Enjoy a fun and safe holiday with these spooky Halloween eye safety tips.
It’s October, and Halloween is around the corner! Jack o’ Lanterns and cobweb-covered houses. Sweets fill grocery store aisles. Shops are packed with costumes of ghouls, ghosts, and witches.
This spooky holiday is one of our favorites of the year. It gives us all an excuse to dress up, let loose, and have fun. However, many popular Halloween costumes and cosmetics can cause eye irritation and infections. Following a few basic Halloween eye safety tips can help patients enjoy a safe holiday.
Cosmetic lenses are a popular Halloween accessory that alters the appearance and color of the eye. While these specialty lenses have a cool effect, they must be used with caution.
Do not buy lenses sold at commercial retailers like beauty supply shops or online stores. Cosmetic lenses not prescribed by a doctor can lead to potentially serious eye problems such as corneal abrasion, corneal ulcers, keratitis, and other serious infections.
If you choose to use a lens in your costume, buy it from a professional. An eye doctor can measure your eyes and provide a lens that fits safely.
Whether attending a neighborhood party or taking your kids to trick or treat, a full range of vision is essential for Halloween eye safety. We recommend avoiding objects such as large masks, eye patches, floppy hats, and fake gore that can restrict vision.
Large face masks can be particularly hazardous when walking in dark areas. They block peripheral vision and increase the risk of falling or not seeing traffic. If a mask is part of your costume, remove it when in transit to avoid injuries.
Face paint, glitter, sparkle powder, and metallic objects make for fun Halloween accessories. However, if you choose to wear one of these items, you must take certain precautions to avoid risks to your eyes.
Glitter eye makeup, in particular, is a common cause of corneal irritation and infection. Glitter flakes and other debris can fall into the tear film and cause irritation — similar to getting sand or dirt in the eye.
This can be especially problematic for people with contact lenses. If you plan to wear contacts during your Halloween festivities, it is best to avoid embellishments.
For the safety of yourself and those around you, avoid pointed accessories like swords, staffs, and spears. These objects are particularly dangerous in crowded areas where their pointed ends can accidentally poke someone in the eye.
When not applied properly, artificial eyelash extensions that use glue or magnets can irritate the skin around the eye and scratch the cornea.
Eyelash extensions are now a common cosmetic procedure. We recommend enlisting the help of a professional for any extensions in your costume. An experienced cosmetic aesthetician can safely apply extensions, avoiding any potential complications.
To further minimize risk, patients should follow all safety precautions recommended by their cosmetic aesthetician after the procedure.
If your costume includes cosmetics, use materials designed for safe use around the eyes. Avoid products that contain chemicals or untested ingredients that may be hazardous.
When using household cosmetics, make sure the products are not past their expiration date. Infection-causing bacteria can grow on old creams and cosmetics.
For cosmetics, Halloween eye safety starts before the product touches your face. Prior to application, thoroughly wash both face and eyelids.
When your face is clean, apply makeup outside the lashes and away from the eye. This avoids blocking the oil glands near the eyelids that protect the eye’s surface.
To avoid allergic reactions, only apply one new product at a time. Patients should only add another product when they’ve confirmed the first one does not cause irritation. Those with a history of allergies should be particularly cautious about using new cosmetics.
If you have a reaction, check the ingredients in the cosmetic and let your eye doctor know as soon as possible.
After finishing your Halloween festivities, take the time to safely remove accessories and eye makeup. This is particularly important before bed, as sleeping with makeup or mascara on can cause irritation and infections.
When ready, remove the eye makeup and wash it off using gentle products. You can use vaseline as an effective remover and baby shampoo to wash the lashes and areas around the eye. During removal, avoid excessive tugging or pulling, especially near the delicate lash area.
Glasses and contacts are an important part of Halloween eye safety. Dressing up should not stop you from wearing prescription glasses or contacts you use for day-to-day activities.
There are many obstructions during the holiday, such as trick-or-treaters, decorations, and increased traffic on the streets and sidewalks. No matter what you or a loved one chooses to dress up as, wear the eyewear you need to see clearly.
Happy Halloween on behalf of everyone on the Besser eyecare team. If you’re in the Los Angeles area and would like to schedule an eye appointment, please contact our Culver City office or book an appointment online.
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