Chemical burn vs. pad irritation photo of a red eye.

Chemical Burn VS Pad Irritation

After your service, your clients eyes seem to be slightly red and noticeably irritated. What could have possibly caused this?

A chemical burn is a reaction to product fumes getting into the eyes causing a burning sensation. Pad Irritation is caused when the eye pads are pushed too closely into the eyes, which unfortunately can scrape the sclera (whites of the eye). Although they look very similar, they are two different sensations.

Chemical Burn

eyelashes scraped sclera pad irritation

A chemical burn can occur when the eye is slightly open during the service. Glue fumes are especially attracted to moisture, so when the eye is exposed the fumes are drawn towards it’s whites. This is similar to the reason why our eyes burn when cutting onions- fumes are drawn to moisture. As an artist, this is very hard for us to see when we are working from behind the client’s head.

Try holding your client’s lid down with your finger, or taping it if you notice they have extreme fluttery eyes. You can also try wrapping a (sanitized) coin in tape, and taping it down on the lid. This adds some extra weight and will hold the eye shut while you lash.

The symptoms of a chemical burn are often more violent on the second and third day, and should subside within 3-5 days. If your client is still experiencing pain and discomfort after a week, it’s strongly suggested that they see a doctor. Flushing the eyes out with water ASAP can help combat the burn.

Scraped sclera

Scraped sclera often occurs when the eye pads are placed way too close to the whites of the eyes during a service. Be mindful of where the pad is sitting as it can even slip around and get into the eye. The pad needs to be sitting just below the waterline. A good indicator that the pad is too high up is if the pad starts to get gooey and slimy around the eye area. Always be communicating with your clients, and asking if their eyes feel ok or if they are feeling any discomfort! Usually a pad irritation is somewhat instant, and the client will be able to feel the abrasion instantly if the pad is rubbing the eye.

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