The advent of eyelash extensions ushered in a new era of easy beauty. Well, easy-ish. If you weren’t blessed with long eyelashes, but always longed for them, extensions were the answer to your prayers! Though not cheap (initial appointments range anywhere from $200-500, plus $50-100 a month for maintenance), they put eyelashes where eyelashes did not exist. Say goodbye to mascara! Won’t need that curling wand. Use those falsies and glue to give your kid’s dolls a nice lash line. But, like any “easy” beauty treatment, extensions can cause a whole host of problems. If you don’t go to a clean, reputable aesthetician, you’re just asking for bad shit to happen. Infections, bad lashes, or in the case of this warning from an eye surgeon, CRITTERS LIVING IN YOUR EYES.

And eye surgeon is issuing a warning of sorts about eyelash extensions. Those fluttery lashes can be hiding a really disgusting secret.

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Image: Giphy

A woman named Ashley experienced some eye issues after several lash appointments with a salon. Her eyes were itchy, red, and swollen. Eyes are one thing I don’t mess with, because good grief, there is nothing worse than eye problems or injuries. Ashley knew something was up, so she paid a visit to Dr. Keshini Parbhu, of the Orlando Eye Institute’s Dry Eye Help Center.

That’s when she got the horrible, god-awful news.

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There were more than lashes on Ashley’s lid. Her eyelash extensions were infested with mites.

MITES YOU GUYS. Miiiiiiiiites.

Dr. Parbhu diagnosed Ashley with Demodex. Demodex is a colony (collection? retirement community?) of mites that live in the hair follicles. Dr. Parbhu says, “They burrow to the base of the lash follicles, and they feed off this material. Infection can set in if they overpopulate.” True story: my puppy had Demodex. And she scratched and scratched and literally all her hair fell out. It was horrible. I would DIE if they lived in my fucking eye, my god.

Dr. Parbhu says the most common reasons for issues with eyelash extensions are poor hygiene in salons, and not thoroughly removing eye makeup. If you’re looking to get extensions, make sure you do your research. And don’t cheap out on this, guys. Or you may end up with a mite infestation in your goddamn eye.

(Image: iStock / licsiren)