

Medically, as long as it is done by an experienced surgeon, there isn’t much risk.

Please ask our doctors if you are interested in this procedure.  We have excellent surgeons that we co-manage with that we can refer you to.

Eyelash Extensions

There is the potential that extended lashes can break off and scratch the surface of the eye. Again, you should research any facility for cleanliness and certification.

A more permanent fix would be to use lash enhancer solutions prescribed by a doctor, though these products have side effects of their own.

Our doctors are happy to discuss the pros and cons of Latisse with you.

Ocular Tattoo

Rarely, there are medical reasons for this, such as to cover an ocular scar. Other than that, we do not recommend corneal or scleral tattoos. It is not reversible and there are significant risks of infection and blindness.

Eye Jewelry

Eyelid piercings can rub against the eye and potentially threaten sight. As for the latest fad of gluing jewels on the whites of the eyes, there are also major risks, including infection and blindness.