• COVID-19
  • Biosimilars
  • Cataract Therapeutics
  • DME
  • Gene Therapy
  • Workplace
  • Ptosis
  • Optic Relief
  • Imaging
  • Geographic Atrophy
  • AMD
  • Presbyopia
  • Ocular Surface Disease
  • Practice Management
  • Pediatrics
  • Surgery
  • Therapeutics
  • Optometry
  • Retina
  • Cataract
  • Pharmacy
  • IOL
  • Dry Eye
  • Understanding Antibiotic Resistance
  • Refractive
  • Cornea
  • Glaucoma
  • OCT
  • Ocular Allergy
  • Clinical Diagnosis
  • Technology

Beezin’: The hazardous TikTok trend involving Burt’s Bees

Article

Ophthalmologists could find themselves treating a growing number of young people who are applying lip balm to their eyelids, only to experience discomfort and vision issues when it gets into their eyes.

Applying Burt's Bees to the eyelids can result in chemical irritation to the eyelids themselves, and ophthalmologists will see redness, swelling, and inflammation in these patients. (Adobe Stock image)

Applying Burt's Bees to the eyelids can result in chemical irritation to the eyelids themselves, and ophthalmologists will see redness, swelling, and inflammation in these patients. (Adobe Stock image)

Just when you thought you’d seen it all when it comes to the things that people will try, the TikTok trend of “beezin’” is sending people to the ophthalmologist’s office.

Beezin' is a fad where people apply Burt’s Bees lip balm to their eyelids. The menthol or peppermint flavors are supposed to cause a sensation of enhanced alertness. It first started in the 2010s and is apparently making a comeback this year on TikTok, according to a Michigan Medicine-University of Michigan news release.

According to Olivia J. Killeen, MD, a clinical lecturer in the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences at Michigan Medicine, it is not actually effective and will only cause the same sensation on the eyelids that the balm causes when applied to the lips.

“The peppermint oil or menthol in the balm can cause a tingling sensation, but it is not actually getting people high or causing the same type of chemical reaction in the body that’s produced by drugs or alcohol,” Killeen said.

It is believed that the individuals are experiencing a tingling or burning sensation from the lip balm’s peppermint oil. But the peppermint oil can also be a strong irritant to the eye.

What can happen is chemical irritation to the eyelids themselves, and ophthalmologists will see redness, swelling, and inflammation in these patients.

Kileen also noted in the Michigan Medicine report the products can accidentally get into the eyes themselves. So, beezin’ can end up causing tearing, redness, and painful burns to the surface of the eyes. In severe instances, it could lead to scarring or vision loss.

Moreover, whenever viruses or bacteria are introduced to the surface of the eye, beezin’ may also increase the risk of infection, especially if the lip balm is applied to the eyelids after it was already used on the lips.

Killeen says in some cases, viruses or bacteria from the lips could cause conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye. On a more serious level, it may cause infections and ulcers of the eye that can be difficult to treat and lead to permanent vision loss.

Ophthalmologists will treat patients who have tried this, and Killeen noted that the issues can sometimes be resolved just by stopping the practice, but some may require additional treatment. The treatment could involve artificial tears or other medications including steroids, antibiotics or antihistamines.

“Eyes and vision are precious, and both the eyeballs and the eyelids are very sensitive,” Killeen said in the report. “Any trend like this is generally a bad idea. Products that are not designed for your eyes should not be used in or around your eyes.”

Related Videos
Neda Nikpoor, MD, talks about the Light Adjustable Lens at ASCRS 2024
Elizabeth Yeu, MD, highlights from a corneal case report for a patient undergoing the triple procedure
William F. Wiley, MD, shares some key takeaways from his ASCRS presentation on binocularity and aperture optics.
© 2024 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.