#14 - Swelling Pads and Red Bloodshot Eyes

A common problem that can occur for lash techs is pads swelling and going ‘gooey’ during application. It is often thought that this is caused due to a fault in the pads or that the pads have too much gel in them.

It is also thought that red bloodshot eyes are caused by an allergic reaction to the glue or lash products. This however is typically not the cause of bloodshot eyes.

Swelling pads and red bloodshot eyes can be easily avoided by knowing and applying the following information.


The eye has two waterlines (see photo) one on the bottom and one on the top. When the eye closes, these waterlines form a seal as a protection method so nothing can get in to irritate the eyes. 


The tear ducts (the thing in the body that produces and makes tears) will produce tears as a natural mechanism to clean and lubricate the eyes in response to some form of irritation.

In our world of lashing, the most common reason for eyes tearing is due to the glue fumes.


(Interestingly, emotional tears are made up of a different chemical component than those caused by eye irritants.)


If your client does not have any medical condition with her tear ducts, then her eyes should not water during lash extension application because the waterlines will be sealed protecting the eyes from the glue fumes.

(You can find out if she has any condition with her tear ducts by simply asking her, or asking if her eyes water while she sleeps or ‘for no reason at all’.)

Swollen Pads

Pads swelling or going ‘gooey’ are only caused by water or tears getting into them.  (See photo of  swollen pads).


As we have learnt above, the eyes will only water/tear if something is getting into them. Often what will happen is when the pad or medical tape is applied, it is applied too high and can break the seal between the two waterlines. By having any slight crack or break between the two waterlines, glue fumes will get into the eyes and the eye will tear in an attempt to get rid of the fumes.


Glue fumes can also be the main reason for blood shot eyes & thus isn’t an allergic reaction, but just a reaction to the fumes. Two totally different things.


Another reason for blood shot eyes, is if the pads are placed too high, it can result in them or the medical tape scratching the eyeball and thus causing the eye ball to go blood shot.


Pads should be placed at least 1-3mm below the bottom waterline (see photo). 

Correct Distance

Often when the client closes her eyes after placing the pads on, the pads will move up towards the eyes slightly, so it is also important to lower & adjust the pads every time. (See photo). 

Adjusting the pads


By doing this it all ensure that the pads and/or medical tape are not breaking the waterline at all & thus you won’t have the problem of swelling or gooey pads or bloodshot eyes.

It is also recommended that after you have adjusted the pads (once the clients eyes are closed), while she still has them closed, to first ask her if the pads are comfortable and then also manually lift her eye lid and check that the pads are still 1-3mm below the waterline.



During application, if you find your clients eyes start watering, this will simply be because the pads have slid upwards towards the eyeball and have broken the seal (this will regularly happen with talkative clients). This is easily fixed by adjusting and lowering the pads.

If the clients eyes have watered and the pads have swollen as a result, then is it easier and more effective, to first fan away (using a min fan or air puffer) any fumes and then re-pad the client with new un-swollen pads.


We hope this helps and is useful information for you! If you have any questions or need any help with anything else, then please give us a call or shoot us an email :-)




Locks Lash