Lash technician forced to give up her dream job - after becoming allergic to "everything"

Silje Søndrål Reinertsen has become allergic to "everything" due to a rare condition. (Picture: SWNS)Silje Søndrål Reinertsen has become allergic to "everything" due to a rare condition. (Picture: SWNS)
Silje Søndrål Reinertsen has become allergic to "everything" due to a rare condition. (Picture: SWNS) | SWNS
Chronic urticaria angioedema

A former lash technician had to give up her job after it triggered an allergy to ‘everything’ - including fruit, alcohol, painkillers and antibiotics.

Silje Søndrål Reinertsen, 22, suffers from chronic urticaria angioedema - an autoimmune condition which causes her face to swell and break out in hives during an allergic reaction. Initially she was triggered by the ingredients in lash glue - but before long, “anything and everything” would cause a flare-up. Now, she has to carry an EpiPen around 24/7 - and quit the job she spent £29k training for.

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Silje, from Stavangar, Norway, said: “Doctors can’t say for sure what triggers my allergies - it can be anything and everything. I was constantly scared at the beginning of my health journey - I was afraid of how much my allergies were impacting my life. It’s so difficult not knowing what exactly I’m allergic to - I could be out with friends and they’d all-of-a-sudden tell me my face had completely swollen.”

Just one year into her job, she started seeing bizarre side-effects to the glue she would use - including blemishes all over her face, a runny nose and a sore throat - which felt like it was closing up. The allergies began to be triggered by other, everyday items - like face moisturiser, paracetamol and orange juice.

Silje, who now studies graphic design at the University of Stavangar, said: “I didn’t realise how strong the glue would be - and that it releases chemicals into the air. I was working from home, so I never got a break from it. I had blemishes all over my face, my throat was closing, my nose was running - I was sick, all the time.

"I was once out shopping and my friend pointed my face out - I didn't know that it had totally swollen. I’d swell up and I didn’t understand what was going on - even after drinking my morning orange juice.”

Everything Silje is allergic to

Lash glue

Paracetamol and other painkillers

Antibiotics

Raw citrus fruits

Fruit juices

Moisturiser and other facial creams

Alcohol

Silje’s would take antihistamines to help with the swelling - but for the most part, it was a matter of waiting it out. She even found she’d become allergic to antibiotics, after she was prescribed them for a UTI in 2020. Despite being newly allergic to antibiotics and over-the-counter painkillers, Silje continued taking them to fight her health condition - alongside antihistamines.

In 2020, Silje finally decided to see her GP about her symptoms - and what she could do to alleviate them. She was told she needed to start making big lifestyle changes as soon as possible - including changing career paths.

She said: “It was the stress of my job, as well as the glue. We thought it might be the latex at first - but after trying non-latex glue, it still gave me a reaction. I was really disappointed to end my career as a lash technician - and really afraid of losing out on stability. But I knew I needed to do it for my health.”

Silje also cut out citrus fruits, paracetamol, antibiotics and alcohol - among other things, as well as taking antihistamines four times a day and carrying an EpiPen around with her at all times.

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