Tracy Doll, OD, FAAO discusses beauty trends and cosmetic enhancements, and what to watch out for.
Cara Moore: Hi everybody and welcome to Optometry TV. I’m Cara Moore. I am joined now by Tracy Doll, who is here to talk about some cosmetic myths and ocular disease. And specifically some of these beauty trends that we’re seeing a lot more of right now like lash enhancements.
Dr. Tracy Doll: Absolutely. I don’t think you can go anywhere right now that offers any sort of beauty regimen without seeing this emphasis on the elongation, the enhancement of eyelashes, it’s in our drug stores. They’re popping up in our neighborhood, these small beauty salons that are offering services to help to boost bigger and more open looking eyes.
Cara Moore: Right. And I’m sure practitioners know all too well of the popularity of these places, right?
Dr. Tracy Doll: They do, you, when you see those behind your large microscopes, it’s pretty obvious when patients have had these enhancements done, but they’re not always as safe. And I think there’s some things that we can do better as the industry to help to educate our patients about what it is that they’re really getting themselves into.
Cara Moore: So what do practitioners need to know about trends like that?
Dr. Tracy Doll: Trends like that. First of all, a lot of these beauty enhancements are going to be done in a beauty salon by licensed practitioners or unlicensed. It’s very important to educate your patients if they’re going to do this, that they need to be asking the right questions about who they’re seeing to do these particular procedures. Those people that are doing these procedures are using very sharp, small instrumentation, not unlike what we use in the medical practice. And if they’re going to be doing that, they need to be going to someone who’s very, who’s licensed and has a lot of experience. So when patients are going into these beauty locations, they need to be asking for references. They need to be asking to watch the procedure itself. They need to be asking how they disinfect and clean their equipment because they are using sharp instrumentation near the eye.
Cara Moore: How big of a problem or things like that for practitioners who are trying, trying to make somebody better, a patient better and yet, you know, they’re, they’re doing things that may be harming themselves?
Dr. Tracy Doll: It’s not standardized the way that their patients are told to care for these enhancements or extensions. So a lot of times patients are told, in fact not even to clean them or wash them, in order to keep them on longer. The typical lifespan of eyelash enhancements is only two weeks, and recommended to refill two weeks later. So oftentimes they’re told not even to clean the eyelashes, which then can come with complications of contracting Blepharitis, allergic conjunctivitis, allergic reactions to the glues are very common. There’s a lot of preservatives and even formaldehyde in the glues, which are highly allergenic. So patients are coming in from these beauty salons, irritated, injured, and it’s up to us to be able to fix that and to help the patient know what to do better next time.
Cara Moore: And what should the patient do? I mean, what should practitioners tell these patients just steer clear altogether or what?
Dr. Tracy Doll: Well, we don’t have to take away everybody’s fun, using eyelash enhancements, you know, for going to a wedding or going on vacation for a short amount of time. That’s okay. Okay. But this should not be something that patients are doing day in and day out and day in and day out, and there are healthier swaps that can be done to help the patient feel beautiful, look beautiful, but not encounter those risks that come along with the enhancements.
Cara Moore: And how much of a challenge is this for practitioners who maybe we’re not even talking about lash enhancements anymore, just make up that might be dangerous that there has to be some kind of communication going on right, between the practitioner and the patient about say the makeup that they are choosing.
Dr. Tracy Doll: I feel like a lot of practitioners don’t even really know a lot about the cosmetic industry or what’s actually, in the makeup themselves. So if they’re not educated, they can’t educate their patients as to what is, what the healthier options are. There are definite better alternatives, things with your preservatives. You have to turn the product over quicker, but it’s definitely healthier on the eyes. Simple swap outs like going from waterproof mascara to non waterproof can really improve the patient’s irritation level.
Cara Moore: And practitioners should keep those things in mind?
Dr. Tracy Doll: Just keep those things in mind when they’re looking at the patients and not be afraid to have that conversation. We’ve all seen the patients with the spider lashes. It’s not necessarily always necessary. Having a conversation about how that may be detrimental to their ocular surface and then giving them an alternative, is better than just taking something away. I mean, you and I both know, if somebody told us that we couldn’t wear makeup tomorrow, we’re not going to go along with that, we’re going to be, we’re going to be using our beauty products. It’s just about choosing healthier options.
Cara Moore: Okay. Well, very good, Tracy, I appreciate being with us. Thank you so much, and thank you all for watching Optometry TV.