What Could Happen If You Don’t Properly Remove Mascara?

January 17, 2019

An Australian woman who has a habit of not washing off her mascara has developed a serious eye problem that could rob her of her vision, according to a new report.

According to the report, published in the May issue of Ophthalmology, the 50-year-old woman went to an eye doctor after experiencing an uncomfortable feeling of having something in her eyes. The woman admitted that she had been using mascara heavily for more than 25 years and was not good at removing her makeup.

“I had developed a bad habit of wearing a lot of make-up and not washing it off.” The woman, Theresa Lynch, told the Daily Mail.

When doctors examined the woman underneath her eyelids, they found dark pigmented lumps under the conjunctiva, which is the clear membrane that lines the eyelid and the white part of the eye. Some of the lumps had even broken through the surface of the conjunctiva, according to the report. Her eye problems were related to conjunctivitis (inflammation of the conjunctiva) and damage to the cornea.

“[The lumps] are embedded very deep and the particles are stacking on each other…. I was very uncomfortable. My eyelids were swollen and heavy because I let it [untreated] for so long,” said Lynch.

Lynch’s doctor, Dr. Dana Robaei, an ophthalmologist and clinical senior lecturer at the University of Sydney’s School of Medicine, told the Daily Mail that the black bumps were caused by a buildup of mascara debris under Lynch’s eyelids. Robaei said Lynch’s eye could have become infected, which in rare cases can lead to blindness.

Robay added that “you have to be meticulous” in removing the mascara.

Lynch underwent a 90-minute surgery to remove the lump, but she still has permanent scars on her eyelid, according to the Daily Mail.