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Eyelashes are the small group of hairs that grow along the upper and lower eyelids. Supremely sensitive to all objects, eyelashes close reflexively to protect the eye and prevent any infections when debris, commonly dust mites, come too close. Eyelashes often fall out on their own after completing their life cycle, similar to the hair on a person's head and body.
Human eyelashes reach their full level of growth during the seventh or eighth week of an embryo's development. By the time a person is born, his eyelashes are already fully grown. Eyelash regrowth usually takes about six to eight weeks if they are pulled out or fall out naturally. Some eyelash growth enhancing products are on the beauty market that enable eyelashes to grow thicker and fuller. These products often accelerate regrowth by two weeks, but can also be somewhat dangerous if they accidentally get into the eye. Mascara, false eyelashes, eyelash tinting, eyelash perming and eyelash extensions are all methods of making lashes appear temporarily longer and fuller, especially since eyelashes do not grow past a certain length, just like the hair on one's head.
Eyelashes can be prone to a variety of conditions. Some of the most prominent include madarosis (loss of eyelashes), trichiasis (ingrown lashes), blepharitis (eyelids become itchy/eyelashes fall out) and sty (inflammation of the eyelid). These disorders are best treated by an ophthalmologist to prevent any long-lasting adverse effects to the lashes and eye area. Otherwise, permanent loss of lashes and even blindness could result. Cosmetics are also known to be hazardous at times. Some of the substances in mascara can enter an eye and cause an infection. Moreover, the chemicals and dyes used to perm and tint lashes can be very dangerous and harmful to the eye.