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(NBC NEWS) Dr. Bridgitte Shen Lee of Vision Optique in Houston says eyelash extensions are so popular among her patients, she has to explain to patients multiple times a day the risks that come with false lashes.

In a perfect world, she says women should not be wearing makeup on the extensions, but she recognizes that is not a realistic request.

Some women do not ever remove all the residue, and it can lead to a complicated problem.

“It’s mites, it’s mites that live at the end of eyelashes. So, when the lids and lash margin are not being cleaned on a regular basis and when the hygiene is not being maintained over time, those mites can overpopulate,” Lee says.

The mites are called Demodex, and if you have them, symptoms can be severe.

“If women have waited too long and the infection and inflammation is pretty severe, once eyelash loss happens, once the lash is lost. We cannot grow them back,” Lee says.

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