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Eyebrow shaving may cause eye infection, ophthalmologists warn

Ophthalmologists have warned that the injuries sustained during mircoblading and shaving of eyebrows could lead to infection.

The eye experts noted that although the brows protect the eyes from sweat, applying unsterile tools during the beautification process could expose the brows to infection and other infectious diseases.

According to a health portal, Medical News Today, microblading is a semi-permanent cosmetic tattooing procedure that fills in thin eyebrow areas to make them look fuller and neater.

Microblading, also called eyebrow embroidery, is a trending facial beauty procedure meant to boost the self-esteem of individuals, it added.

Of late, shaving, trimming, carving and microblading have been a trendy fashion for women in Nigeria.

Recently, a netizen on X, formerly Twitter, stated that shaving the eyebrows could cause infections in the eyes.

Speaking on this, a professor of Ophthalmology at the Osun State University, Michaeline Isawunmi, confirmed that injury inflicted during such an act could become infected, thus, infecting the eyebrow.

The don added that the eyebrow stops sweat and other injurious substances from entering into the eyes.

She stated, “Shaving of eyebrows does not have a direct relationship with eye infections. However, there could be infection through a wound on the eyebrow but not to the eyeball. The eyebrow is a sensor and thus serves to protect sweat, or other injurious agents from dripping into the eye. Also, it helps to define an individual’s facial structure and facial expressions.”

“One must have good hand hygiene to prevent eye infections, e.g. washing of hands regularly, particularly after using the toilet. A dirty environment propagates infections such as trachoma conjunctivitis (a bacterial infection that affects the eyes and causes infectious blindness) and regular face washing and hand-washing can prevent eye infections. Visiting the Ophthalmologist for the correct treatment of eye discharge and avoiding self-medication can prevent eye infections.”

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The professor urged adults 40 years and above to see an ophthalmologist at least once every year for proper eye checks.

On his part, the Medical Director of the Eye Doctors group of clinics and the President of the Ophthalmological Society of Nigeria, Dr Abiola Oyeleye, said using unhygienic tools to shave the eyebrows could cause infection to the eyebrows.

He noted that mircoblading could cause allergic reactions and infectious diseases, adding, “The eyebrow stops sweat and secretion from getting into the eyes. Also, the shape of the eyebrows helps to depict facial expressions during communication. Shaving the eyebrow is been done for cosmetic reasons. The natural eyebrow would not be able to prevent sweat from entering the eyes when it is completely shaved.

“Microblading procedure involves the use of needles, so there is also a chance of infection. If for example, the needle has been used on an individual and is now reused on another client, there is always the danger of infection and the transmission of infectious diseases.

“However, I think most beauticians change their needles but it would be advised to look at the harm it could cause and to guide against it because this is not something the medical industry would advise one to do. It is more of a cosmetic thing.”

While speaking of other practices that could cause infection to the eyes, Oyeleye condemned the act of washing or flushing the eyes with water.

This process involves opening the eyes wide and pouring water or a specific eye wash to clean the outer eyes.

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The ophthalmologist that such action is unnecessary, adding that tears are enough to naturally cleanse the eyes.

“Tears have three components; an oily base, water and an antimicroorganism agent. It is a natural lubricant for the eyes but some people go a step further to wash their eyes with water, which is not advisable. If a foreign body goes into your eyes, you can irrigate with clean water but not that you wake up every morning to pour water into your eyes or open your eyes and dip it in water.

“This predisposes the eyes to infection because you assume that the water being used is clean but it is not. Sometimes, people go swimming and get infections because the water has been chlorinated, so a lot of times, you assume that the water is clean and it is not and then you introduce infection into the eyes.”

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Eyebrow shaving may cause eye infection, ophthalmologists warn

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