Eyebrow Waxing Can Spread Herpes

November 4th, 2009 by

BOSTON (kcra)– Some women consider the 10 minutes spent on monthly eyebrow waxes critical to a polished, clean and professional look. But eyebrow waxing can spread a form of herpes and lead to blindness, WCVB in Boston reported.
“Every month I usually get my hair, eyebrows, nails,” said Candice Earp.
Cosmetologist Tiffani Conner said, “It opens their eyes, they feel more beautiful. It’s kind of an extra touch up. You don’t feel as beautiful without the brows done.”
But there can be consequences.
“The biggest concern right now are the different diseases that are spread from re-dipping the stick, more specifically the eye herpes,” said Sherry Lewelling with the Oklahoma board of cosmetology.
Oklahoma’s board is trying to get the word out about an increase of eye herpes cases in surrounding Midwest states that have been directly linked to eyebrow waxing and poor sanitary practices.
One concerning practice, said Lewelling, is when someone has a “cold sore on the lip, they get a lip wax, the technician puts the stick back into the wax, then the wax is contaminated.”
The herpes virus could easily be transmitted to the next person or people to be treated using that same warmed wax.
Professionals say there are simple sanitary measures that aestheticians can take to prevent the spread of herpes. Technicians should wash their hands and test the temperature of the wax before each procedure.
Also, every time a stick is dipped into the wax and placed on a client’s skin, it should be thrown away.
If asked to lie down for a waxing treatment, be sure that the table is covered with a single-use sheet of paper or sanitized each time.
Experts also recommend only seeing professionals who have been licensed by the state.
According to recent information in the Digital Journal of Opthalmology, which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, there are approximately 500,000 cases of ocular herpes each year in the U.S. While most cases can be treated, there is no cure and severe cases can also lead to blindness.
Symptoms of ocular herpes include tearing, redness, blurry vision, eye discomfort and sometimes a thick, sticky mucous secretion.

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