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Halloween is a fun fright-filled time of the year where you get to flex your costume creation skills to their fullest. But if you’re not careful with the cosmetics, things might get scarier and more serious than you want. It may be hard for you to imagine how a costume could cause harm to yourself, but for the people who like to go all out, you may decide to wear painted contacts or apply face paint. That’s where things can get a little dangerous if you’re not careful. If you are deciding to dress up for Halloween this year, make sure you do so safely, as some costume accessories could be harmful to your eyes.

Painted Contacts

For some costumes, you may decide to purchase painted contact lenses in order to complete the look. It’s important to be careful when doing so as these contacts can cause severe, sometimes permanent, damage to your eye if they are mishandled. Here are some precautions you can take to ensure you avoid any long term damage to your eyes.

Have painted contacts fitted to your eyes. Like regular contacts, painted contacts need to be prescribed to you in order to fit properly. An ill-fitting contact lens can scrape your cornea and lead to an abrasion which can lead to a corneal ulcer. A corneal ulcer can then cause severe scarring and permanent loss of vision.

Only buy painted contacts from reputable vendors. It’s actually illegal to sell painted contacts without a prescription, but some store-fronts do so anyway. When purchasing painted contacts, make sure you do so from a reputable vendor that asks for a prescription before selling them.

Properly disinfect painted contacts after use. Ideally, you put the contacts in for a quick picture, then remove them. Like regular contacts, you need to clean and properly store your painted contacts. It is also recommended that you wash your hands before handling your lenses. Not doing so could result in an infection.

Face Paint, Makeup, and Glitter

Face paint, glitter, and makeup are other popular costume accessories, and they can also be dangerous to your eyes if you are not careful. If face paint and makeup get into your eye it can cause an infection or a chemical burn, and if glitter falls into your eye it can cause corneal irritation. When using any of these materials, follow these tips to make sure your eyes stay safe.

Only use cosmetics designed for use around the eyes. Some cosmetics might not be safe to use around your eyes and could cause lasting damage if misused. When getting facial accessories for a costume, make sure it’s intended to be used around the eyes.

Don’t share makeup. Sharing makeup with others may spread infectious eye diseases like pink eye. This is also why you should wash your hands before applying makeup. When getting makeup for a costume, buy a fresh kit for yourself instead of borrowing from a friend.

Ensure makeup and face paint is hypoallergenic. Using non-hypoallergenic makeup may cause an allergic reaction and can cause your eyes to swell and/or tear up. An allergic reaction can last for a few days, so save yourself some grief and make sure you are using hypoallergenic makeup.

Saline solution can be used to try and rinse your eyes out, if you do happen to get any of these substances in your eye. If you still experience pain or irritation afterwards, seek immediate medical attention.

Costume Design

Being safe with your eyes goes beyond what gets near them. Observing your surroundings and being visible to others is another important thing, especially around Halloween when you are out after dark. Make sure your costume allows you to be aware of your surroundings and allows others to see you from a distance.

Avoid wearing items that might obfuscate your peripheral vision, such as masks, helmets, or hoods. Try to find a costume that doesn’t have headwear that will impair your vision. If your costume does have one of these things, take it off when going outdoors or after walking away from a house.

Make yourself visible at night. To remain visible to others in the dark, try to include bright colors in your costume. A dark costume, such as something with a black robe or trenchcoat, is hard to see and a driver may not notice you until it’s too late. If your costume is predominantly darker colors, wear something with high visibility so that you can still be seen. This can be some type of bright light like a headlamp, glowsticks, or a flashlight, or a highly reflective surface such as a reflective safety vest.

One of the most important reasons for maintaining high visibility for you and others is so that someone driving a vehicle can still see you at night. Even when they are healthy, our eyes are not perfect, so doing everything you can to be visible goes a long way in keeping you and your loved ones safe.

Keep these tips in mind when getting your costume supplies and coming up with a great and safe costume should be a breeze! Remember to keep you and your eyes safe this Halloween, and if you experience any form of eye-related injury, be sure to schedule an appointment as soon as possible or seek emergency medical attention.