The late Elizabeth Taylor famously had double eyelashes , a term that can be used to describe a medical condition in which a person develops a greater than normal number of eyelashes. Some people like Taylor are born with a second row of eyelashes due to a genetic mutation called distichiasis . While “double eyelashes” can refer to people afflicted with distichiasis, people who use eyelash extensions can also be said to have “double eyelashes”. Due to the influence of film stars like Elizabeth Taylor, it has become a popular beauty trend to artificially thicken and enhance the eyelashes. This cosmetic strategy can cause some serious eye problems including eye irritation. Read on to learn about distichiasis and steps that can be taken to avoid eye irritation caused by eyelashes.

What Is Distichiasis?

 Distichiasis is a condition in which a genetic mutation causes eyelashes to exit from the duct of the meibomian glands located on the “wet” (inner) edge of the eyelid.

Distichiasis is a condition in which a genetic mutation causes eyelashes to exit from the duct of the meibomian glands located on the “wet” (inner) edge of the eyelid. The extra eyelashes that arise from abnormal locations on your eyelid are called distichia and can develop on either the lower or upper eyelids, or both. Distichiasis exists in two forms: acquired and congenital. In many situations, distichiasis is harmless and does not result in any signs or symptoms associated with eye discomfort or irritation. In some cases, however, eyelashes on the inner lid that are particularly thick or stiff can result in corneal ulcers, scarring, squinting and tearing.

Options for Troublesome Genetic Double Eyelashes

For those who experience irritation from the condition, it is important to have distichia or extra eyelashes removed. Traditional options like electrolysis are often ineffective because the “misdirected eyelashes” return after several weeks. Another option is cryosurgery which involves applying extreme cold to the area to thin out the lashes. Laser treatment may be an alternative.

Artificial Double Eyelashes

In contrast to distichiasis, some people use the term “double eyelashes” to refer to eyelash extensions applied to create lashes with thicker and longer dimensions. Eyelash extensions involve the attachment of individual artificial eyelashes using adhesives. The intention is to attach a single extension to a single natural lash. It is possible to have a reaction to the adhesive that is very uncomfortable for your eyes.


To maintain artificial double eyelashes, avoid using oil-based cleansers which might affect the adhesive. Mascara wands can snag eyelashes causing them to fall out. Be especially gentle when washing the eye area and avoid rubbing your face with a towel to prolong the life of the artificial lashes.


Advice If You Want Double Eyelashes

If you’ve decided to get double eyelashes, make sure that the artificial lashes are attached in a way that does not cause irritation. While extensions can help your lashes appear healthier and thick, attaching too many can result in eye discomfort and irritation. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that you follow these guidelines if you add eyelash extensions:


  • Examine the list of ingredients for the adhesive to determine if there are any substances you are allergic to. If you are allergic to anything on the list, pursue another option.

  • Only undergo the procedure from properly licensed professionals. Anyone who touches your eyes should practice good hygiene, which will prevent the spread of harmful bacteria.

  • If you notice any signs of eye infection, immediately consult with a doctor to avoid your condition growing more serious. The most common complaints about this procedure include reactions to the adhesive and eye infections from unsanitary tools or other poor hygiene practices.

  • Understand what the process entails. Application of artificial eyelashes will take between 90 to 180 minutes and involve the application of 60 to 120 individual artificial lashes. In preparation, your eyelids will be taped closed to guard against any possible contact of adhesive with your eye. The skin around your eye should also be protected.

Use Cliradex to Reduce Irritation from Eyelash Issues

Use Cliradex to Reduce Irritation from Eyelash Issue

If you experience eye irritation, redness, or any other type of eye discomfort, it’s great to have products on hand that can reduce the severity of the symptoms. Cliradex produces several products including Cliradex Light towelettes, which contain 100% natural ingredients including 4-terpineol. They are anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and deeply clean your eye area of leftover makeup and other irritants. Browse the Cliradex website to determine which product is best to bring you relief.

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