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Eyes, Body

What to Do If You've Lost Your Natural Eyelashes From Chemotherapy

Yes, you can wear fake eyelashes, but you might not want to.

11/22/2020 4:05:00 PM

Losing your lashes can be a frustrating experience. We talked to doctors and makeup artists to learn the best (and safest) options for treatments and realistic falsies.

Yes, you can wear fake eyelashes , but you might not want to.

, a series on navigating the impact of breast cancer through beauty and self-care.We've all seen the clichéd movie or television version of the chemotherapy experience. There's often a highly emotional scene of the protagonist shaving their head because they know they're about to lose their hair, and it's usually the turning point of the whole plot. But something the actors and screenplay writers often gloss over in these depictions is the

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loss of eyelashesCodilia Gapare, the inventor of Eylure London C-Lash by Codilia Gapare, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2014."I had mentally prepared myself for my hair to go... but my lashes were just like teeth in my mouth. I took for granted that they were there," she told

Allure. "When they started falling out, I was so surprised because I didn't expect them to fall out. Nobody had told me. I wasn't mentally prepared for losing my lashes."Though eyelash loss isn't as visually obvious as theloss of hair headtopics.com

on the head, it can still be emotionally harrowing. "There is an important link between hair and identity; after someone loses their lashes and brows, they may see someone in the mirror that looks nothing like their pre-cancer self," explains

Marleen Meyers, a board-certified medical oncologist in New York City. "The definition of the eyes is closely tied to expression and emotion. This loss can lead to anxiety and depression and can affect a person's sense of self and identity."

Not to mention the fact that humans physically need eyelashes for several reasons. "They serve as a physical barrier to protect the eyes from moisture and airborne debris," explainsIlyse Haberman, a board-certified ophthalmologist in New York City. "They are sensitive to the touch, so that the eye closes when something comes near to protect the surface. They also filter out a degree of light entering the eye."

The fact that there aren't many falsies out there that are made with eyelash loss and chemotherapy in mind can make this experience even more difficult. We asked the experts what lashes, treatments, or procedures are the safest and easiest to use — below, learn about the best eyelash options for chemotherapy patients. headtopics.com

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Approach traditional strip lashes with caution (and patience)While the traditionalfalse eyelasheson a strip that need to be glued on aren't completely bad for patients who've lost their eyelashes — Meyers explains that they're not very popular among them for a few key reasons. "Chemotherapy frequently causes dryness or increased tearing of the eyes; in these situations, wearing false eyelashes can be very irritating or uncomfortable," she says. "People may have allergic reactions to the glue or even get infections."

AdvertisementGlue-on strip lashes also require lots of practice, time, and effort. If you want to wear them, Meyers urges you to check in with your doctor first about the option of using falsies. If your doctor approves the usage, Meyers recommends testing the glue on your arm before using it near your eyes to make sure you don’t get an allergic reaction.

Read more: Allure »

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